I wrote a response to Senator Hatch’s first rebuttal, but the Tribune chose not to publish it. Here it is.
Mike Strizki is the future of energy production in the United States. His entire energy consumption, whether it be electricity for his big-screen TV, heat and cooling for his sizable house with swimming pool and hot-tub, or fuel for his car sources entirely from the sun that falls on his garage. What southern paradise does he live in to make this possible? Why New Jersey of course.
Mr. Strizki’s solar and hydrogen farm wasn’t cheap, at $500,000 it doesn’t make economic sense for the average American to do the same thing, but at one time, the “horseless carriage” was only for the affluent. Tax breaks, federal incentives, and loosing regulation on the oil industry has made it choice number one for transportation and energy in America. Although Senator Hatch claims he has sought a “balanced” energy policy, the attention he and congress has given oil over the past 30 years has dwarfed any viable alternative. Legislative lip-service to alternatives has made 50% of our trade deficit oil-based. Final proof is in the pudding we pour into our cars at $4.00 a gallon.
Hatch deemed President Carter’s proposed tariffs against imported oil as disastrous for the market, but who is to blame for the greatest exportation of wealth in American history? What motivation does congress have for continuing to enrich the greatest tyrannies on this planet? Robotic dinosaurs roaming artificial islands in Dubai are pretty neat, but wouldn’t you rather have excellent schools and advanced infrastructure right here at home?
Solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels are treated as science fiction by their critics. Yet other countries are using these realities to become entirely self sufficient. America is unable to duplicate these feats because our leadership sees alternatives to oil in the same way whalers viewed the light-bulb. It is always a matter of hauling in more whales rather than utilizing better technologies.
Senator Hatch recently declared that cars, trains, and airplanes can only run on oil. Is he completely ignorant of electric, hybrid, biodiesel and natural-gas cars? Most European and Asian trains run on electricity because it is more efficient and powerful than diesel. Granted, airplane fuel alternatives are in the experimental stage, but if we offset gasoline consumption on the road and rails, wouldn’t there be plenty left over for flight?
Entrepreneurs have been trying to squeeze oil from shale for the past century. Although President Carter had oil shale on the table, it has never displayed any financial or environmental success. Other schemes for oil or coal expansion do nothing to make our air safer to breath, our food safer to eat, or cut our imports by any significant amount.
If Hatch’s favored nuclear power is to come into play again, let the investors buy water at market rates, pay for the clean-up of of the waste and the mining, insure against lawsuits, and hire their own private guard and air-force for plant protection. Nuclear energy companies can start by cleaning up the billion-dollar pile of uranium tailings left behind by industry in Moab.
Oil shale and nuclear power are considered the primary domestic alternatives to imported oil by Senator Hatch and our Republican delegation. Unfortunately, history shows these are failed alternatives.
Congressional efforts for clean, domestic, renewable energy are appreciated. Yet they need to be exponentially increased if they are ever going to match historic support for oil. True American freedom and independence exists in technologies that Mike Strizki is using today. A colossal lack of imagination is responsible for the failure of so-called “balanced” energy policy this country has had since 1976.