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Imperium Watch: "Clean Technologies Don't Work"

That's what John McCain really thinks about alternative energy.

Comments (3)
Thursday, September 11, 2008

Here's something you should know when you start to evaluate John McCain's energy policy: he doesn't believe a massive changeover to renewable, really clean power is possible. This is what McCain said at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H. last December 4:

"When you say wind, solar and tide, most every expert that I know says that, if you maximize that in every possible way, the contribution that that would make given the present state of technology is very small, is very small. It's not a large contribution. It's wonderful, it's great to have it, I encourage it everywhere. I hope everyone will, for Christmas, buy their family a solar panel... that would be exciting. But... I'd be glad to send you the figures that there's the amount of—even if we gave it the absolute maximum, uh, wind, solar and tide, uh, etc. The clean tech—the truly clean technologies don't work."

It's been clear all along that—perhaps because he's been coached by industry connections, though that's not clear—McCain falls back on nuclear power when it's time to talk about "alternative" energy. After that he pays lip service to wind and solar. But he obviously hasn't familiarized himself with, for example, Sweden's pledge to be oil-free by 2020, and the way its government plans to achieve that goal, which includes no new nuclear plants but, among other things, heavy use of geothermal energy.

On Capitol Hill, where Congress can mightily encourage our energy independence and our battle against climate change by renewing investment tax credits for wind and solar power and other such measures, McCain has hardly lived up to his campaign promises. A senator who has failed to vote for clean energy bills the last eight times they've come up hardly inspires confidence that his energy policy will be better than the current administration's, either in the matter of extricating us from dependence on foreign oil or of combating global warming.

 

Comments (3)
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Sweden has a population of 9.1 million, 84% of whom live in urban areas. They sit on vocanic areas that house large geothermal assets. The US has over 300,000,000 people spread over a continent. The fact that McCain is right. Sweden's solution cannot be our solution unless you plan o send 291,000,000 of us to Sweden.
Posted by jim gardner on 9.11.08 at 12:13
I could not disagree more - to state that it won't work is just wrong. A hybrid wind / solar / geothermal solution for a large majority of the US population could reduce the dependence on coal and nuclear electricity tremendously. Everyday, new innovations in photovoltaic systems amazes. The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850 zettajoules (ZJ) per year.[9] In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year. Technologies will continue to grow (solar towers being the next big thing) to drive generators to feed the grid. The amount of money transferred from North America to the Middle East is the largest transfer of money in the history of the world. Are you suggesting that we should remain on this current course? We should buy oil from the Middle East, burn coal into the atmosphere and create target practice facilities for terrorists? John McCain is so wrapped up in oil lobbyists, he has no idea what can really be accomplished. The US government should fund grid feeding infrastructure and stop this insanity! Dennis...
Posted by Dennis on 9.17.08 at 4:55
Any approach that delays the development of 100% renewable sources of energy is going to hasten the day when energy becomes too expensive for the common man to afford. We need to invest in solutions that shift the creation of energy from the large centralized refineries and power plants and invest in the development of decentralized technologies like Biodiesel that are clean, renewable, and can be generated from biomass that is otherwise decomposing if not used.
Posted by Marc Goyette on 9.22.08 at 15:16
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