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Why can't the U.S. become energy independent?


Rdskns2000

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Is it because BIG whatever won't allow it. It's not in their interests?

I can't believe that we can't use our own resources in the short term in a more environmental friendly way for the short term and develop the technologies for alternate sources for the long run.

We can put a man on the moon and yet we can't find ways to use our resources in a more friendly and efficient way. We can't find alternative sources that are affordable.

What was science fiction maybe reality today if we would only do it.

With gas heading towards $4/gallon probably within the next 2-3 weeks and $5-6/gallon this summer if not higher; I'm getting pissed.

Clinton failed to do anything.

Bush failed to do anything.

Obama really hasn't done to much and seems to cater to the extreme environmental movement.

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Here's the first thing you need to learn: There is NO such thing as "energy independence." This is a hollow phrase typically trotted out in the run up to elections. We live in far to interdependent of a world economy that we will always purchase vast amounts of crude and refined oil abroad (and for varying reasons). We'll even buy it from apparent rival countries (Iran/Iraq/Venezula) from the simple standpoint that money trumps all. This does not, in my mind, excuse the fact that we can and should develop our own domestic reserves of oil. Also, for the life of me I can't understand why we can't move on developing nuclear here in the U.S. when it's much safer than it was in the 1970s (which is I believe the last time we developed reactors here). It's incredibly efficient and takes less space than what we're using presently. The environmental lobby plays a huge in part in this and they've stifled domestic production (a mixed bag in my mind). One thing is certain, well two things: oil is not going to be coming down in price and it's still the best choice we have from a purely 'expedient' standpoint. As long as the dollar is the world's reserve currency (which is becoming less likely in light of recent events) we'll still pay a lower price than many countries. No telling how long that will last. Energy indepence though? There is no such thing.

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Deejaydana is correct that absolute independence is a myth. The only real way to do it would be to travel back to 19th Century technology living off steam, muscle, and maybe simple electricity. That said, there has been a tremendous resistance towards moving towards energy independence. Part of the reason is that historically, oil has been plentiful and relatively cheap. Cheaper than the alternatives anyway and more efficient. So, it's been hard to galvanize people towards change. Most like the status quo even or especially when they hate it. George W. Bush was correct in labeling our problem with oil an addiction, beside our normal resistance to change and industries standing in the way, the biggest reason we aren't converting is because we don't have the answer yet.

More, we don't have a single answer yet. If we could take hydo and completely, safely, and cleanly use hydroelectric in place of oil.... that would be great, but we don't have sufficient rivers and that would only help in certain situations. The Sun's everywhere, but the technology isn't really there yet and the storage and batteries are a bit of a problem. Nuclear? Part of the reason we don't go there is fear (both rational and irrational), but mostly because of the start up costs. Who wants to put out that kind of dough when oil is relatively cheap and plentiful.

I think the real reason the U.S. isn't honestly trying to become energy independent is three-fold. The first as I talked about is comfort. The second is greed. The third is because the answer is complex. It would require many solutions working simultaneously. It would include solar, hydro, coal, geothermal, nuclear, oil, bio, wind and other. The lack of a simple, clean solution is a big part of the problem. If we had a 1:1 flip I think people would go for it, but asking people to exchange one thing for twelve AND in the short term pay more for possibly less is a hard sell.

At least for the short sighted.

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Oil's cheap. Period.

Compare the continued consumption of oil to what it would cost to rework our entire national energy infrastructure, and it's always best to put off rebuilding until the next election. Then the next election. Then the next election. And so on.

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That was a bit flip, but it would take a massive effort to produce that much domestically. I was surprised by the increase in nuclear power use shown in this graph: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_historical_energy_consumption.PNG . As one of the nuts who believe we might be putting too much CO2 in the atmosphere I would support more nuclear, but we need to figure out what to do with the waste. No one seems to want it.

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I concure with those that said pure Energy independance is a myth and I also agree with Hubbs that oil is cheap.

lastly, we like our oil driven products. Until we find an appetite for something different, skip the partisan politics and backroom corporate welfare deals, we'll never see true initiatives for alternative energy beyond platitudes.

Can you imagine the Feds willingly giving up all that revenue from oil? LOL, not a chance.

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In order to move closer to energy independence (a Utopian dream to be 100%) we need to stop thinking about 1 be all and end all plan that will work for everyone in the country, instead I believe we need to start thinking more locally using the renewable resources that are readily found in our regions. For instance, we'd never survive off wind power here, just not enough to sustain, but that doesn't mean we can't go solar (panels, water etc), even our schools in our county have gone geo-thermal for heat saving us a boatload.

In the end though the only way we get closer to energy independence is when the new forms of energy become cheaper than the old ones.

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In order to move closer to energy independence (a Utopian dream to be 100%) we need to stop thinking about 1 be all and end all plan that will work for everyone in the country, instead I believe we need to start thinking more locally using the renewable resources that are readily found in our regions. For instance, we'd never survive off wind power here, just not enough to sustain, but that doesn't mean we can't go solar (panels, water etc), even our schools in our county have gone geo-thermal for heat saving us a boatload.

In the end though the only way we get closer to energy independence is when the new forms of energy become cheaper than the old ones.

Ya'll in Kentucky have all the coal you would ever need. I like your local focus ideas! Is there a risk though, of nothing at the local level available everywhere? I assume there is, but I think that isnt an insurmountable items.

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A nation this large with this kind of industrial technology = way too much energy used to support ourselves. But we could do a lot more if people weren't so lazy/self-centered.

Also, what do you think the mindset of a nation that accepts a one hour commute to and from work as "not that bad" is. That's where our standards are today. That alone shows stagnation and apathy for improvement.

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A nation this large with this kind of industrial technology = way too much energy used to support ourselves. But we could do a lot more if people weren't so lazy/self-centered.

Also, what do you think the mindset of a nation that accepts a one hour commute to and from work as "not that bad" is. That's where our standards are today. That alone shows stagnation and apathy for improvement.

some of us have little choice in how long our present commute is. I was lucky to even find another job let alone one that is close by. The chances of me selling my house to move closer (which is the ideal scenario) are almost nil in the current housing market and economy.

I'd give a lot to be able to move near my new employer

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Why not just keep using up all that Arab oil and save ours for later?

That seems the course set...it does come with the drawback of a massive trade deficit and funding despots

It seems a strange choice for those that profess faith in alt energy viability.

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