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  • Morning Bell: Will Chu Let America Power Up?

    The rest of the world may talk a good game when it comes to ending their use of carbon based energy, but the reality is a completely different story. While the European Union lectures us on global warming, Germany is busy building 27 coal-fired plants by 2020 and Italy plans to increase its reliance on coal from 14% today to 33% in just five years. In all of Europe, 40 new major coal power plants are set to be built in the next five years. The same realities are dictating behavior in the rest of the world as well. In 2006 alone, China completed enough coal power plants to match all of Britain’s capacity. India plans to boost coal production by 50% by 2012 and quadruple it by 2030. Moving to oil, Brazil, whose beautiful beaches rival or surpass anything in California or Florida, recently discovered a huge underwater oil field and is moving quickly to begin drilling. In Asia, China and Japan were able to put aside centuries of mistrust to come to an agreement on how to drill and share oil in waters in between their countries.

    The world’s actions, more than their words, show they understand that economic growth requires plentiful and inexpensive energy. When the Senate questions President-elect Barack Obama’s energy secretary nominee Steven Chu today, they owe it to the American people to find out if Chu understands these realities. Questions to draw Chu out include:

    Gasoline Prices: Last September Chu made the statement that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” which at the time exceeded $8.00 a gallon. in light of the fact that high gasoline prices hurt everyone, especially those with low incomes, and weaken the overall economy, will Chu speak for or against any measures that would raise the price of gasoline?

    Coal-Fired Electricity: Chu has also stated that American electricity prices are “anomalously low” and that “coal is my worst nightmare,” largely due to its contribution to global warming. Coal is the one energy source America has in overwhelming abundance, and it currently provides 50 percent of America’s electricity. Without it, electric bills would be much higher. Speaking of coal power, Obama even said, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” As secretary of energy, will Chu support coal-fired electric generation in order to provide affordable electricity for the American people?

    Alternative Energy: Despite decades of subsidies, alternative energies such as wind and solar power contribute only 1% of our nation’s energy needs. No matter how hard they wish it, the fact is it will take decades, not years, to transition to alternative energies. Furthermore, the role of the Department of Energy in trying to accelerate the process by picking winners and losers among emerging alternatives is one with a disappointing track record. Will Chu take a realistic approach toward alternative energy sources, with particular regard to the continued need for conventional energy supplies until such time as alternatives are ready to replace them?

    EPA Regulation of Carbon Dioxide: Last July, the Department of Energy spoke out against the EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). As secretary of energy, will Chu continue to be a voice of economic reason and energy policy rationality on this and other problematic global warming measures?

    Nuclear Energy: Chu has publicly recognized the critical role of nuclear energy in meeting our nation’s growing energy demand. He has also suggested that with nuclear fuel recycling, a permanent geologic repository at Yucca Mountain is not essential. What is Chu’s position on the scientific viability of Yucca Mountain, and does he support allowing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete its review of the Department of Energy’s permit application for Yucca Mountain?

    This morning the Washington Post took the Senate to task for the extremely weak questioning they have given Obama’s nominees so far: “Confirmation hearings offer an opportunity for nominees to lay out, to the extent possible, their views about the policy and managerial challenges they will confront, and for lawmakers to lay down markers on issues that matter to them. This is true even — maybe even especially — when the Senate is controlled by the same party as the White House.” Considering energy’s intimate relationship with the economy, Chu’s nomination is a great opportunity for the Senate to start doing the job Americans sent them to Washington to do.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to Morning Bell: Will Chu Let America Power Up?

    1. John Marshall, UK. says:

      I feel sorry for you Americans if Chu is the man to sort your energy problems. If he had any scientific knowledge he would realise that CO2 is not a climate driver but a plant food. I hope that his ideas change as the snows continue to build up. You need cheap energy as we all do and his present ideas do not fit in with what is in the future.

    2. Ozzy6900 says:

      Anyone that makes a statement like Chu did (QUOTE "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe") needs to be put in a rubber room. How in the world could this person be considered for any public position? Why would we want to pay what Europe is paying and for that fact why would we want to do anything that Europe does? We are America! We LEAD the world, we do not follow! We have so many resources that we could sustain ourselves for many years if these Liberals would just let us mine and drill. Let Al Gore and his moron Global Warming followers flush themselves down the nearest toilet because we don't believe anything this idiot has to say. He is just a ex-politician not a scientist, yet people think he is the greatest thing since Albert Einstein. The man is a cancer to this country along with the Liberals that follow him. And the worst cancer of all is taking Office on January 20th – the lord, messiah himself! God help us all!

    3. LVKen7@Gmail.com - says:

      Did you see BuShs Final New Conference yesterday


      After 8 years

      he has NOTHING to be proud of

      NOT one single thing.

      He even admitted -

      "There have been disappointments.

      Abu Ghraib obviously was a huge disappointment during the presidency.

      Not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment.

      I don't know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were — things didn't go according to plan, let's put it that way.


    4. Ken, Atl. says:

      I never saw Bush point a finger at anyone. I've never seen anybody accomplish anything by pointing fingers. Hinesight is 20/20. If Bush could do some things over, he would have. Sadam is gone. The continent of Africa was a great charitable accomplishment for Bush, us and the world. Abu Ghraib was a huge disappointment not because of Bush, but by a few unmonitored immature soldiers who repented for their actions. The press didn't help by reporting their view instead of the facts. Their facts were trying to point fingers. This debacle in all likelihood attributed to at least 2,000 dead US troops for exacerbating an already hot issue.

    5. Thomas Gray South Ca says:

      Good post ozzy, accept about the messiah I'm still waiting for the real one and I'm sure his father is not pleased about these unelected activist ruling our government that is supposed to be ruling them since he is the one that gave us this great country and in the beginning our government without this cancer.

    6. FulghumInk, Pinehur says:

      Socialist miscreants don't care about Science. If Science is antithetical to their political agenda (Socialism) then the science is simply ignored. They then fabricate "scientific" excretions that support their political agenda. If they are countered with the absolutes of the truth of a matter they then go back to ignoring the absolutes and counter fabricate. That is the essence of their demented resolve. Lying is sacred to Socialists.

    7. ella quinn kinsto says:

      George Bush has kept us safe for 8 years.I am worried now who will.We will miss him.He was a great leader.We might not be safe with this new admistration coming up.NO OBAMA IS NOT OUR SAVIOUR.

    8. Pingback: « RockStarKevin

    9. Ireland says:

      LVKen7@Gmail.com – Las Vegas, you wrote:

      Did you see BuShs Final New Conference yesterday


      After 8 years

      he has NOTHING to be proud of

      NOT one single thing.

      He even admitted -

      “There have been disappointments.

      Abu Ghraib obviously was a huge disappointment during the presidency.

      Not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment.

      I don’t know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were — things didn’t go according to plan, let’s put it that way.


      Every day you come here to bash George Bush, and I’m not a huge fan of his (he’s not a conservative) but he has kept us safe for the last 7 years; he should get points for that and you certainly cannot claim that Bill Clinton ever kept us safe from the terrorist. Are you even remotely going to give him any credit for keeping us safe? My guess is you wouldn’t as you appear to fall inline with the other liberal Democrats.

      Your continued liberal diatribe never relates to the articles, you never comment of any of the Obama’s new financial and energy plans, his stimulus plan, appointments or the continuation of all the scandals throughout the Democratic Party and a portion of his appointees, two more were added yesterday with Mary Schapiro and his terrorism and intelligence adviser, John O. Brennan. Have any opinions other that “its Bush’s fault”? If you are unable or unwilling to discuss and comment on all the flawed and defective politicians in both parties, and most of them are ineffectual and incompetent, your one-sided view offers no clarity. I think you drank the potion and fell down the rabbit hole. Wake up, take off the rose colored glass and realize that both Republican, Democrats or government bureaucracy are never the answer, they are part of the problem.

      No comment about the appointment of Chu, his energy solutions or the raise in energy cost that will like add more people to the welfare role?

      It is you who is pitiful and distressing.

    10. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Ireland, well said.

      First, I think we should rename the secretary of energy to energy Czar or comrade! That would be more appropriate.

      Government and the environmental extremists have been engaged in killing US energy supplies at all levels in the last 30 years. Obama and his lieutanant, Mr. Chu want to kill American economy and standard of living and opt for non-existent renewable energy. How come Europe hasn't become energy independent with wind and solar energies? Instead, they are being held hostage to Russian power play! The whole energy policy of Chu is concocted in the socialist world to be imposed on America to grab power.

      I wish (as John Galt did in Atlas Shrugged) that all the coal fired power plants shut down for a day and demand that unless the impediments to the most efficient energy production are lifted that they would shut the whole industry down. The socialists will try to nationalize but won't be able to since they wouldn't have the capability to run them. Producers must go on strike!

      It is not going to get better on its own. I am afraid that we have a government that is completely in dissonance with the average American for the first time. They don't care as long as they have about 50% of the population who pay no taxes and get all the benefits free (at the expense of the other 50%).

    11. Wolfgang Spendel, Ci says:

      It's not about energy. It's about power, energy per unit time. We should do all we can to use renewable energy. However, any renewable technology we know of today can't deliver the power we need to make our society work. The earth can be considered a big battery. Coal and oil was stored up over millions of years. They are both a product of renewable energy from the sun. The problem is it took millions of years to collect that natural energy. Very long term we either have fewer people or we find a way to get energy at a rate suffcient to run our complex societies. Wishing and being idealistic without dealing with the real problems just wastes resources, energy.

    12. Dorothy Morgan, Okla says:

      Oh, I'm all for "Drill, drill, drill", but I'll be honest about why I am. Mineral rights……

      weren't worth a dime to me till gas got so high.

      Then the offers to buy came rolling in @ 350 times what I gave for them a couple years ago.

      Then the darned election ended all that while I was trying to get even more greedy. (Remember the

      gas prices going into the toilet?) We all have our personal problems, but the country shouldn't have to bear them.

    13. John Leicester, Shor says:

      As a retired theoretical engineer/physicist I can only say that I am appalled at the notion that Dr. Chu has any science background whatever. He appears to be an ecotheistic ideologue. It is either a religious problem with him or he is just another one of those crypto fascistic wolves who cloak themselves in environmental democrat sheepskin and receive their largess from a corrupt government.

      He has certainly sold his soul for financial gain. He apparently does not understand that it is impossible for minor trace gases in the environment to cause global warming, or climate change, or anything else resulting from human activity.

      How sad that we have come to this.

    14. LVKen7@Gmail.com - says:

      To – Ireland.

      YOU = "Every day you come here to bash George Bush"

      ME = WRONG



    15. LVKen7@Gmail.com - says:

      How about a story about

      Olmert calling BuSh

      to get him NOT to vote for the

      UN Cease Fire Resolution.

      Was the Vote REALLY 14 – 0

      with USA Abstaining?

    16. Darvin Dowdy says:

      Always expect the absolute worse from democrats. What we should be focusing on is getting our dysfunctional GOP house in order, and asap. As it stands now, things are only getting worse. I'd like to see Heritage spearhead that effort. So far all HF does is tell us what we already know about the democrats! Waste of time. Darvin Dowdy

    17. ken largo fl says:

      the truth about bush is he put this country back on the path .the truth about obama he doesn't even no there is a path.. unless you talk about the path to king, the black preachers in this country are telling their flocks to call him lord obama where is he going to take this country

    18. FulghumInk, Pinehur says:

      Chu-as a physicist-will know how to manipulate jargon unique to science to advance a socialist agenda. The whole package of Marxist rot we are about to have to endure for the next four years is absolutely nauseating.

      IF the conservatives do their job, it will be four years of extreme stress for the Hussein Obama dissembler and us as well. If we are fortunate, WE won't get any tics.

    19. John, Arlington, VA says:

      Thorium instead of uranium is far superior.

      -Can burn stored Yacca Mountain fuel.

      -No plutonium or worry on making weapons from spent fuel.

      -does not need to be enriched before burning

      -not much if any waste

      -4 times more plentiful than uranium


      -can use with existing reactors

      Many more reasons check out thoriumpower.com

      Lobbyists BLOCKING this new tech in US?

    20. Judith from Detroit says:

      All of the talk here in Detroit, of course, is “electric” autos. To all of you auto and electrical engineers, I have some questions.
      1: If one “charge” will take you about 200 miles, is that as far as you can travel? Where will you be able to recharge and how long will it take? 2: Where will the electrical supply come from without coal-fired generating plants or nuclear power generating plants to provide the recharge? Wind farms?
      3: What if you run out of a charge in a isolated area without resources such as the mountains or a desert area? Or in an emergency?
      4: Who will pay for the destruction of all of the gas stations and the building of electrical power re-charging stations? Who will own them?
      5: What will the cost be for a re-charge?
      At this time, the auto batteries will only last a few years before having to be replaced: approximate cost-$5,000. Who will want to do that after spending $30,000. plus for the auto to begin with? They might feel it would cheaper to “junk” the auto and buy a new one.
      6: What will you do with all of the dead batteries and used cars that will need a new $5000) battery to be able to run?
      7: Without gasoline taxes coming in to pay for infrastructure repairs, will the electric charges be taxed to do the same thing? Is this where the mileage driven tax (by GPS tracking where you drive) comes in?
      8: Will there be a tremendous shortage of electrical power and tremendous stress put on the nation’s power grids that the costs will become out of reach for the average citizen?
      9: What about the other modes of transportation, such as the airline, railroad, and trucking industries? Will they be able to run on electricity, too? How expensive will it be to do all of the mechanical converting?
      10: And then, what will happen to all of the millions of people employed in the oil industry? Who will pay for their re-training?
      Obviously, actions cause reactions. Whether those in charge will admit it or not, they are aware $8.00 plus a gallon for fuel or any power will destroy the US economy and the American family. Is that the intent? When they can answer these questions logically, and honestly, then I, as a US citizen, will be willing to listen

    21. Ireland says:

      LVKen7… Like I said, I'm not a big Bush fan either. But, of course you didn't answer my questions. Did he continually prevent another attack and has he kept us safe? Very simply Yes or No? Will you talk about this article and the new energy policies that Obama and especially Chu plan to implement? It's not that hard to answer these are very simple question and you continue to avoid a response.

      My only conclusion is you’re afraid to debate the issues in the articles. The article written has nothing to do with Olmert so why are you bringing it up? ANSWER MY QUESTION.

      I dare you to debate me the issues within this article, energy policies, and Chu comments quoted in the article you are obviously afraid to debate an intelligent, female conservative regarding the information in this article.

      Then my only conclusion is whatever happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas and not leave the perimeter of Nevada.

    22. Ireland says:


      The environmental and gas company lobbyists are hamstringing the government from moving forward.

      I worked for an energy company whose headquarters was in the UK, we have other sites and divisions in many countries, including the US and Australia. We were working with the Australian government to research and try alternative forms of energy and both my company and the Australian government felt that thorium was the best alternatives for safe, environmentally friendlier then uranium. Australia has limited energy resources and time is running out for them. Thorium has slight radioactive metal elements but is far safer and should be considered as an alternative nuclear fuel to uranium and/or plutonium. Both India and Australia have an abundance of Thorium.

      The metal when exposed to oxygen tends to tarnish but still has the highest melting point of any oxide (3300°C). Our research and development division ran massive test and the outcome showed when heated slowly through oxygen, thorium metal turnings ignite and burn brilliantly with a white light. Thorium has the largest liquid range of any element: 2946 K between the melting point and boiling point. Thorium is currently used as an alloying agent in conjunction with gas tungsten arc welding, which was another division that we had that sold and marketed wielding equipment. There are some dangers as well the metal can often ignite spontaneously when exposed to oxygen and needs to be handled carefully and cautiously. It can never be introduced or penetrate the human skin.

      Many of us in the Company were intrigued by what the R&D Division had done and were fascinated by the outcome. I left the company in 2005 and it has since been bought out by another. I have no idea if they are continuing to pursue this alternative to nuclear energy, but I hope they are.

      Australia enjoys considerable reserves of natural gas, but they need to imported oil which is becoming increasingly critical for Australia, particularly for transportation requirements. The tests and building of mass transportation vehicles to use hydrogen to replace fuel, but the studies and test had both positives and negative results. They placed the hydrogen cylinders on top of the vehicles instead of on the rear or underneath the vehicles but in order to refill or replace the cylinders cause a few safety concerns. I don’t know if they figured out a way to make it safer or if the hydrogen buses are currently being used. The fear was in an accident and should the cylinders become punctured or badly damage from the top heavy weight of these vehicles which overturned could become a hydrogen bomb of sorts.

      According to Dick Morris’s book Fleeced the Fuel/Gas Company are spending millions of dollars to Washington lobbyist firms who generally employ former Senators and Congressmen to get the ears of their former colleagues and try to change their thought process away from alternative energy resources and as long as Congress continues to talk out of one side of their mouth and vote and do the opposite, the only thing they are showing us is that everything can be brought if it’s at the right price. They are all such hypocrites and liars. They make me sick.

    23. mike hutchings texas says:


    24. freezingtoes S.C. says:

      informitive, Ireland

      I agree mony rules in washingon.

    25. John, Arlington, VA says:

      Irland thanks for the response and in depth knowledge you share. If what you say is that it is feesable and a great alternative then maybe we can get the word out. Would thorium have roughly the same energy potential of uranium?

      I live a stones throw away from Washington and there are many people who are as sick as you and I of being sold out. Definitly if this can work we need some more experts to report in blogs like this and on some talk shows. The American Legion reported what I have stated 5 years ago in their monthly paper and I have not heard a peep about it since then.

      Did you know also they Yacca Mountain study is costing taxpayers millions a year also, bet they don't want the news out either. No more study money.

      We (normal people)can be swindled for only so long… I hope.. Thanks

    26. Ireland says:

      John you just don’t get it, our government knows about the work we did with the Australian government, they watch and wait until they get the response that they wanted. That response is to be negative, so they can point a finger and say… look, now aren’t you glad we didn’t do it. We weren’t an American company, we were British, they had plants/facilitates throughout the World.

      Our government doesn’t want resolve our problems with energy, poverty. Finances, security or anything else that’s controlled and regulated by government bureaucrats they want us to be dependent on them to resolve issues which they have no desire to resolve. If sound and reasonable results are found for all of these issues, there would be no need for their intervention, would there? Keep them wanting more and feed them our leftover scrapes. Our politicians have become so entrenched with the bending and twisting of the truth, they can no longer distinguish between the lies as well the truth.

      The American life has become a great wasteland with only one shade of hue… grey. All the spectrums of colors, black and white no longer exist. We’ve become various shades of grey in the illusion of hubris of doing what’s right and patting themselves on their back for another “we fooled and conned them again” they must be so proud at their own incompetence and duplicitous actions. As Americans grow more and more distrusting from our elected officials. There only goal is to appear to turning us into a land of nomads trying to discover the truth, not the politician version of truth.

      The New World view the liberals appear to want is an Oligarchy government were elected official as well as this countries elitist will be the only ones to have a say in what direction we will go towards. I cannot wait!

    27. Barb -mn says:

      LVKEN7 won't be running for mommy. He's running for another government tax paid pathetic peoples program. He probably needs an increase to his cost of living expenditures.

    28. John, Arlington, VA says:

      Ireland I do get it but don't think it is time yet to throw in the towel. I have faith in the American people and other free choice thinking people. I have traveled the world and know what is out there.

      But I beleive when the people get the truth (not main strean media IV) they are still smart enough to figure out the logic. Many good people are now going to be motivated to get it right. They will still have BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrom) for a while but reality has a way of creeping back in.

      I feel your pain and then some but like we talk thorium and other technology coming soon. Others tech like nano solar and batteries we need to get into also the media. WE CAN DO IT JUST alot of media outlets and maybe we can make movies that are true. I think even good people in hollywood are waking up. Too many Mike morons putting out propogama now but hope not too long. Who can they blame now? maybe themseves.

      Take Care

    29. John, Arlington, VA says:

      Hey LVKen7@Gmail.com what flavor coolaid?

      Oh BTW there not closing Abu now, so called domestic spying they simply renamed it international spying and the list goes on.

      That first high level security briefing was a wake up call. Hope and pray everybody wakes up some day it has never been so critical to do so. Take it from a world traveler!!


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