Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oil Spills & Solar Panels

The recent disastrous oil spill in the gulf is a reminder of the dangers of fossil fuel dependency and is doing exactly what it was supposed to; giving a kick start to the controversial Cap and Trade legislation. But the debate over clean energy has been going on as long as I have been alive. In my day, solar panels were the "green solution" to clean energy. Harnessing the power of the sun to heat and cool homes was very popular in the 70's. The technology has been around for a lot longer than you may think, its history spans from 7th Century BC to today. Due to the crude oil trade embargo of the 70's, homes were built with solar panels. These energy saving panels, didn't however make the huge monopolistic energy companies any money.

Lets take a realistic look at what happened to this green energy. The laws of supply and demand usually spur innovation and production. Even beanie babies can attest to that. So why would something that saves consumers money and is in demand go away? The moment a consumer sees a reduced heating bill, why would they ever have a home without solar panels? Yet you only occasionally see homes still fitted with them. Did consumers change their minds about saving money? Installation of solar panels in homes by a retailer can cost upwards of $20,000 dollars and that savings is seen after many years. But consumers have the ability to build their own for hundreds of dollars. This tells us that solar panels were over priced right out of the market. If a consumer can build something for a couple hundred dollars that would cost $20,000 retail, something isn't quite right.

And lets look further to another green mainstay, wind power. Wind turbines and wind technology is another green solution that has been around for as long as humans, and can be seen as early as 5,000 B.C. , yet the technology has only been popping up in last 20 years. All this cheap energy and why does it cost so much for every day consumers to utilize it?

If products are not available or affordable to consumers they will not be used. In the case of wind turbines, most cities tie up wind technology in zoning legislation. Yet wind technology could easily allow us to tell energy companies to pound salt.

Energy companies have a monopoly on American energy and are big enough and rich enough to pay off elected officials to ensure we have no choices in the marketplace. Contrary to our supposed Capitalistic society. The Cap & Trade legislation, according to Obama, is to allow these monopolies to retrofit their operations to green energy and that they will pass that cost on to consumers. But why would we give these corrupt dinosaurs first access to green energy? They have had the opportunity to retool for decades. They've enjoyed no competition and the ability to set their price with no intervention from government. They've made literally billions of dollars off the American people. If they, at this point have not seen the good sense to "Go Green" The Federal government should be telling them: too bad- so sad, you missed the boat.

Let that green opportunity go to new businesses that can offer consumers affordable solutions in the marketplace. Let these greedy energy giants die on the vine. This legislation is so misplaced. A move toward renewable energy does not require an enormous tax scheme. The American people are not responsible for big energy's costs for what they should have done years ago. Here's a clue; use the money you already made in profit to retrofit your operations. If the government offered business loans for new green energy companies and rewarded businesses for offering affordable green solutions, it would actually create jobs, ease our dependence on fossil fuels and move us in the direction of economic recovery. Instead the government wants to hand over this great opportunity to the tired old corrupt status qou monopolies so they can make even more money off of us while they get with the program.

If Obama truly cared about consumers, the environment and green energy he would not be touching Cap & Trade with a ten foot pole. Instead he clearly identifies who he's in bed with. The demand is great for green solutions. Consumers would be eating up affordable solar panels and affordable wind turbines if our government would just stop getting in the way. Ask yourself why we can't do this on our own? Ask yourself why there are no companies out there that can offer us green solutions so we can tell our utility providers to get lost? Why have no companies seen this opportunity to produce solar panels and wind turbines and been flooding the market with products?

It reminds of a story. Stanley Meyer invented something called a water fuel cell. It would allow consumers to fill up their cars using a common garden hose. Stanley died suddenly in March of 1998, but not before the Pentagon seized the technology. Of Course Meyer was portrayed as a fraud in the media and the technology died with him. What is the incentive to create low cost energy when after hundreds of years all we still do is hold on to fossil fuels. The mystery is why. But in all actuality the why is money. Energy companies run the show and they want a piece of this "green" pie and our government is handing that giant slice on a silver platter. It is in our hands, we have to put in end to the rapping of America.

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