Honestly, don’t you get just the least bit confused when you see Ken Salazar speak? It seems difficult not to. Salazar, if nothing else, is impressive in his unimpressiveness.
Here he is telling us that we don’t need to drill in ANWR or the Chukchi Sea because “drill baby drill” won’t lead to energy independence.
But Salazar doesn’t tell us exactly what beyond “drill baby drill” WILL lead to energy independence. It’s difficult to imagine that he really thinks windmills or solar panels will do it, and since his administration seems so hostile to the hydraulic fracturing process which enables shale gas, one wonders where the difference between our requirements and our supply will be made up.
Or maybe it won’t. Maybe we’re just supposed to use less electricity. In Great Britain, where they’re further down the road of flaccid socialism than we are, the answer is you’re in the dark when the wind doesn’t blow…
Electricity consumers in the UK will need to get used to flicking the switch and finding the power unavailable, according to Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the country’s grid operator. Because of a six-fold increase in wind generation, which won’t be available when the wind doesn’t blow, “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030,” he told BBC’s Radio 4. “We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It’s going to be much smarter than that.
“We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”
Holliday has for several years been predicting that blackouts could become a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines in order to meet greenhouse gas targets. Wind-based power systems are necessary to meet the government’s targets, he has explained, but they will require lifestyle changes.
Under the so-called “smart grid” that the UK is developing, the government-regulated utility will be able to decide when and where power should be delivered, to ensure that it meets the highest social purpose. Governments may, for example, decide that the needs of key industries take precedence over others, or that the needs of industry trump that of residential consumers. Governments would also be able to price power prohibitively if it is used for non-essential purposes.
Smart grids are being developed by utilities worldwide to allow the government to control electricity use in the home, down to the individual appliance. Smart grids would monitor the consumption of each appliance and be capable of turning them off if the power is needed elsewhere.
Anybody think that’s going to fly in this country? Power unavailable in America when needed when we have more coal, natural gas and shale oil available than anyone in the world?
We can’t see it, either. What we can see is the most dire electoral (and societal, for that matter) consequences for anyone who brings this country to the point where, with energy resources available for the taking, we put ourselves in a position where either no power is available or we have to sacrifice other needed goods and services in order to access it.
This will never take hold. The reaction will be breathtakingly negative; violently so – if not violent, period. And the fact that Salazar and his superiors in the White House continue to push such an insane and damaging agenda will augur very poorly for their survival on the public stage.