Obama’s Price Signals Shredded

Posted on Sun 11/02/2008 by



Now I think I understand why the environment is sliding so far under the radar this election, when Obama/Biden should see it as an obvious winner for them. It’s because they know so little about it, and have not bothered to find out, or to even have their people find out about it for them. Either that, if they do know, then they are not telling us just what the implications really are. Obama in his replies at the Presidential debates said that this has been one of his pets since he entered politics. If so, then he should know a damned sight more about it than he professes. He does not even have to go all that far to find out. His own Government brings out the single most comprehensive database on the Planet detailing absolutely every aspect of electricity production, use, cost, and everything associated with every aspect of the Electricity sector. This is the US Government Energy Information Administration (EIA), and this link is the latest Monthly report from that site, and this will give you hours of facts if you want to look, and be horrified with. It will take you years to get through it all, but it is comprehensively easy to find all the information you need, all the figures you need, and answers any questions you might have. I have been referring to it now for eight months and all figures and all calculations, and all conclusions can be easily verified just by checking them for yourselves.

If I can do it, surely Obama can have his experts find out for him. It’s just a mouse click away, everything you always wanted to know about the US electricity sector, free for all to see. If this is one of Obama’s pets, then surely he would have the correct facts from just looking at this.

So, then let’s go to the videotape.

Obama says that we need to send ‘price signals’ to people to change behaviour. He says if people’s electricity bill goes up, people start becoming more mindful of their electricity bill. Over time, he says, electricity bills come back down as technology catches up. Keep that in mind as you watch this second clip.

He says here, ‘Americans like to leave all the lights on in their houses ….. We’re going to have to change our habits ….. If we have to deal with Climate Change ….. It is indisputable that the climate is getting warmer ….. We’re going to have to cap the emission of Greenhouse Gases ….. That means power plants are going to have to adjust how they generate power ….. They will pass on those costs to consumers ….. A lot of us are going to have to pay more per unit of electricity ….. We’re going to have to change our light bulbs ….. We’re going to have shut the lights off in our houses …..

Each one of those statements was reduced to a cute seven second byte, so what does it really mean?

In the second video, the fourth thing he says I’ve mentioned above …..It is indisputable that the climate is getting warmer. Wrong. The climate has been cooling since 1998, and the warming change prior to that was less than one degree Celsius, and the predicted warming worst case scenario is a two degree warming up till 2050, not taking into account the current cooling trend. The intent by this warming scare campaign is to make it sound like it’s an oven warming up to horrendous levels. Only some scientists believe it actually is warming anyway. It seems that it’s okay to cherry pick that part of science that agrees with your own personal agenda and then to shout down those who disagree.

We’re going to have to cap the emission of Greenhouse Gases ….. What that means is that to accomplish this, he will introduce a Carbon Cap and Trade scheme, basically, a Carbon emissions tax. Sounds like it might actually work. Put a cap on emissions by setting a price for CO2. As I have gone to great lengths in earlier posts to explain what this means, information that can be easily calculated from the EIA database, this is basically the imposition of a new tax. Without doubt, if elected, this will be the first path he goes down. Why? Because of the immense income flowing INTO Government from this. Burn 1.1 Billion tons of coal, produce 3.2 Billion tons of CO2. The market price where it already is in effect is $45 per ton, hence $144 Billion from the electricity sector alone. This sector produces 30% of the total, so that equates to an inflow TO the Government of around $480 Billion each and every year.

Now do you see the implications behind that sound byte. Just from the electricity sector alone, that $144 Billion, well that will be passed onto consumers in higher charges per unit of electricity, and that amount can also be calculated from that same database. Only 35% of all power is used in the residential sector, and worked out, is an increase of around 40% on top of your electricity bill. Take out your last bill and look at it. The average is around $350 per quarter, so the increase there is around $140 extra, making the new average around $500. Obama said it himself in that second video ….. That means power plants will pass on those costs to consumers, and ….. A lot of us are going to have to pay more per unit of electricity. The remaining 65% of electricity used in the other sectors will also be passed onto consumers in the way of raised prices for all good and all services, so, in effect, it is a double whammy.

Now, go back to the first videotape and listen where he says ….. Over time electricity bills will come down.


That immensely huge 3.3 Billion tons of CO2 produced each year won’t come down, not only in the near term but over the next fifty years, because there are no like for like replacement plants in anyone’s thought bubbles, let alone in planning, and even further from actual construction. No, electricity bills will go up by that amount, and will never come back down.

The best seven second sound byte of all is ….. Power Plants are going to have to ADJUST how they generate power.

Adjust. How do they do that. Coal is burned to heat water to steam to drive a four stage turbine which then drives a generator which produces power. They either do it like that or they stop. There is no middle ground. They cannot burn less coal, or they just produce less electricity, and the US is currently on the limit of electricity being used for electricity being generated.

I suppose this could mean that they need to introduce what they evocatively call ‘Clean Coal’, a fallacy so far into the future that it is yet to be even proven that it works at all, and is not in operation on a whole of process scale anywhere on the Planet. Anyway, from the EIA’s own figures, they will have to bury forever 3.3 Billion tons of CO2 EACH AND EVERY YEAR. Where? How? How Much? Between 700 Billion and 1Trillion is how much, that’s if it can be proved to even work.

So. Adjust their power production. Adjust.

Could that indicate a move towards Obama’s other two ‘pets’ solar and wind. Currently these two sources produce 0.8% of all power used in the US, and wind provides the bulk of that, because solar produces 0.015% of all power used. If this was such a coming industry, entrepreneurs would be flocking to them to produce power, just for the money to be made from it. They are not going there, because it cannot be made to provide the power needed on the scale required. Solar especially, because this people contemplating constructing these plants balk at the initial outlay, costs that will have to passed on to consumers who will balk at the huge increases in their power bills, because there is no such thing as free power from the Sun.

All right then. Let’s go the direction of windto see if that can be an option.

To ‘adjust’ their power production and replace coal plants with wind, and here I’ll not go the way of replacing all coal fired plants, just enough to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. For that alone, you will need 143,000 of those large wind turbines. You’ll need to find a place to put them, an area of consistent high wind, connect them all to the grid, and then hope the wind blows all the time. Going on the latest state of the art wind plant, the cost of all this is close to $1Trillion, conservatively, and that is effectively only 30% of the number of coal fired plants, so to replace them all, you’re now looking at $3.3 Trillion, and somewhere to put those nearly half million wind turbines, and all the extra infrastructure because you can’t just place all those wind towers where the coal fired plants are.

So ‘adjust’ is not the word. These huge extra costs will inevitably be passed onto consumers. Wind power currently runs at three to five times more costly than current conventional power, and solar currently runs at five to seven times the cost. The plants needed to replace existing steam plants are more than decades off, perhaps not in the lifetime of our children, let alone within the first Obama term.

So then, Obama tells us we will need to change the way we consume power.

Look at this following bland looking pie chart. Click on the image to make it larger and then navigate back here to the text.

Average household electrical use pie chart. Chart from US Government EIA database. Click on image to open in a new window.

Obama tells us we need to change to the new energy efficient fluorescent bulbs, and turn off all the lights. The kitchen light is the one used the most often. The kitchen is mandated as a work area and needs bright lighting there, so, already, they have high intensity fluorescent lighting there. Modern houses use high intensity downlight halogens in some rooms. So you’re looking at bathrooms, toilets, some smaller bedrooms, bedside lights etc. Replace them with the newer bulbs, keeping in mind they cost 8 to 10 times what the others do, the offset beiong they last considerably longer, but who lives in the one house for more than 50 years these days anyway? Replace them, and then back to the pie chart. The average bill will now be $500 after the introduction of the cap and trade tax. So the lighting component of that is around 8.8%. By replacing those bulbs, you save 10% of that 8.8% keeping in mind that not all lighting will be the new types as I explained. So the saving is around $4.40 out of your $500 electricity account, or around 33 cents a week.

Wow! I’ll be rushing out and doing that.

Look again at the chart. Hot water 9%. Space Heating 10.1% Airconditioning 16% Refrigerator 13.7% TV 2.9%

Savings? Where?

Every high rise building in the US uses airconditioning, not to make it comfortable for those living or working in those buildings, but to actually provide breathing air for all inside, because windows are all sealed. Hot water. Heating in the Northern States for the real cold they have. Airconditioning in the hotter areas. Refrigerators. There are no areas at all where any savings of significance can be found. Not anywhere near enough to replace your new tax anyway.

Obama actually contradicts himself in the one sentence by saying we’ll introduce cap and trade passed on to consumers and then says bills will come down.

This can only prove one of three things.

The first is that he hasn’t bothered to find out in the first place.

The second is that it would be political suicide to tell the public the real truth.

The third is that he really does know all this, and is lying, which I don’t believe. It’s more like he hasn’t even bothered to find out, and doesn’t really know at all just what the implications are.

If he is elected, you can guarantee that the very first thing he does during the first term will be to introduce the cap and trade carbon tax, a blatant grab for you money, that will net the Government nearly $500 Billion each and every year, not one penny of which will go towards finding replacement plants, and you know why. Because they just don’t work.

Go back again and watch the videos. The shape of things to come, and out of his own mouth.

So, Senator, send all the signals you like. They’ll be seen for exactly what they are.

This is not about the environment. It’s all about the money.

Want to see the real killer though. Go to the second video, and scroll to the 38 second mark. The whole next sound byte says this ….. If we have to deal with Climate Change, which I think we have to deal with …..

Watch very closely. He starts to say Gl the first syllable of Global Warming, but then corrects himself and says Climate Change.

See how even his advisers have coached him to not say Global Warming, now it’s actually shown to be cooling, and instead change it to Climate Change. They’ll coach him on this but not even chase up the real facts.

Same game. Different title. They have to justify themselves so, as I first mentioned back in early September, the subtle change in that title in this Post.