On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 17:08, Senator Leahy
March 11, 2012
U.S. Energy Policy Sen. Leahy Correspondence
March 11, 2011Dear Sen. Leahy,
Thanks for keeping me informed about your Senate votes and views on energy policy.
I respectfully disagree with your anti-fossil fuel stance. It's abundantly clear that oil, gas and coal will remain the primary energy sources in this country in our children's and grandchildren's lifetimes.
Advocating for more costly renewables that, if implemented with today's expensive and relatively inefficient technologies, will raise the energy bill for Vermont and the nation is an unsound trade-off while we seek an economic recovery. In my view, the promise of 'green jobs' is more political rhetoric than reality.
We have abundant supplies of fossil fuels on this continent and to deny their use is not in the best interests of this nation. The real technological advances have been in the oil and gas industries which accounts for the recent dramatic increase in domestic oil and natural gas production. In the US, the oil and gas extraction sector grew at a rate of 4.5 per cent in 2011 compared to an overall GDP growth rate of 1.7 per cent. With a multiplier effect of ~3:1, that means this sector created 150,000 jobs. The sector’s highly skilled workforce is also well-paid compared to other sectors. That's a good thing but your policies would slow down that growth.
If you advocate that renewables will positively affect climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, then please let us know what the average global temperature should be, how much it will cost the world to get there, and what is our 'fair share.' Otherwise, you're simply whistling in the wind apparently for political rather than practical reasons.
If you're truly concerned about reducing CO2 emissions, we should build more nuclear power plants and you should persuade Sen. Reid that Yucca Mountain is a necessary repository for wastes. But an even better solution is recycling used nuclear materials where France has shown the way.
So, to sum up. Your views diverge from mine on energy policy and it's time we stop throwing subsidy dollars around rather than encouraging investments in a sound energy infrastructure, including the Keystone pipeline project.
Where we do agree is that efficiency has the best near term pay-off to reduce the nation's energy bill.