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A New P. T. Barnum

July 5, 2010

P.T. Barnum has been credited with saying “a sucker is born every minute.”

He was known as the greatest huckster in the last century.

Now we have someone who has bested Barnum.

By linking the BP oil spill to renewables and cap & trade the president has surpassed P.T. Barnum.

Wind and solar don’t produce oil, they generate electricity. Less than one percent of our electricity is generated using oil, and much of this is in Hawaii where other fuels are not available. Wind and solar can’t reduce our use of oil.

The United States could be covered with wind mills and it wouldn’t cut our use of oil.

Biofuels are virtually nonexistent in the scale required to replace gasoline. There isn’t enough available land in the conservation reserve to produce a fraction of the biofuels needed (even if the technology existed) to replace the eight million barrels of oil used daily for gasoline, let alone the other twelve million barrels of oil used by industry, airlines and elsewhere in the economy.

Cap and trade legislation calls for cutting CO2 emissions 80% by focusing on eliminating the use of coal and reducing the use of electricity, neither of which has anything to do with our use of oil or the BP oil spill.

The BP oil spill is tragic and better care needs to be taken when we resume drilling, but the oil spill is no excuse for passing cap and tax legislation.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2010 10:18 am

    Great points, Donn! Can you provide more statistics from think tanks or other groups that study energy, to further document this?

  2. July 8, 2010 11:00 am

    Yes, the information on wind, solar and other renewables is available.
    I will be blogging on each of these over the next several weeks.
    The amount of oil used for generating electricity is a statistic from the Energy Information Administration. has additional information on coal, natural gas and nuclear as well as wind.

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