Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The most trusted name in coal

The CEI has returned to using YouTube following last year's incident and proudly made a posting of Myron Ebell spreading numerous blatant lies on Fox News:

Q: We've heard about the president investing $15billion in renewable energy. When you look at the program is that a reasonable dollar amount?

Myron: It's far too much money to waste on uncompetitive technologies. This plan conflicts with the president's goal of long-term economic activity because it simply puts money into higher priced energy which will in the long term make us all poorer.

Q: I'm a little confused why that would do some of the things you are talking about. Wouldn't it be wise to look at energy as a place where we could be a leader in this place as a country? And we're very dependent on foreign oil right now. There are multiple forms of energy that seem to be very effective in other countries. Why is that a waste of taxpayer funds?

Myron: We are a leader in energy technology. We have access to the most affordable energy in the world, and President Obama's plan would put us on a course to adopt higher priced energy that would make us less competitive, take money out of people's pockets, and cost jobs. This money doesn't come out of the air. It comes out of people's pockets and you're putting it into higher priced forms of energy. We need to be using the lower priced forms of energy. That's what helps make us competitive.

Q: Ah. Okay Myron [exasperation] I'm going to allow Lou to say what is on my mind. [holds forehead] Lou, this is the argument we've been hearing for decades about investing in renewable energy. And the problem is: look at what happened to us last year. If we don't start to invest, the cost will never get cheaper. Of course they'll be expensive, but correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's a lot of jobs being created out of this.

Lou: blah blah new forms of energy. the future is in clean energy.

Q: And, Lou, correct me if I'm wrong. It's not as though the president is saying we're not going to use the natural resources in this country, like natural gas. It's not as though we're not going to continue to use the sources of oil that we use from our neighbours in Canada. It's that we've got to have other alternative sources and stop depending on the ones that got us into this mess.

Lou: blah full suite of energy technologies blah a way for america to regain a competitive advantage.

Q: All right, Myron, I need you to explain to me how this is dollars wasted and a loss of jobs.

Myron: If these were competitive technologies, if these were real jobs, then private industry would be investing in them. The federal government has been throwing money at renewable technologies since the 1970s. These technologies still produce energy that is far more expensive than conventional energy, and if our industries are using higher priced energy that means they are less competitive. If our consumers are paying more on their electric bills, or gasoline bills because of federal mandates and throwing money at these uncompetitive technologies, that means they will have less money in their pockets to spend on other things. There is no doubt that this is...

Q: Let me ask you a few questions. Number one, I've never understood it to be a federal mandate. I have a choice of what electric utility company I use, I have a choice of who I want to put gas in my home. I don't know, call me crazy, but at least that's my experience, so I don't know how it's federally mandated. Number two, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there a lot of tax incentives, massive tax breaks for people who are investing in alternative energy.

Myron: Yes, there are massive tax breaks to special interests for higher priced energy. Yes you do have choices, but your choices are limited all the time by further government action. You no longer have a choice about how you will buy higher priced ethanol or lower priced gasoline. There's a federal mandate on how much ethanol has to be used in the gasoline supply. You no longer have a choice in many states about whether you use lower priced coal fired electricity or higher priced and more unreliable wind energy because those many states, like California, which has an economy by the way which is tanking, largely as a result of these benighted policies [slight smirk due to being too much of a bald-faced lie]. You have no choice about how much renewable energy will be in your electricity bill, which or course is why electricity rates in California are among the highest in the nation. We could go through all of these things, but your choices are being limited all of the time by government action.

Q: All right, you've raised a few points. This is a conversation to be continued.
One of the issues with today's style of live TV news who put dodgy characters like Myron Ebell on the screen is that it becomes a raw conduit for lies. This is because the presenters are given absolutely no research preparation (so even when they know it's wrong, they can't be precise), and there is no systematic following up later on in the report correcting, for the viewers, the absolutely embarrassing howlers their invited guests have laid down on them.

A properly briefed reporter would ask Myron Ebell to talk about the synfuel scam which has benefited the coal industry for decades, when he complains about alternative investments.

A follow up would remind us of the prices of energy in all the states in 2001 when Enron was gaming the California market.

Now we need some cheering up.

Here's an arsehole resenting the "puritanical presumption that we Americans should feel guilty about our taste for maximum comfort" when wiping shit from his sore bottom.

And finally, "Is regular clean clean enough for your family?"


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