In case you didn't see it, the Senate of the geographic state of the United States passed out an energy bill yesterday.
Here is the story:
Senate OKs Energy Bill; House Fight Looms
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- "The Senate approved an energy bill Tuesday that was more favorable to conservation, wind farms and ethanol and less kind to oil and gas producers than legislation passed by the House.
Hard bargaining lies ahead, especially with a pesky issue surrounding the gasoline additive MTBE remaining a potential deal breaker -- as it was two years ago.
The House, particularly Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, wants to protect oil companies and refiners who produced MTBE from environmental lawsuits brought by communities whose drinking water has been contaminated by the additive.
Supporters of the Senate bill, which has broad bipartisan backing and is silent on MTBE, say such liability protection would trigger a filibuster and send the bill to defeat, as it did in 2003. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said the House needs to work out a compromise on MTBE that can pass Senate muster.
Bush said the Senate-passed bill would help U.S. economic growth by addressing the root causes of high energy prices and the nation's growing dependence on foreign supplies. But the bill's critics argued it does little to reduce demand for oil, two-thirds of which goes for transportation, or reduce oil imports, which account for 58 percent of U.S. demand.
More environmentally friendly than the energy bill passed by the House in April, the Senate bill would funnel 40 percent of $18 billion in tax breaks over 10 years to boost renewable energy sources, energy conservation and alternative transportation fuels.
Among other key provisions are:
--Loan guarantees of up to 80 percent for developing new technologies for clean coal and next-generation nuclear power reactors.
--A doubling of ethanol use in gasoline to 8 billion gallons a year by 2012, a boost to corn farmers.
--A requirement for utilities to produce 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind and biomass from garbage or plants, by 2020.
--Mandatory reliability standards for electric power grids, ending the current system of industry self-regulation.
--Tax breaks for people who buy gas-electric hybrid cars, more energy-efficient appliances or energy-efficient homes.
The bill skirted some of the most contentious energy issues, from drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge -- which is called for in the House bill -- to requiring automakers to build more fuel-efficient cars.
It also avoided mandatory reductions in heat-trapping emissions to address climate change, which some senators had wanted.
The bill ''is short on the truly bold action needed to break this country's addiction to foreign oil and long on the traditional boondoggles that waste taxpayer money and fail to promote energy independence,'' complained Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., one of the dozen senators who voted against the legislation.
In the last four years the Senate has passed energy legislation twice, only to see the effort fall apart without a final agreement with the House. Republican and Democratic lawmakers predicted that a compromise will require the close involvement of the White House."
While the Senate bill could be characterized as a decent first step forward.
The House Bill sucks.
And the good stuff will fall out in conference.
Then there is this story
France Will Get Fusion Reactor to Seek a Future Energy Source
By CRAIG S. SMITH
New York Times
Paris, June 28.2005
"An international consortium announced Tuesday that France would be the site of the world's first large-scale, sustainable nuclear fusion reactor, an estimated $10 billion project that many scientists see as crucial to solving the world's future energy needs.
"It is a great success for France, for Europe and for all the partners in ITER," President Jacques Chirac said in a statement released after the six-member consortium of the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and the European Union chose the country as the site for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.
Nuclear fusion is the process by which atomic nuclei are forced together, releasing huge amounts of energy, as with the sun or a hydrogen bomb. The process has long been studied as a potential energy source that would be far cleaner than burning fossil fuels or even nuclear fission, which is used in nuclear reactors today but produces dangerous radioactive waste.
While the physics of nuclear fusion have long been understood, the engineering required to control the process remains difficult."
Perhaps the most uninformed excuse for not using the fusion nuclear reactor that we have been given, is because
the sun doesn't shine all the time.
Exactly when does it not shine?
Or do you live in a different universe than I do?
The sun's capacity factor is better than any man made plant I know of.
As the boss said in Cool Hand Luke,
"What we have here is a failure to communicate."
Humankind does not need these home made big fires anymore.
They are very old archaic notions.
They are uncool.
We want cool energy.
Not these big hot fires that need barbed wire and guards,
and government insurance, because no real business will insure this
Using Einstein's best idea, the photovoltaic effect,
Humankind will use nano tech bucky balls to transduce
photonic energy into electronic energy.
We will collect this electronic energy from every man made surface
that sees energy.
Some of that energy will be used locally or right on site.
Some may be brought into the electric grid,
the energy bank, so to speak.
Or, it is used to fuel a transportation appliance on site.
Or, it is shipped some where else where it is needed,
Or, it is stored chemically, thermally, electromagneticly, or kineticly.
The utility that collects this energy will also fuel our transportation,
Because Electric fuel will be a major transportation fuel of the future,
because the energy system will be unified.
No longer will there be a separate transportation system that runs on oil,
and a separate generation system that runs on coal, nuclear, and gas.
It will be mostly photonic and it will be unified.
And its going to happen sooner than you think.
Even if we have to kill ourselves to do it.
Which we may.
I guess it's something between a mystery and a tragedy.