• #64
    To those who believe the government has no place in the energy marketplace, just realize on thing. The energy we consume to run our civilization is not a commodity in the usual sense, it is absolutely essential to the existence of our civilization at all. We can not leave the future in the hands of a capricious market. We must be absolutely certain we have in place the technologies required to take over for fossil fuels when needed. The time has since passed where we could have addressed global warming, peak oil, arbitrary price increases, environmental disasters, energy independence and more. The US government and in fact all the world's governments must work together to ensure we have the energy diversity to secure our future.
  • #75
    Government has no place as a "player" in the market place.

    Government has a role in assuring that the market place is run according to rules which are understandable and accessible to all who wish to legitimately participate.

    Think of it as a game sort of like Monopoly.

    The government provides the board and the rules, and everything else which makes the game possible to play.

    The People, in the form of individuals and businesses, are free to participate in any way they wish, so long as they are playing by the rules.

    The rules, however, may not change because some player pays the maker of the board and the rules so changes may be made to benefit that player, or hurt that player's competition.

    If the People, however, get together, following the rules, and decide, within the rules, to change the rules, then that is generally how the thing is supposed to work.
  • #79
    @AndrewMC That's fine for business and commodities which come and go based on normal market principles such as supply and demand, good decision making verses bad, good planning versus poor planning etc. ... With the future of our energy supply, the negative impact on our environment and the impact on national security failure is not a option.
  • #82
    @Russell797 I agree, it is an important issue, and the consequences of failure are dire.

    Having said that, it is not written in stone that government has all the right answers on this, or any other issue.

    Humans will work out the answers to these questions. Governments are the systems whereby the answers are applied.

    It ain't a top down system.
  • #84
    @AndrewMC We can only hope you are correct, because I'm quit sure you're argument will prevail. I don't hold much confidence in that regard however.
  • #19
    Solar and hemp could decrease a lot of oil dependence. Two areas that need to expand. How about a topic on hemp, politix, after this?
  • #58
    @Bill2E You can't get high from smoking/eating/shooting/etc. hemp. It's a different part of the plant. Hemp is refined into products like hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, and fuel. All bred with low to no THC (the part that gets you high).
  • #60
    That demonstrates my knowledge on this subject, and those texas ranchers should be growing marijuana to get the hemp for other products, bet they could sell the waste products for more than the hemp portion.
  • #63
    @Bill2E Haha well from how I understand it, hemp is a variation of the cannabis plant which I'm not sure you can even get high from the waste products. But like you, my knowledge isn't very vast on marijuana or its related plants like hemp.
  • #88
    @Libertyiskey Hemp and marijuana are two entirely different plants, same species only. It would be like trying to get an orange from an apple tree, both fuit trees but not going to happen. If topix would write an article on it we can go into it at length.
  • #10
    I have been reading up on solar for about a year and I like what I see. The thought of that electric meter spinning backwards and Ameren paying ME money back is kinda like karma after all these years. When the SHTF , an EMP explodes or a CME hits I'd be in great shape as far as power to run everything.
  • #54
    The solar industry is in decent condition, and the government has done a really good job. However, it is constantly in danger month to month because it strictly lives and dies by the government subsidies. Americans are Americans and that mostly means shortsightedness. What does it do for me now?

    Currently, solar has around a 7 year payback which is pretty good, or you can lease the system and often start saving money on day 1, or least guarantee your energy prices will not increase at the same rate as other resources. Here in Colorado we can get paybacks as early as 3 years depending on factors.
    If it ever offers a real threat to oil the landscape will change dramatically.
  • #3
    the article doesnt say how much of this is taxpayer funded(most of it) and how the "industry" will fare once that money dries up . its a sad fact about the ranchers though. and as for the claim there are more of these jobs than coal , thats like nags head N.C. boasting about more surf shops than pheonix arizona...just plain stupid.
  • #65
    Oil and fossil fuel industries receive 10 to 52 billion annually. When they tried to end the subsidies (obama tried) the bill was defeated in the senate by every republican and 4 democrats in bought in paid for by oil states.
  • #4
    You mean more private industry money which will expand solar energy greatly. Fighting a 2 wars that equal over 3 trillion in debt is a waste of money. Trying to get off oil dependence is not a waste.
  • #8
    I have no problem with "green" or renewable energy. I do have a problem with using public assets to promote an industry.

    Tax laws and the like should not be used to benefit any particular industry. When industry benefits from legislation, then industry has an incentive to begin influencing government with money.

    The purpose of government should be to enable people to succeed, and to provide a system of justice and laws to prevent over reaching. That is all.
  • #9

    Unfortunately it isn’t all private money. The tax breaks that the federal government gives is a big reason that people go solar.
  • #12
    @AndrewMC fine and dandy... then tell your congressmen and women to stop funding the oil and coal industry. tell your congressmen to stop causing wars in order steal the oil reserves of other countries. tell your congress to stop giving financial aid to the auto industry. tell your government to stop promoting the warcraft and weapons industries in the u.s. tell your congress to stop throwing money into the private health insurance industry and into huge pharmaceutical companies... all with public assets.
  • #13
    @Thunderchicken and it's money well spent. we the people should be screaming at the government to stop wasting money on polluting the environment and start funding research into new and better ways of doing things.
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  • #87
    I'd like to see the industry roadmap for getting off of government subsidy. Will it be another 10 years? 20? All technologies are welcome to help move the USA closer to energy independence.
  • #85
    The problem with these jobs is that they are taxpayer subsidized. If they pull our money out of it, the industry collapses. Being propped up by unwilling investors isn't indicative of a bright future, however I do hope the industry finds a way to be profitable and solvent without government intervention because any sustainable job is good and anything that decreases dependence on foreign oil is good so long as it's privately funded. When the federal government gets into venture capital everyone suffers.
  • #74
    It's a nice growth industry and due to a boom, it forces employers to train workers and makes them more valuable. I don't think this is permanent growth as it will decline as market saturation approaches. But overall, it's a nice positive to see in the economy.
  • #18
    we should be investing heavily in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, rather than wasting money on old technology. another good industry for the government to invest heavily in would be private energy production such as small hydro-electric, solar and wind powered generators for small applications so that people can buy the equipment for their own house / farm at a reasonable cost rather than having to rely on commercial power.
  • #21
    No, I repeat, the government SHOULD NOT INVEST IN ANYTHING!!!

    If people want to invest in such things, more power to them. THAT IS NOT THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT.

    I wish more people could see how the government becoming involved in such things only leads to government being abused by special interests to the detriment of others.
  • #29
    @dances-weebles Who told me that? Nobody told me that; it is self evident. It is plainly and clearly the reason why our system is working so poorly.
  • #92
    @AndrewMC Henry David Thoreau, for one, told me that. He said, "that government is best which governs least."
  • #6
    Anything that will reduce dependence on oil is a good thing.However solar's record to do so at this point has not yet shown that it can.
  • #7
    The question is whether it can reduce dependence on oil. It certainly can. The only question is, how to go about it?
  • #70
    @cnw95 I'm afraid the answer to that question is completely self evident, and not the point I am trying to make.
  • #86
    @cnw95 The point I am trying to make has to do with the government, the government's limitations, and tax policy.

    I'm not debating or arguing about petroleum vs. renewable. At least, I'm not trying to debate that.

    The Constitution is supposed to limit government. But IMO, by getting into the business of supporting or opposing specific factions within our society, the government sets itself up to hijacked by those factions, to the potential detriment of everyone.
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  • #2
    This topic is pretty lame. I'd rather see Poitix do a story on one of Alex Jone's latest conspiracy theories than this green nonsense.
  • #102
    How many illegal aliens (not undocumented immigrants) do they have working for them ? How much of this BS is fed & supported by the money -grubbing green weinies in DC .? And most importantly to the working class who pays the bills - what is the cost comparison of expensive solar to coal - fired power plants ? Don't blow smoke up our arses to fuel & fund another political lib-wienie choke hold on even more jobs & industries . Solar is far too expensive for most Americans , especially after BO gave away millions to an already failed company .
  • #77
    I've been putzing with solar for over 40 years and the only reason PV cells haven't become correspondingly affordable comparable to other discreet electronics, is because the plutarch wealth extractors AIN'T having the people becoming self-reliant.

    On a related note, the euro patented fuel cell technology seems to be making headway in the United States despite much opposition from DC and the political machine.

    It also pleases me to see home based pyrolysis installations in several parts of the country.
  • #76
    Given the R & D on solar research being done in Europe and Asia america will be importing the technology (paying licensing fees) and hiring workers. Given global warming ranching is going to be a dying industry. Installing, maintaining, and "upgrading" solar will be a growth industry.
  • #53
    If the industry finds a way to make their product relevant to regular people it could be a gold mine. Currently the industry exists because of the politics of global warming.

    Many people see GW as a scam and associate solar and wind power as tools of the scammers. Solyndra, Solar Trust, Bright Force and battery maker A123 all add to the belief.

    When Solar Power EARNS a place in the economy, they will be extraordinarily successful, it's the shortcuts that kill them.