Subsidies, Mandates, and Renewable Energy

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July 25, 2009

By Bob Difley


  1. Rich

    Bob don’t let the right-wing crazies do to you what they find works with most people. They shout, they threaten, they use scare words like “socialism and liberal” and often succeed in intimidating reasonable people. I know of no law, policy, or directive forcing anyone to read your article, but the anger directed as you says more about the people threatened by your article than it does about you.

  2. Nick

    Gore’s movie hardly qualifies as science, science fiction perhaps, but not science.


  3. Francis X. Schilling

    Some RV owners prefer to develop their scientific opinions from actual scientific data and not an AM radio. Thanks for these articles, Bob, and ignore the “I got me and mine and to Hades with everyone else downstream in the flow of time” crowd and keep it up. The people with rational minds may not be as rabid as these others, but we’re out here listening (and voting) nonetheless.

  4. Nick

    James, I agree with you, but if folks on this list don’t warn others about the global warming scam of cap and tax then our RVing days may be ending sooner than we like.

    It just amazes me that ANY RVer could support this pseudo science. The eventual increases in fuel cost and the cost of living we will all encounter will destroy this life style. Just look at what $4/gal of gas did the the industry and remember that Obama had no problem with this price but was only upset that it happened so quickly.

    A guy like Difley is only helping to insure the funeral of RVing and he is doing it from the inside. If his garbage is no longer published then these responses will no longer be necessary.

  5. I agree with most of the others. This has nothing to do with RVing. Or camping in general. It has no place here. I may drop this site also if we can’t stick to the subject we’re are supposed to be reading about. If Obama has he way we won’t be RVing or doing anything we enjoy. So let’s stick to it while we can.

  6. Vegasdan

    Here’s one more tidbit of information regarding ours friends in the EU and how well Cap and Trade is going there. Germany’s power company, RWE is Europe’s largest Carbon emitter. RWE got permits to allow them to emit 3% more carbon (instead of 3% less) than the year before. RWE then traded that excess capacity on the open market, earning themselves a tidy $6.4 Billion over the first 3 years. But wait-there’s more! RWE then claimed that the new permits were cosing them money, so they raised their prices to the German consumer by about 5% per year-earning RWE millions more. But that’s not all! Now we look at RWE’s actual carbon emissions. Remember, the whole point of this bureaucratic nightmare was to save the environment by slashing CO2. RWE, while making billions selling permits and charging their customers for those permits many times over, was also emitting more carbon! How much more? Thirty-eight million tons over the first two years of the program, a 32% INCREASE!

  7. Nick

    Ron, methinks the air is to thin up there for you properly get the interior of your head to work on all cylinders. BTW, I wrote “blarney”, perhaps that is the problem with your reading of history.

    Try making an argument based upon current facts and for that I suggest you check out the post of Vegas Dan, at least he is in the current century.

    But there is good in everything, you do entertain me on a slow morning in Denver. Don’t forget pray to your patron saint Algore and his horde

  8. Dan Rambow

    Hang in there Bob,

    Tang, Velcro, computers, all were developed with government subsidies. Sometimes, it takes government spending to spur on new developements and technology.

    Yes, if things stayed the same as our great, great grandfathers had, costs might be less. But would our quality of life be the same, considering the large increase in population since those old days? Unless we totally bury our heads in the sand, force the population down by a factor of 50% or more, we need new technology to keep our quality of life from deteriorating.

    I want to see huge improvements in RV systems. Batteries, heating, cooling, mileage, etc. But it takes time to develop those, before they become mainstream and affordable.

    Do I agree with all that the politicians say, absolutely not, but we have to continue working in a forward direction when it comes to energy technology.

  9. Vegasdan

    Here’s what the “energy bill” will do for us:

    For a household of four, energy costs go up $436 that year, and they eventually reach $1,241 in 2035 and average $829 annually over that span. Electricity costs go up 90 percent by 2035, gasoline by 58 percent, and natural gas by 55 percent by 2035. The cumulative higher energy costs for a family of four by then will be nearly $20,000.

    But direct energy costs are only part of the consumer impact. Nearly everything goes up, since higher energy costs raise production costs. If you look at the total cost of Waxman-Markey, it works out to an average of $2,979 annually from 2012-2035 for a household of four. By 2035 alone, the total cost is over $4,600.

    Beyond the cost impact on individuals and households, Waxman-Markey also affects employment, and especially employment in the manufacturing sector. We estimate job losses averaging 1,145,000 at any given time from 2012-2035. And note that those are net job losses, after the much-hyped green jobs are taken into account. Some of the lost jobs will be destroyed entirely, while others will be outsourced to nations like China and India that have repeatedly stated that they’ll never hamper their own economic growth with energy-cost boosting global warming measures like Waxman-Markey.

    Since farming is energy intensive, that sector will be particularly hard-hit. Higher gasoline and diesel fuel costs, higher electricity costs, and higher natural gas-derived fertilizer costs all erode farm profits, which are expected to drop by 28 percent in 2012 and average 57 percent lower through 2035. As with American manufacturers, Waxman-Markey also puts American farmers at a global disadvantage, as other food-exporting nations would have no comparable energy-price raising measures in place.

    Overall, Waxman-Markey reduces gross domestic product by an average of $393 billion annually between 2012 and 2035, and cumulatively by $9.4 trillion. In other words, the nation will be $9.4 trillion poorer with Waxman-Markey than without it.

  10. Craig Powell

    Another well written socialist piece of crap!

  11. Wow – talk about knee-jerk reaction from you guys that think our infrastructure just fell from the sky for us!!

    GMA – what government regulations over the past 20 years? Why have we let the rest of the world far surpass us in rail technology? We got it into the 20th. century and just thought that was good enough while during the last 50 years other countries have pushed it far past us now. Why? Yes, I’ll with you that it seems like more freight is hauled on trucks now. Again, why? Seems to me the least efficient way of moving large quantities of goods across country-wear and tear on the roads, amount of fuel to name several. So why do we continue to cling to that? I remember that the states are now responsible for the vast cost of maintaining the interstate road surfaces. Could that explain why some/many of the states are in debt? Oh, no wait, that’s because they waste the money!! That’s right.

    Nick – sorry to see that your so short-sighted to think that was baloney! Read some of your railroad history about their development, not just what you see and write about in your GJ of how they were developed. I have only found a few of those exhibits that give a true picture of the financing of them and how the owners stripped the land and ran off with the profits from that and that was long before any government regulations were attempted to be past. That’s not even going into the price fixing of long vs. short haul rates that was devestating to the individual small rancher/farmer. As usual with anti-government conservatives, you really didn’t read what I wrote, you let your own preconcieved ideas make the intrepretation of it. Referr to some of the questions to GMA to help you out on that!!

    Dave – all I can say to that missive is WOW!!

    Again people, things just didn’t happen in this country. What is WRONG with looking at OTHER possible solutions and energy sources for our future? It’s not religion!! It’s common sense to see and explore if we can do something better and more efficient that what is currently avaliable. Wouldn’t that be better to leave our grandchildren than the pollutted stacks from mills of the past and the pollution to our water systems from the past that we and our parents have had to help pay to clean-up after? Oh well, by most of your gutteral responses here, I guess those are too hard of questions for you to logically deal with without letting conservative ideology take over!!

    Again, you have helped make my day on a cloudy, rainy day at Blue Mesa Lake outside of Gunnison CO! BTW – should we still have let the mining companies pollute the streams of Colorado, or ARSARCO belch out the tons of arsenic from their mines in MT? That’s part of your free market dogma guys!!

    Have a good one!!

  12. Bob in WV

    Why are we continually tortured by this man’s blog? He needs to find his audience at the Daily Kos, Huffington Post or Pravda where, as a conquering comrade, he will be received with open arms.
    People with his opinions are great at spending our money and tagging along for the ride.
    I have always been a proponent of solar and wind power but, economically, they are unfeasible. The only reason Europeans are quick to buy into this is the fact that their governments subsidize (for them) the living daylights out of this type of power.
    With our current technology it is a losing proposition – it delivers a negative return.
    His ultimate goal is admirable but his methods do not fit a free enterprise system.

  13. Nick

    Ron Butler wrote:

    “I find it really interesting that there are so many of you that are exposing your lack of political knowledge on how our country’s infrastructure was developed!”

    Talk about blarney! These are not even comparable examples. Did govt prevent the continued development of existing means of transportation of the time – NO. Was the train, etc., a provable improvement of transportattion stimulated by actual knowledge – YES.

    The refusal of the emoting (not thinking) left to bend us to their religious belief in global warming is nothing like the historical examples you provide. Your support of such stupidity will make travel and living outrageously expensive and simply make politicians more powerful and their friends in corporate America richer. Let these alternative sources compete with current sources of energy; simply remove the restrictions that prohibit the increased development of oil, coal, oil shale and nuclear energy. The govt should not be determining the winners and losers in our economy as you propose.

    I am not willing to check my freedom at the door for you to worship at your altar.


  14. Hey Bob Butler:

    Wow, so the gov’t is paying the bills for railroads, highways, etc. And now they will be paying the bills for heating, cooling, transportation, washing my clothes, piping water to my house, transporting sewage from my house, my telephone, my Internet connection (with appropriate political filtering), my health care, my food (with proper instructions about what to eat) and just about everything else I can think of.

    Just think of it: all the necessities of life from a single payer system with absolutely NO competition! And as history shows us, government always is benign and caring–so I can rest assured that all my needs will be met.

    A real utopia! How exciting!!!

    Yet, I’m a little troubled by the current health bill before congress; you know, the one that creates $500B in revenue by LIMITING care to seniors…I’m also a little troubled by how the US of A got started: you know, people leaving Europe, who were willing to give their llves to fight against oppressive governments with high taxes…

    I wonder Bob, just how do you think those oppressive governments started out?

  15. GMAs

    Ron Butler wrote on July 25th, 2009 6:08 pm

    I find it really interesting that there are so many of you that are exposing your lack of political knowledge on how our country’s infrastructure was developed! I do believe that the railroads benefitted from government subsidies
    What do you mean benefitted FROM… the rails would be rusty if the government DIDN’T STILL subsidies the rail road. More freight is hauled by trucks today than rail… due to its inability to compete… so the government STILL has to fund them their trains… or they would be gone. Last time I was on one… the workers were whining about how pax trains cost twice as much as the fair was. When asked who makes up the difference… “THE TAXPAYER” was the reply… government sub’s

    Most trains are only operating on 40% cap… another fine example of how the government regulations sunk another ….

    Ahhh your tax dollars in motion…

    As to future generations .. LOLL…. are we talking about your 40year old kid still living at home playing video games all day… (ya society should provide for them… for sure) … or the ones out working. Hey… who knows because we use it.. may give ’em a job to figure out where THEY are going to get theirs from… (may have to put down the game and do some of that painful stuff called THINKING… THEN AGAIN.. Look at it this way… if they don’t drive.. they can bike.. and think how healty then they will be… peddling their bottoms all around… so see by us having such foolishness… we may be saving your future generations from early arterial plak build up.. and sudden death.. hmmm) … after all we already have ours… and I for one ain’t into given’ ’em any… besided if we run out of petroleum (which I don’t think is going to happen in my lifetime…((( Oh bOb… where is the nuc power promotion standing…your very quiet right now…… huh… haven’t seen your posting about protesting a powerplant…and/or taking up that flag yet!!! .. think of the millions of gallons of petroleum we will save by gong nuc power for electricity))))

    But,…. we can always use the fry oil as bio diesel from the future generations of kids at Mc D’s (actually had a motorhome go by the other day… that had a sign on it saying … bio diesel fry oil powered… the smell of the exhaust was overcoming….so much so… that I had a urgent craving for McD’s frys… and went to seek out a golden arches… go figure)

  16. Tom Hargreaves

    Hang in there, Bob, you are doing great at getting real information out to the folks that can actually use the information. But I think you do it in part to get a chuckle out of the, um, “interesting people” that just have to tell you what they’ve been told to think. Unfortunately their (and our) children, grandchildren, and generations beyond, are going to have to live with and pay for foolishness like the belief that there is an infinite supply of petroleum, or that the rapid melting of glaciers and polar ice is just a (UN, commie, socialist, leftist, elitist, government, Marxist, illegal alien, tree hugger, AlGorical) plot.
    And most intelligent RVers can figure out how this information can apply to our lifestyle.
    Thanks, and keep doing what you are doing!

  17. willie

    I agree what does any of this have to do with R.V. if there were a market for any of these Green products private business is where it would and should come from. It is not the Governments role to be in the Ernergy business.

  18. I find it really interesting that there are so many of you that are exposing your lack of political knowledge on how our country’s infrastructure was developed! I do believe that the railroads benefitted from government subsidies, only they weren’t called that at the time. It was land, timber and mineral rights along the right of ways. Many, many instances of the railroads reaching far beyond the boundaries of what those right-of-ways limited them to. Highway construction that benefitted our interstate commerce and travel even more. You were the same people howling against it when Ike first proposed the freeway system – too much $ and can’t tell the states what to do!! You haven’t changed! Dams and electrical power grid – didn’t see private industry stepping in on any of these expensive projects to fund on their own! We have always have government stimulus on these giant works projects to provide the momentum to get them moving forward and yes, you conservatives were still the reactionaries screaming socialist – which I doubt very much most of you really don’t know what a socialist government is – or communist!!

    BTW – if you don’t want to read Bob’s “left-wing propaganda” in these blogs, why do you keep hitting the hot- link button to it then? Or are you just missing the delete key?

    Well, I can see some of you already getting excited, veins pumping on your neck and forehead ready to explode!! Take a DEEP breath, count to 10 and relax. Then, read some real history of our countries advances from someother perspective than your conservative dogma!!

    Have a great day. You guys always makes mine funnier!!

  19. Allison

    Difley needs to find another soapbox for his theories in progressivism. Plenty of left-wing blogs to espouse his politics.

  20. Lowell Wickersham

    Bob, I thought I sent you enough info to see that this so-called “Global Warming” is just plain BOGUS!.

    Have you even considered the other side of the argument?

    BTW, I am about to drop this RV site as it caters too much to the socialict dogma that you present>>>>

  21. John A. Holveck

    How can the European utilities make a profit if they have to pay more for the electricity that they sell it for? Looks to me like they will be out of business soon.

  22. Wilkie Cheek

    Are you kin to Al Gore or are you on Obama’s payroll. Stop this B.S. already.

  23. G.M.

    Well Bob you really got yourself into the pickle jar this time

    The guy is right…your way off using the RV net as a sounding board for some demented unfavorable ideas… pooo on you… I can see the letters to the EDITOR/HOST now… and like the old ball game… 3 strikes and your out…

    Hey the bill is the ONLY WAY that funding for these THEVES AND IDIOTS will ever come about. THE OB SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT DEMANDING YOU PAY FOR IT BY LAW…. OTHERWISE… NO ONE WILL PAY FOR IT BECAUSE ITS OVERPRICED.. and a experiment at best. (when it fails they will take a tax credit for it … Tooo… (so YOU pay for it to be built (rate increase) and YOU pay for it to be torn down..(utility loss) .nothing is free)


    So what happens when the guy who is trying to achieve , works hard, goes to work every day to earn some PENNIES… only to find out that he gets bindsided by the government who now says he has to pay more for what he used to have.

    Where is the fairness in that Bob… sort of like the guy said recently in the class room…

    The class had insisted that Obama’s Subsidies, Mandates, and Renewable Energy socialism bill would work and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

    The professor then said, “OK,
    we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.

    The instructor went on to say ” All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

    After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
    The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

    As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
    The second test average was a D!
    No one was happy.

    When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

    The scores never increased as bickering,
    blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

    All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that the Subsidies, Mandates, and Renewable Energy socialism bill would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

    Could not be any simpler than that.

    However, right now… the government is PROTECTING THE UTILITY/ power companies. (FAIR COMPETITION.. NOT HARDLY) When you can already purchase solar power for your house, (RV) and not have to buy power from the power companies… but, when you need it at night (for instance) you pay the full rate.. but..!!! if you generate more than you need during the day… your waisting your time… as the power companies won’t pay you for any EXCESS… (yep they got that through so they don’t have to pay out for power YOU generate)

    So with that in mind… most don’t want solar power on their houses around here… the ECONOMIC (golden carrot) payback just isn’t their…

    I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU GOT YOUR DATA FROM BoB….BUT…. most of the power companies don’t want you to have SOLAR POWER either… as they lose THEIR money if you do… SOOOO… locally they went to the city and got a resolution/ ordanance passed that STOPS YOU FROM PUTTING IT ON YOUR HOUSE… i.e AGAINST THE LAW… GO FIGURE…

    Good going Bob … I am sure everyone is getting a good laugh on you…. The Government talks out of both sides of their mouths… OH! YOU NEED green energy.. so long as they make it for you.. and YOU PAY THEM MORE FOR IT….

    SO YOU WANT TO TELL ME HOW MUCH WERE GOING TO SAVE GOING TO THIS CRAP… LOOKS TO ME LIKE ITS GOING TO COST MORE THAN WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW… ECONOMICALLY UNSOUND!!!!! (Like obama going on a 20 million dollar vacation while some people are losing their houses because HE took their job away… nice huh)

    when are you going to pick up the flag and demand that the power companies start using NUC power… Hmmm WASN’T THAT ONE OF BO’S PRESIDENTIAL PROMASS’ES… OH ANOTHER ONE LOST… I SEE…

    Want to step back out of the clouds and get back with REALITY…. If you really want to do something… plant a tree… It’ll make you feel better… and after it grows we can cut it down and make a trailer out of it… so you have some place to live…. grin… just remember … what ye shall plant… so others under the BO plan …shall reap… LOL

  24. I’m an electrical engineer who spent 25 years working for large electric utilities.

    Here is the truth: alternative energy sources are not competitive with coal, gas, oil, and hydro–and they never will be. That is why there are government subsidies. It is plain fiction to think there is a way to “jump start” lower costs for alternative energy sources–if there were, utilities would have long ago made whatever investment it took to do so.

    Alternative energy costs more money–period. If the government succeeds with this legislation, your energy bills will be going up, up, and away.

    Is that what you want?

  25. Stan

    I agree. This Social Engineering propaganda should be written elsewhere.

  26. Don

    I find Bob’s posts very enlightening. That’s some I’ve found that the right wing extremists can’t stand.

    Alternate energy is an issue RVers should embrace and promote at every opportunity. The more renewable energy we can produce within our borders, the more Americans we can put back to work at descent paying jobs. They might even be able to make enough to someday buy an RV and if they have some benefits, they might get some vacation time to use it!

    Keep up the great work Bob! Everyone except the wingnuts will find them interesting and informative. Our current policy of relying on imported oil from our enemies is a receipt for disaster. It’s made us a debtor nation beholden to those that would like to see us fail.

  27. Nick

    Can we stop with the global warming hysteria this writer keeps espousing. I prefer a free market and lower taxes which allow me to RV. We should use the energy resources we have including oil and nuclear.

    The policies espoused by this guy are anti RV and belong on a left wing web site devoted to the religion of global warming

  28. Joeseph

    I don’t see the words RV, camper, or camping anywhere in this article. The relationship between this article and the theme of this site is spurious at best.

    Does Bob write anything about RVs or RVers anymore?

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