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July 17, 2008

Three-way energy smackdown!!

Posted: 09:51 AM ET

A week ago, T. Boone Pickens rolled out his plan for using wind power and natural gas to lead America from the Energy Swamp. Based on your responses, some of you saw a visionary plan, and some saw a corporate swindler.

Source: Getty Images

On Monday, President Bush rolled back an Executive Order originally signed by his Dad as a first step toward re-opening all of America's coastline to offshore oil drilling. Some of you saw this as an overdue necessity, and some saw a failure of leadership.

Through much of the current discussion about oil prices, discussions about global warming and conserving energy have melted away. Enter former Vice President Al Gore, who's scheduled a speech at 12 noon ET Thursday. CNN plans to carry the speech live, but we'd love to hear what you think.

Pickens. Bush. Gore. If this were Professional Wrestling, it would be a Steel-Cage Death Match. The only difference is that our economy and environment could be at stake.

So blog away. Once again, we really appreciate the thought and diversity of opinion in the hundreds of responses. Just please continue to be civil with each other!!

Peter Dykstra, Executive Producer CNN Science, Tech, & Weather

Filed under: climate change • economy • environment

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Larian LeQuella   July 17th, 2008 10:17 am ET

This story was written by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Ali Frick, Benjamin Armbruster, and Brad Johnson.

Yesterday, citing the "squeeze of rising prices at the pump," President Bush rescinded the presidential moratorium on offshore drilling.

The moratorium on lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf was established in 1990 by his father, George H.W. Bush, in response to the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill and extended by President Clinton.

Bush's action pressures Congress to follow him in "capitulation to the oil companies" by lifting their moratorium, which must be renewed annually. In response, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) said at a press conference that Bush "is invoking the specter of another WMD: wells of mass deception."

At the Huffington Post, activist Martin Bosworth wrote, "Americans are smarter than we are often given credit for, and many of us do realize that destroying precious environmental resources and wildlife reserves to allow more domestic drilling is a psychological panacea - a placebo to make us feel like 'something is being done.'"

However, polls show increasing support for expanded offshore drilling. Conservatives are preying on Americans' concern overskyrocketing gas prices by propagating false myths that drilling for oil off our coasts will allow us to "pay less" at the pump, that it's "environmentally safe," and that drilling is already underway by communist China.

Because "only real beneficiaries will be the oil companies that are trying to lock up every last acre of public land," their political allies must resort to selling falsehoods.


Newt Gingrich's 527 organization, American Solutions, is promoting a "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less" campaign, collecting over one million signatures on its petition to Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices" by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves" off our coasts.

American Solutions is funded by right-wing Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who wants Americans to place another bad bet on oil drilling. As the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has explained, "access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030."

But because United States demand for oil far outstrips production - we consume 25 percent of the world's supply but have two percent of the proven reserves - further exploitation of domestic resources will not have a long-term impact either. After 2030, the EIA found, "any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant."

There are numerous ways to immediately affect prices, from use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to improved oversight of the oil markets. Over the long term, we must fight global warming and break our addiction to oil through modern technology like plug-in hybrids and smart growth planning.


Conservatives from Rudy Giuliani to Dick Cheney have repeatedly claimed that the United States needs to start drilling for off-shore oil because China is taking "American oil" off the coast of Cuba, just "60 miles off the coast of Florida."

Cheney exhorted, "Even the communistshave figured out that a good answer to high prices is more supply." That same day, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) wrote that Castro was allowing drilling "45 miles from the Florida keys."

Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) have also raised the specter of Chinese drilling just off U.S. shores. However, this modern invocation of the Red Scare the claim is completely false.

As Cheney was forced to acknowledge, "no Chinese firm is drilling" off Cuba's coast. Talking Points Memo has recorded the large number of conservatives hyping the false story.The Washington Post's Ben Pershing said the China/Cuba oil drilling claim is the "myth that keeps on giving," calling it "just too juicy not to repeat."


Offshore drilling advocates know that the specter of oil-slicked beaches would doom their campaign, so they are desperate to wish its environmental impact away.

Yesterday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed "not a drop of oil was spilled during Katrina or Rita." This myth has been told again and again by the likes ofGov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Mike Huckabee, George Will, and Bill O'Reilly.

There were, in fact, major onshore and offshore spills due to the hurricanes. According to the official Minerals Management Service report, the hurricanes caused 124 offshore spills for a total of 743,700 gallons, six spilling 42,000 gallons or more.

The largest of these spills dropped 152,250 gallons, well over the 100,000 gallon threshhold considered a "major spill." In addition, the hurricanes caused disastrous spills onshore throughout southeast Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast as tanks, pipelines, refineries and other industrial facilities were destroyed, for a total of 595 different oil spills.

The nine million gallons reported spilled were comparable with the Exxon Valdez's 10.8 million gallons, but unlike the Exxon Valdez, they were distributed throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf Coast states, many in residential areas.

Doug   July 17th, 2008 10:58 am ET

Al Gore is irrelevant.
He's a big fat blowhard that is pushing this Global Warming thing for his own agrandisement.
He is 10 years behind the science which, in the first place, was Junk Science at best.
His ideas are ridiculous.
There is no way alternative energy sources will even come close to meeting the needs of the US and certainly not within 10 years.
And who is comparing it to the Kenedy Space Speech? Al Gore himself?
That would be typical for him.
He's so full of himself.

wisco   July 17th, 2008 12:37 pm ET

Your view is clearly more relevant than Gore's. I nominate you for science advisor to the McCain Administration. The white cardboard box is in my backyard. Here's your cape. Have fun.

xinunus   July 17th, 2008 12:43 pm ET

First Point:
How many of you people realize Al Gore never won an Academy Award? How many times have you seen it reported that he did? It amazes me, the vast amount of mis-informed journalists that continue to write that he won an Oscar in their articles. Al Gore should be given credit for making people more aware of the affects of Global Warming (either it be man-made or naturally) but he should not be made out to be something he isn’t because the media favors him. When people realize they have been mis-informed (me) I feel like he loses credibility. This does not help him in his cause when people cannot trust him because the media is mis-informing their readers.

Second Point:
Al Gore has made statements that, "Anyone who disagrees there is global warming is just living in a fantasy world". Well when I hear him say these things I feel like he is not interested in getting to the real truth about the global warming. You should always listen to the other side of an argument. If you censor or ignore the differing opinion you also lose credibility for your cause. The consensus is that Global Warming exists, but the argument that most people have is, "What is causing it?". Even though Al presents allot of statistics to back his argument many of them have been refuted or discredited. He has too many flaws in his facts to make a high probable assumption that his theory of global warming is caused by the way we live. The bottom line is we do not have the technology in place or enough legacy data on global warming to make sound decisions that will affect people financially and socially. What we should be pushing is the advancement of newer technologies that can better help us predict and make assumptions to exactly what is causing the global warming. With this we might just realize we are all just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to question of why there is global warming. I read an article recently that the planet has actually cooled in the last 10 years and it was mainly because there has been a reduction in solar rays emitted from the sun. Well there you have it. That big bad fire ball in the sky might actually be toying with us after all.

Cameron   July 17th, 2008 1:57 pm ET

Ditto what "xinunus" said. I sometimes feel like I am the only one who does not buy into Al Gore's, "we are causing global warming," bs. I am all for alternative energy and being green. Not because I think we have that big of an impact on the Earth, but because I think it is the right thing to do. When Gore comes up with some REAL evidence, call me, and I will listen.

Wasn't it global cooling that was all the rage 20-30 years ago? hmm? Makes you wonder what Al Gore will come up with next.

Larian LeQuella   July 17th, 2008 3:16 pm ET

Actually Cameron (not to debate the merits of either position) the Global Cooling "frenzy" of the 70s was ENTIRELY media created. 😉 I believe it was Time Magazine that published a shoddy article. If you look at the number of peer review papers published on the subject of "global cooling" since 1960, the number came up to something like 6.

And I too am all for alternative energy and being green. Not because I think we have that big of an impact on the Earth, but because I think it is the right thing to do. 🙂

Don   July 17th, 2008 4:34 pm ET

Actually, the "frenzy" aroung global cooling in the seventies – of which Newsweek magazine wrote – during that time, was not a frenzy, unlike the media's current obsession with global warming. Rather, it was a concern of some scientists, regarding the cyclic cooling episode upon the world, relative to some delicate food production problems, at that time. Global cooling and warming are natural, cyclic events on our planet; and, the other planets in our solar system. Our current cooling cycle began in the late 90's, e.g., '98 or '99. It is rather presumptuous of humans to believe that they can affect the earth's climate so easily. I suppose that's an inconvenient truth! When this current cooling period ends in about 20 years, we'll enter another period of global warming. Hopefully, we won't suffer amnesia regarding climate cyclacallity – as we have these past 10 or so years. Stay warm!

Larry   July 17th, 2008 6:09 pm ET

Go ahead and live in denial. It's becoming the American way! The ozone punched a hole in its self, car exhaust is a good thing and makes our planet more inhabitable, we need to stay dependent on foreign oil because it's good for the economy and not a security risk, if we drill more in the US we'll solve all of our problems and have a Merry Christmas, global warming would happen anyway so why even investigate the possibility that we have any effect on it at all, there is an endless supply of oil if we just find it and dig it up, solar power is too hippie like to even consider (not macho enough like huge trucks and hummers), America has the right to do whatever the heck it pleases just as long as there's money to be made because, hey, we're America!, Bush is really concerned about the environment and doesn't care how it might effect the oil business if we find alternative and cheaper renewable energy, this is all a brand new phenomenon and has not been discussed since the 1960's, etc., etc.
Dream on people! Maybe you'll wake up in The Magic Kingdom of 1947!

jim   July 18th, 2008 4:09 am ET

Human beings planet wide are in a true fossil fuel driven climate crisis. This is not a matter of belief but facts. Fossil fuels are not renewable and can not sustain the planetary demand much longer. Al Gore is getting the message out. Denial or attacking the messenger will not change the facts. We did the impossible by going to the moon in ten years "not because it is easy" or inexpensive.

I have said before that the saying is true that “where there is a will there is a way” to solve this non renewable fuel and resulting climate problem. There was no will in the 1970’s and there is now only a will to make more money at the expense of everything. A national will with a clear immediate plan is the way to solve the problem.

There is no time to wait for the complete end of fossil and non renewable fuels or more dramatic climate change. The time for change is now.

Greedy, selfish, ignorant money makers get your heads out of the piles of money you love. The money makers hope someone in the future will solve the problem in a profitable easy way. They certainly don’t want to solve it now if it will cause expense, inconvenience or loss of profit for those making the money. Their answer is to wait another 50 years for a solution after they have made their fortune and died. We must ignore the moneymakers.

Nothing will be done in time to preserve our current way of life, the climate and perhaps our selves if our leaders keep delaying action on this biggest human crisis in order to make money. A tipping point exists and then all of the money of the rich will not prevent the crisis. Denial will not prevent the crisis. When the tipping point is reached wars will be for human survival not the petty reasons we fight now. Elect leaders who are not in denial or convinced there is plenty of time.

We don’t need to save the planet as it will survive for a few billion more years if it isn’t hit by a big rock in space. It does not need humans or any life form to survive. The earth has not always been the human friendly place it is now. Humans are changing the planet in ways that can quickly lead to our extinction. There are natural events that may cause humans to go extinct like the dinosaurs but we seem to be our own greatest enemy. If we like our way of life it must be sustained by ourselves the planet doesn’t care.

KAR   July 18th, 2008 7:26 am ET

The fact that "BatMan3" was front page news and not this speaks volumes....Wake up America.

Robert Norris   July 18th, 2008 11:48 am ET

Gore is the first person to sound like a leader in a long time.

Don   July 18th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

To his men, General Custer was a leader. What a profound shame!

derek   July 18th, 2008 4:56 pm ET

The arrogance of you Al Gore believers is astounding.

To think for one minute that man can do much of anything to change mother nature is a fools quest.

I am all for a clean enviornment, clean water, clean air, clean energy as well. It is not a zero sum game!!! Crisis mongering reminds me of a book I read as a child....Chicken Little. The sky is not falling!!

Go to a third world country...take your will see true pollution and devistation.

Then get in a boat and go out 200 miles into the ocean. Turn off the engine of that gas guzzeling boat. Just sit for an hour. Look around you....Feel the power of the ocean....You will soon realize how insignificant you are!!! By the way the air will be as fresh as you erver breathed.

When you fire up that carbon burning engine to head back to the will be thankful for the fuel that carries you back to shore,
And the mechanic that built the engine.

PS. Even the most expensive sail boats have a backup motor. It comes in kinda handy...when the wind isn't blowing.

Think about it!!

Franko   July 18th, 2008 9:17 pm ET

No better speaker than Al Gore. Add lot of money, and believers in his dreams. Perfect ingredients fior an alternate energy religion. General Electric advertises, if 7% of Arizona were Solar Cell covered, entire US electricity coulld be produced.

Grow a beard Al Gore, put on a Che Guivera energy rebellion T shirt.
Don't waste by advertising. Make more money. Show USA how !

jim   July 19th, 2008 12:41 am ET

Ahhhh...the sweetness and comfort of ignorance and denial.

Franko   July 19th, 2008 2:07 am ET

CO2 is a dud as a greenhouse gas. Cannot warm up Mars. But the Martian Terraformers suggest SF6, a sooperupped greenie hottie gas.

Can we stop the coming Ice Age on Earth with SF6 ?

jim   July 19th, 2008 12:03 pm ET

Yes CO2 is a dud compared to SF6 another gas which is 22,200 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. The tons of CO2 alone we put into the atmosphere is doing just fine heating up the planet Earth. The many additional potent gasses we use are certainly helping it.

The planet Venus is our other next door neighbor in the solar system and is about the same size as Earth. It has an atmosphere that is 97% CO2. The runaway greenhouse effect heats the planet's surface to an average temperature of 467°C (872°F). Venus doesn't need to be concerned about a coming ice age or life forms living there as it has CO2.

We have too many of those who are in ignorant denial that "man can do much of anything to change Mother Nature" in positions of power. Most of these people seem to embrace the "conservative" political party.

Franko   July 19th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

Venus we will know more after the Japanese probe. Vulcanism, slow rotation, even if you calculate Temperature, supposing same as Earth Sunshine, still too hot Puzzle needs more pieces. May be devil CO2 there, but the devil Water Vapor is being removed here.

The Earth puzzle, we have more pieces. Declining barometers and water vapor, indicate less of the main greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. In addition, prehistorically, Earth newer was considerably warmer than present, indicating a ceiling imposed by solar input and albedo. A feedback, not positive to Venus runaway, but negative to stability.

There is a theoretical shootout at the temperature corral.
Ken Gregory and David Stockwell provide links.

sanjk   July 19th, 2008 5:24 pm ET

There is a new ETF PWND(PowerShares Wind Energy...) you can tell me your thoughts on its profitability on

Franko   July 20th, 2008 2:48 am ET

Venus, 500 millibar, (half Earth's suirface,) at 54 KM, is 20°C
Number of atoms above this elevation is 0.5/385e-6=1,298 times Earth
More than 1,000 times Earth surface CO2, twice the Solar radiation !

CO2 is a dud on Venus also. 3 strikes and CO2 to the minor league.
Mars, Earth, Venus are the 3 strikes.

Possibly, both Earth and Venus have clouds as the main heat retainer
On Earth, water vapor is strong, into cloud overdrive or braking.

Venus has sulfuric acid clouds, will know more from Japan Probe.

Earth got hit and produced Moon, likely surface melt and CO2 released from carbonate rocks, But cooled to present Ice Ages planet.

Venus, suspected hit, slow rotation, high Solar incoming, possible to cool down ?

sharon kitchen   July 21st, 2008 2:17 pm ET

What individuals are doing to help.....Great....What V.P.Gore is doing....
very important....Mr. Pickens....keep those ideas coming.....
I now ride an electric bike to gas......I spent $120.00 for it.
I get to work...plug it in an recharge the battery....get home,same thing.

Bill Andrews   July 21st, 2008 2:28 pm ET

Perhaps the greatest scientific development since atomic energy is about to unfold and where are the newshounds? A new power source based on squeezing a hydrogen atom's electron closer to the proton has not only been proven mathematically, but has been emperically demonstrated countless times in various laboratories around the world and where a 50 KW system was recently unveiled at Blacklight Power Inc. in Cranbury, NJ.

This new thermal power source is the brainchild of Dr. Randell Mills, a Harvard educated scientist who will probably go down in history as America's greatest genius. The Blacklight process generates non-polluting heat (along with EUV light) orders of magnitude hotter than that achieved by hydrogen combustion alone. Blacklight Power intends to scale up the process to over 3 MW ( i.e. megawatts) within 18 months to demonstrate its ease of rapid commercialization. The cost per energy unit is much lower than that of burning fossil fuels and there is no CO or CO2. By generating cheap electricity, cheap hydrogen can be realized via water electrolysis. BMW is designing a hydrogen powered automobile in anticipation of the expected hydrogen economy.

This is the greatest news story of the century. Here's hoping Dr. Mills and Blacklight Power gets some attention because the world is ready for answers to the growing energy crisis and believe me, this is for REAL! Google Blacklight Power for yourself and look at "What's New".


Franko   July 22nd, 2008 5:23 am ET

google: "BlackLight Power do they have something significant"

He sues, got 50 milion from government, per posts.
So you have to wait further or suffer legal heat ?

Holds a large coffe pot, or moonshine still ? proudly.
Claims 50 Kw, (10 times large clothes drier)

"If he were a true scam artist, I doubt he would be working with NASA"
NASA, succesful climate predictor,, now rewriting quantum mechanics ?

Mike   July 22nd, 2008 6:42 am ET

Whatever was said by any and all of the three cited is largely irrelevant, I'd rather hear what the two actual candidates have to say about the issues.

Bill Andrews   July 22nd, 2008 9:31 am ET


The 50 KW "clothes drier" is easily scaled up to multi-mega watts according to BLP and expected to be demonstrated in 18 months. We'll see.

Coal and oil burning power plants and the nukes easily converted to new, clean heat source. USA can say goodbye to T. Boone Pickens and his wind mills.

BLP funded by private means...utility companies, hedge funds etc. They want nothing to do with federal funding and related, special interest controls.

Cosmologists moving closer to the notion that dark matter is now hydrogen in dense molecular form but behaves differently than "Quantum Mechanics" hydrogen. Mills prediction of hydrinos fits perfectly.

Paradox of sun's corona temps being hotter than that on the surface answered by Mills and BLP theory.

Accelerating universe predicted by Mills before it was verified. Big Bang in more trouble versus Mill's periodic universe.

Quantum Mechanics far from perfect.....ask Einstein

Franko   July 22nd, 2008 5:19 pm ET

BlackLight Power may very well have tapped Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
Energy of empty space ? You are right, Ignorance is US.

Just slurp the MoonShine from Alternate Universes.
And, in return, the Alternate Universes slurp US
Symbiotic, perpetually basking in the shine of the Free Lunch

Any association with NASA, rasises Climate Scam suspicions.

Bill Andrews   July 25th, 2008 7:27 am ET

NASA "association" devoid of climate concerns. While not ready to endorse BLP theory, they are impressed with the excess heat from the process and are independently looking at it for long space flight propulsion.
U.S. Navy interested in the corrosion free coatings made from Hydrino Hydrides. They should also be tuned into replacing their nuclear submarine reactors with the BLP reactor , blue light lasers, and high voltage batteries.

BLP fuel taps hydrogen energy found in water, not "Dark Energy".

According to Mills, String Theory, Parallel Universes, and Big Bang are nonsense.

Eighteen months and a megawatt power plant goes on line. The world energy crisis, carbon induced climate concerns, and air pollution will begin to vanish. Mainstream science will scurry to catch up.

Franko   August 2nd, 2008 5:13 pm ET

If the Hydrogen atom looses mass, converting to photon, to heat.
What then, energy starved, have to fatten up the waist line.

Kick it out into open air to refuel from thermal motion ?
Zero point, energy ? New physics here ?

Alternate theory enthusiasm, supported by reality ?

Bill Andrews   August 4th, 2008 6:11 am ET

Hydrinos not captured for novel hydride compounds float harmlessly into space to augment instellar dark matter.

Imperfect science keeps evolving and this includes sacred Quantum beliefs. Mills' prediction of 137 inverse quantum levels confirmed by Bourgoin but the theories may take decades to evolve further.

Epic changes in commercial applications bound to happen much faster. BLP cheap hydrogen will cause OPEC to crumble as the spigots are cranked wide open to squeeze the last vanishing dollars from oil reserves.

Franko   August 5th, 2008 2:35 am ET

Mathematics, sybolic logic, provides self consistent solutions.
Some definitions and solutions have physical interpretations.

Axiom of choice, you have to keep on adding more definitions.
Not thruth, Self consistent, Reality inspired, Sometimes mathematics describes.

Newer exact, but according to Einstein, best we got.
Theory, not always reality, easy to hope for the energy solution.

Chemical bond theory, approximate solutions, provides large errors ?
Magnesium Hydride, referred to by Ronald C. Bourgoin, an example ?

Would be revlutionary, Black Matter and Energy Physics.
Actual use, for other than calculating Galactic Velocities.   April 19th, 2011 1:08 am ET

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