Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why Do Davis, Rogers, Guthrie Hate Solar Power?

Here's a challenge for you: Name one positive, useful, small-d democratic - hell, American thing Kentucky's repug congressional delegation has ever voted for.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

The latest Good Thing That Repugs Hate is renewable energy research. Geoff Davis, Hal Rogers, and Brett Guthrie all voted Nay. This wasn't even a party-line vote: 63 republicans joined every single Democratic House member voting in favor, including Ed Whitfield, who represents far Western Kentucky despite actually living in Florida where the logic of solar power must have penetrated even his thick skull.

But back to the bill:

Yesterday the House voted, overwhelmingly, to pass H.R.3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, which is meant to provide for U.S. research, development, and demonstration of solar energy technologies. With China-- as well as several other countries-- pulling way ahead of the U.S. in alternative energy development, you would think supporting this kind of legislation would be a no brainer. And, indeed every Democrat and 63 Republicans voted yes. It passed 310-106. The Republicans with no brains... well, generally speaking the Republicans sticking with their obstructionist leadership on this-- John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan all urged no votes-- were the dimmest lights in the House, knee-jerk anti-everything fanatics .... the real knuckle-dragging bottom of the barrel community; Limbaugh's crowd.

China is spending $221 billion of its $586 billion 2009 stimulus package on renewable energy and other clean technologies, and is poised to overtake Germany and Japan to become the world’s largest alternative energy producer. Another spur to development is a 2007 policy requiring large utilities to produce 3 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010 and 8 percent by 2020, excluding hydroelectric (20 percent by 2020 is proposed in the Clean Energy and Security Act). China’s five-year plan that starts in 2011 will include even higher standards and subsidies to support clean energy development.

Though aspects of it may violate the WTO, China has a coherent industrial policy to capture global leadership, while US initiatives are fragmented. China recognized that the real economic development potential in renewable energy is in manufacturing, which comprises 70 -75 percent of the jobs in solar, and now has more than 100 solar companies that account for one-third of global solar component production.

Speaker Pelosi points out that this legislation "lays the foundation for a future of renewable energy, sustainability, a growing economy, and good-paying jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. This bill helps improve the performance and reliability of solar technology, and invests in critical research and development initiatives that will redefine how we power our homes and offices. More solar technology means better energy security, more home-grown energy, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It returns the United States to the forefront of cutting-edge research and places the next generation of American workers on the frontlines of a clean energy future."

But what about clouds, you commie bitch? What about skin cancer? Renewable energy causes cancer! What about that, huh? Huh?

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