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Thursday, April 21, 2011


Donald Pay

The costs of oil are unbelievably high. You just don't pay the true costs at the point of sale, because they are in your tax bill or your health care/insurance bill.



I believe I am the "dick" referred to in that post. While I agree with your point about oil and coal not needing subsidies, as was pointed out by someone else, those "subsidies" are mainly in the form of tax breaks. I happen to believe corporations do not pay taxes so whether they get a tax break is irrelevant. Dave also says ethanol gets 30% of subsidies. Does he maybe mean 3%? He lumps solar, wind and biofuels together as getting less than 10%. Last time I checked, ethanol was a biofuel.
Dave does not compare apples to apples in his argument. My cost analysis was based upon $/KWH in subsidies. He changes it to a percentage. Thus his distortion. To look at it another way, let us look at 10% blend of ethanol with gasoline. I have found my car gets from 1 to 2 mpg better mileage with pure gasoline when compared with gasahol. This translates to about 20 to 30 miles more on a tank of gas (15 gallon). Today, gasahol at the corner station is at $3.73 (rounded up from that 9/10--what is that for anyway?). Pure gasoline is $3.83/gallon. So if I am able to travel 400 miles on 15 gallons of gas, my cost per mile is about $.139/mile using gasahol and travel 420 miles using pure gasoline my per mile cost is $.137/mile. So which is actually more economical? Then take away the $.45/gallon ethanol subsidy and that cost of gasahol goes to $.157/mile. In this case, I suspect far fewer people would use ethanol. Hence, the ethanol industry would most likely go out of business or we would just import it from Brazil. Same is true with wind and solar.



and/or here


And you sir are not the "dick"

Ken Blanchard

Donald: yes. The costs of allowing people to drive are unbelievably high. And yet, we do so. You may want to close down modern civilization and put us all back herding sheep. I say we put it to a vote. Hey! Maybe we are.

Donald Pay

No one would build another nuclear plant without government subsidies/guarantees. There would be no one who would risk the capital. Nuclear is totally dependent on government. In fact it is a 100 percent socialist enterprise.



The definition of Socialism is:

The ownership and management of the means of production and the distribution of resources by a centralized government or selected community.

There are 104 Nuclear Reactors in 31 states in the United States. All owned privately. The subsidy is mainly in the form of an intial investment loan and a tax break....How in the world is this a socialist enteprise, and where do you come up with these fantasies?

Donald Pay

Subsidies per KWh that look only at direct federal dollars does not include externalized costs. That statistic is meaningless if it fails to include externalized costs.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: I understand. Actually quantifiable values are meaningless. Only purely speculative "externalized costs" count for something.


"It would almost certainly be better not to subsidize oil, coal, and gas production. Why does Congress do so? Because it gives them leverage over those industries."

Wow KB, and next you will report on the tail you saw smacking it's dog against a wall.

Ken Blanchard

Sorry if I went over your head again, A.I., but watch how administrators behave when even a modest donor is on campus and you will grasp my point. With grants of money comes influence.


Like grants of money in the form of massive corporate campaign contributions? You didn't go over my head KB, but you did manage to conflate two totally different interactions in a vain attempt to support a ludicrous assertion.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: now I think we are getting somewhere. Yes, energy corporations, like all corporations and unions, "massively" contribute to campaigns. When I said that Congress subsidizes energy in order to preserve their leverage, that is what I had in mind. What do you think Congress uses its leverage for? Lots of things, including encouraging contributions.

My point was that this is one of the reasons it is so hard to get Congress to stop subsidizing oil, coal, and gas. I am all for ending all subsidies to energy production. That would save money, remove market distortions, and benefit the environment.


Incorrect. An electric car can treavl much further on a smaller amount of fuel, because of vast improvements in energy efficiency.*The easiest way to demonstrate this is by fuel cost. After all, you will wind up paying for fuel, no matter how it gets to you, right? First, let's look at gasoline. The typical driver puts about 15,000 miles per year on his car. This works out to 1250 miles per month.*If this driver's car gets 20 miles per gallon, this represents 62.5 gallons of gasoline. Using $3.20/gallon (about the price we paid this past summer, and I think it will get back there), our typical driver spends about $200 on gasoline every month.*An electric car uses kilowatt-hours (KWH) of electricity instead of gasoline. Typically our EV might get from 3 to 7 miles per KWH. So, for this example, we'll use 4 miles/KWH. In my city, there is a special EV electric rate of just 3 cents/KWH. But in other places, the electric rate could be 10 cents or higher per KWH. So let's use 6 cents.*Using these numbers, the same 1250 miles per month that cost our typical driver $200 for gasoline only costs $18.75 in electricity for our electric car. The electric "fuel" only costs about 10% of what gasoline does!*So, using this method, we can approximate that miles driven on electricity are worth 10 times the mileage of miles driven on gasoline, or we could also say it takes one-tenth the amount of fuel for an EV to treavl the same distance. (There are other ways to calculate this, but EV mileage is at least 5 times better, and from a money standpoint, as we have seen, up to 10 times better.)*Why is electric power so much cheaper than gasoline? There are two reasons. The first is that electric motors are far more efficient than gasoline engines, so EVs can drive much further on less fuel. The second reason is fuel transportation costs. The electric car fuels by wire (the electric grid is 95% efficient.) By contrast, your gas car requires a vast fuel transportation infrastructure that ships, pipes, trucks, and retails gasoline around the country (creating additional pollution in the process). The price of this infrastructure is built in to the price of gasoline.*This is also the reason electric cars pollute much less. Even when dirty fuel is burned at the powerplant, the vast improvement in energy efficiency of electric vehicles means far less pollution per mile.*SEE REFERENCES BELOW FOR THE NUMBERS I USED.

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