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Bernie Sanders used to be Congressman-at-large from Vermont. Now he's Vermont's junior Senator. In so many ways, however, he's the nation's Senator-at-large, showing the way when so many others in Congress have lost theirs.

While a good chunk of Congress, including a majority of the freshman class in the House, are climate-change deniers, Sanders has no illusions about where we need to be headed. That's why he introduced the 10 Million Solar Rooftops bill last June. That bill, now with seven co-sponsors, was approved for a vote by the full Senate in December. It's also why he introduced legislation to end oil and coal subsidies last year. That bill got just 35 votes in the Senate. But he vowed Tuesday not to give up. Here he is at the 350.org rally in Washington, D.C.:

“We’ve got to end all of the tax breaks for the oil companies and coal companies and I’m going to introduce legislation to do just that,” Sanders told demonstrators clad in black-and-white striped referee shirts who rallied to “blow the whistle” on members of Congress and Big Oil.

Ending tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies would reduce the deficit by more than $40 billion over the next 10 years. Sanders’ legislation will end those tax breaks and tens of billions of dollars in other special subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

President Obama said much the same thing in the State of the Union address later Tuesday:

"We've subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and doubledown on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits. Create these jobs."

The trouble is, he's been saying much the same thing with each budget he submits, and every time, Congress has not agreed. Besides ignoring Sen. Sanders's bill last year, and Obama's budget proposal, Congress refused to go along with the proposal of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who wanted to cut some $2 billion in subsidies solely from the five big dogs in the oil business: BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips.

Together over the past decade, those five have put $1 trillion on their bottom lines. And yet some of them have had years in which they not only paid zero income taxes, they actually got rebates. Exxon Mobil paid $39 million in taxes on the $9.9 billion in U.S. profits it made for 2009-2010. Its effective tax rate? 0.4 percent. Outrageous, but perfectly legal.

Sanders told the 350.org crowd, "One of the absurdities that goes on right here in Washington, D.C., is that Congress keeps voting not for the interest of our children, not in the interest of our future, but for the profits of the huge oil and coal companies."

There's a good reason for this outcome. In 2011 alone, oil and gas companies spent more than $100 million lobbying Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics reports. Since 1990, they have collectively passed out $238.7 million to candidates and parties, three-fourths of it to Republicans. Exxon Mobil alone contributed $872,694 to candidates in 2010-2011. Sitting members of Congress received $12 million in contributions from oil and gas interests from July 2009 through July 2011, according to the non-partisan research group Maplight.

Sanders isn't only saying enough is enough when it comes to subsidies of Big Oil, however. He chairs the Senate Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee and he takes it seriously. His proposal for 10 million solar rooftops helps fill in the other side of the fossil-fuels equation: getting America into the renewables business in a way that Denmark and Germany have already done. Those countries did that while U.S. leaders slept and much of Congress, including far too many Democrats, took the view that renewables are some kind of silly fad that can never provide any appreciable proportion of our electricity. Which happens to be nonsense.

"This legislation will make it more affordable for families and businesses to install solar, by helping communities reduce the costs associated with solar energy permitting," Sanders said. "As we lower the cost of solar energy and increase our use of solar, we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying manufacturing and installation jobs in this country. This bill also sets strong targets for American solar energy production, to ensure we compete vigorously with China and Europe for solar energy jobs."

The specific objective behind the legislation, which emerged in December from the Natural Resources and Energy Committee on a 13-8 vote, is to spur local governments with grants to simplify the permitting process to install solar and lower their costs. A January 2011 report says that inefficient permitting and inspections at the local level now add an average $2516 to solar installations without adding to safety or providing any other benefit. This is delaying "grid parity," the stage at which solar can stand on its own as an economic choice for homeowners, without need for subsidies.

Excessive local fees and "slow, manual submittal and inspection processes" will, in effect, add a $1 billion a year tax over the next five years on solar installations, the report states. Germany, where solar installations have soared, has eliminated special permitting for solar. That gives Germans a 40 percent cost advantage over Americans when they install solar on small businesses and homes.

The Department of Energy has developed a model streamlined process that could easily be adopted across the country and bring grid parity for half of American homes in just two years. That's the goal of the Senator's bill. This achievement would amount to a billion-dollar subsidy for solar rooftops installations. It would only cost Americans about 35 cents each to fund, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

No Senate vote has been scheduled yet, but in a smart Congress, this legislation would be on a fast track for President Obama's desk. In a smart Congress, this legislation ought to have 70 instead of seven co-sponsors. After all, it's directed at cutting red tape, something politicians across the spectrum are always telling voters they are dedicated to accomplishing. In a smart Congress, this legislation would be amended to 20 million solar rooftops.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:18 AM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is there a model of this simplified process (14+ / 0-)

    for permitting and inspections that local governments could go ahead and adopt?

    Although not nearly as ideal as a national standard, I'm sure many forward-thinking local governments would jump at the chance to support solar installations on homes and businesses.

    •  As noted in my diary: (25+ / 0-)
      The Department of Energy has developed a model streamlined process that could easily be adopted across the country and bring grid parity for half of American homes in just two years.

      That is one purpose of the legislation, to get this model adopted.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:16:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent (5+ / 0-)

        Thanks

        This needs to be pushed just as hard as the right wing pushes their ALEC-generated legislation.

      •  I totally agree with Bernie (10+ / 0-)

        Invest in US energy infrastructure.  Start wind and solar farms (there are open spaces in MT with no one living for miles that have ample wind for turbines to keep going and running an entire power grid over thousands of miles).  Subsidize wind and solar companies if/when they need it (like REA).

        The power grid has needed upgrading for decades..., and since it has to be done in this country, that would provide jobs for American workers.  Manufacturing solar and wind power equipment could be done here in the US; transporting them to where they are needed has to be done in the US; installing all that equipment must be done in the US.  Think of the jobs that would create..., not only to make and install the equipment, but for maintenance and upkeep...!

        I cast a jaundiced eye on nuclear power for the simple reason that the waste is toxic for more lifetimes than we can conceive of.  We don't need toxic energy if there's an earthquake or hurricane or tornado that can rip these things out and kill us both fast and slow.  Oil rigs offshore are disasters waiting to happen during the next hurricane when they could be forced off their moorings and start another oil leak (or have too many forgotten the last one too fast?).

        Far better to go with non-toxic solar panels and wind turbines!

        Go Bernie!!!  I wish my own senators had as much common sense as Bernie Sanders...!  Both of my senators are Dems (Klobuchar and Franken) who seemed so much more independent and progressive before they were elected; after their oath of office they've both disappointed me by voting with Repukes too often.

        I ~♥~ Bernie!  He's the Cat's Pajamas!!!  Just think what we could do with a whole Senate full of people with as much common sense...?  It boggles the mind.

        bernie

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:23:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, there is. (29+ / 0-)

      In Vermont.  :)

      Vermont Solar Installation Permit Process Now Quicker
      Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 4:48 pm by Solar Energy USA

      Vermont solar energy enthusiasts have a reason to celebrate this week following the start of a new registration system designed to make the solar permitting process much easier.
      According to a local Vermont newspaper, “The new process replaces all permitting for ground- or roof-mounted solar systems 5 kW and smaller with a single basic registration form outlining the system components, configuration and compliance with interconnection requirements. The local utility has 10 days to raise any interconnection issues; otherwise, a permit, known as a Certificate of Public Good, is granted and the project may be installed.”

      http://solarenergy-usa.com/...

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:25:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are, but it is not necessarily so simple (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, BusyinCA

      First, one should always dig into industry studies, since the source is hardly impartial

      Second, the kinds of permitting issues discussed apply generally to building permits (I am a land use lawyer and my partner is an architect so the issues raised are familiar ones), which aren't always easy or cheap.   General the notion of efficiency in this process would be great, and some of these costs would exist even in a streamlined process, because one can't get rid of inspections entirely.  I can certainly imagine the state of California stepping in to streamline the building permit process to regularize it  as it has for other areas, such as environmental review.  Part of the issue though is that buildings codes are important safety regulations that have a minimum standard that needs to be met. Permit fees exist to offset the costs of review and enforcement. If those fees are reduced or eliminated, at some point taxpayers would have to pick up the difference in an era when states and local governments are already strapped.

      Some of these proposals, such as requiring decisions within three days or limiting inspections either require more money to hire personnel or summary rejection of Inadequately reviewed application ( see Keystone XL for an example of how arbitrary deadlines can work against an applicant).  What if an inspector finds some troubling installation and gets sent off site because his two hours are up?  Do we allow a potentially dangerous installation to proceed?  
      I am not suggesting this is common, only pointing out that some level of review and inspection is necessary. Maybe this level is lower than is done now, but here we have a company that bears the cost in doing its business advocating increased risk for other parties (namely the home occupants).  Sound familiar?

      We should consider these issues carefully is all
      Could this be made easier? Yes
      Should it be? Yes, probably
      Is it straightforward to do? Not necessarily
      Can these processes be eliminated?  Only until the first solar panel caused house fire kills a bunch of kids

  •  Bernie's great at putting issues on the table (39+ / 0-)

    ... but he doesn't have the power to push them through to the finish.  That will require presidential leadership.  Will Obama show that he's ready to support his proposal to end fossil-fuel subsidies?  The coming fights over the payroll tax cut extension and other budgetary battles offer plenty of opportunities.

    If Republicans want to restore automatic military budget cuts, or pay for the payroll tax cut extension, Obama's administration should shove this issue out front as a way to pay for them.  Make Republicans defend billions in tax subsidies to Exxon and BP at every opportunity, and make them explain why BP's record profits are more important than, say, keeping cuts away from Medicare or Social Security.  

    We have a window of nine months when the administration is being forced to look populist.  It's the perfect time to insist that Obama put his money where his mouth is.

    When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:35:46 AM PST

    •  That's why Romney is the perfect opponent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      because it sets up the race as one about fairness and economic priorities.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:37:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Romney's son is big in solar. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YoungArizonaLiberal

        Just saying. He's part of a company (a big part, I suspect) in UT doing major PV investments all over the west.

        "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

        by nzanne on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:55:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's interesting. I wonder how he (the son) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies, JeffW

          feels about the nearly universal GOP opposition to renewable energy?

          Romney's son is big in solar.  Just saying. He's part of a company (a big part, I suspect) in UT doing major PV investments all over the west.

          Renewable energy brings national global security.     

          by Calamity Jean on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:18:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  energy policies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, Lawrence
      Will Obama show that he's ready to support his proposal to end fossil-fuel subsidies?

      It seems to me he did that in his SOTU (as shown in the diary) and his administration has been consistent about ending fossil fuel subsidies as well as encouraging growth of solar and other green energy sources.

      Let's also not forget that the rest of Congress and lawmakers in all the states all have similar responsibilities.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:54:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It hasn't been consistent, though (5+ / 0-)

        Obama pays lip service to the idea at times, but neither the administration or Democrats in Congress have really pushed it hard in budget negotiations.  I commend them for pushing for higher taxes for the rich, but closing corporate tax loopholes like oil and coal subsidies are something often mentioned but rarely pushed.  Actions, specifically prioritizing ending these subsidies in budget fights, not words are what we need from the Obama administration and Dems in Congress.

        When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:01:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  However Obama approaches this (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think he wants a long dialog about the budget and debt consuming the national media again.  I think he wants the national attention on tax reform.  A focus on corporate and person income taxes would be more our turf than their turf.

          Given the cold reception Menendez got for his bill, I think the problem lies more with Congress than the President.  Just my 2 cents.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:44:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He was not pushing because he had to get elected (0+ / 0-)

          for his second term. During his second term, and there will be one, he can cut loose and kick some 'r' ass. Hang on to your hat, this is going to be a wild ride.

          Obama may materially be considered a 1%er, but mentally he is a 99%er.

          Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

          by Agent420 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:51:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And why do you think he will win easier (4+ / 0-)

            if he isn't pushing? There are many voters who want him to be more pushy. Apparently they don't count for him? He hasn't pushed for much since quite a while.

            Why would any person trust that he will "kick some ass" when he is in his second term, when he doesn't show he takes risks and just appeases some faint-of-heart middle of the road chicken-heads.  

            Isn't that a bit too smart to be convincing? At least I find that kind of an insult to expect us to trust him on that one, just because he is in his second term.

            Pushing the issue would mean he is on the forefront and leads a movement on this one. He has not been doing that stronlgy enough.

            •  After the STOU, do you still think he is not (0+ / 0-)

              pushing? Bat shit is all the repukes have in their arsenals. The 99% are not that stupid when the table has no food and the one percent are stashing money all over the planet.
              Can you explain why anyone needs to have millions of dollars? You can't eat it, it is too bulky to shove up your ass. If we let the repukes in, the dollar and the yen will trade one for one and then how would the Mighty America look. Give up the dream! YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BE A MILLIONAIRE BECAUSE THE GAME IS RIGGED.
              The saying, that a rising tide lifts all boats, may be true, but only the biggest yachts have all the holes plugged up. The rest of us in little skiffs just cannot seem to fill the holes. Every time we plug a hole, the Yachters get out their platinum guns and shoot holes in our skiffs with diamond encrusted bullets.

              FUCK THE 1%

              Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

              by Agent420 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:28:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  So let's give Bernie some ammo. (6+ / 0-)

      Ten thousand emails would be nice.

      I just sent him this:

      I agree completely with your drive to end oil subsidies and increase them for alternative, renewable energy.

      Back in the days when drilling a well was a risky and expensive proposition, government help made sense.

      But now, with all the tools and geologists at their disposal for locating oil fields, the risk of a dry well is negligible and the subsidies are insane. We're talking monster corporations with fat profits now, not a fledgling industry that needs help.

      Our subsidies should be going to clean, renewable forms of energy. And as for those who point out that some such companies will go bust, in the early days of the automobile, hundreds of automobile manufacturers went out of business. In the early days of commercial aviation, many new airline companies failed....and many that survived did so only because of government mail contracts.

      Keep fighting the good fight, sir. There are millions of us who appreciate you and applaud you.

      Now excuse me. I know it won't do any good at all, but I have a few things to say to Kay Hutchinson and John Cornyn on this subject....

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:00:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When the automobile was invented, should we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies

        have subsidized buggy whip manufacturers to keep them in business? Oil will soon become the buggy whip of the energy industry.
        Oil is the way the Earth sequestered the CO2 so that Oxygen could become plentiful enough to support so called intelligent life. Let's not shit in our kitchen.

        Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

        by Agent420 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:00:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Beyond a few mutterings about Oil subsidies, I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, LSophia, aliasalias

      don't expect Obama to do shit.  I'd be impressed if he even stood next to Bernie when Bernie talks about the issue.

      Expect some mutterings from time to time during press briefings, but as far as really pushing the issue... (like Obama did Free Trade last year - which he got) - don't expect much.

      Or look at the Patriot Act:  Obama had to push both Dems and GOP to get it.  He pushed.  He got it.

      Oil & Gas subsidies?  Fun to talk about but no intention whatsoever to do squat about it.  It's marketing BS.

      But I bet the banksters will welcome some rhetorical distractions, wouldn't you agree?

      Obama calls for job-insourcing, via Tax Incentives (tax cuts for business). The same Obama called on Congress (and passed) a Free Trade Job Outsourcing Deal in 2011. This Is Not Change.

      by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:22:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This could be fun: watching the thieving rich in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, Dallasdoc

      Congress decide whether they want to put money in their own pockets through "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires" or into their campaign coffers to renew their licenses to steal. My guess is they'll go for the campaign money because it's more for them in the long run, but at least they'll have to pay a personal price for it.

      And, while we're at it, let's tighten that loophole that allows Senators and Representatives to engage in insider trading by putting certain prison penalties on it.

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:33:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so far Obama said only (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, aliasalias

      "he wouldn't walk away from solar" in his SOTU and that is way, way too little to say.

  •  Thanks for the diary... (23+ / 0-)

    Bernie Sanders is the conscience of the Senate.

    With more like him we could truly change the world.

    He's the liberal's liberal.

    That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:36:27 AM PST

    •  Now wait just a sec... you would want MORE (0+ / 0-)

      like Bernie?

      Bernie ain't a Democrat  =)

      This is a Democratic Blog.

      Just think for a minute:  Would things be different if Obama called Sanders "mentor" instead of Lieberman?

      ponders

      Obama calls for job-insourcing, via Tax Incentives (tax cuts for business). The same Obama called on Congress (and passed) a Free Trade Job Outsourcing Deal in 2011. This Is Not Change.

      by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:28:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bernie caucuses with the Dems, though. (0+ / 0-)

        And there's a reason for that.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:57:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lieberman kept his Chairmanship for that (0+ / 0-)

          very reason.

          =)

          Obama calls for job-insourcing, via Tax Incentives (tax cuts for business). The same Obama called on Congress (and passed) a Free Trade Job Outsourcing Deal in 2011. This Is Not Change.

          by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 12:32:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  LAME n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

        by Agent420 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:01:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I totally agree: (0+ / 0-)

          It is lame.

          It is very lame to put party above principal.

          I was merely highlighting the folly by pointing out one of the strongest advocates for progressive and liberal ideals... is not a Democrat.

          Perhaps we need more Bernies - even if they don't have a (D) next to their name.  Even if such people displace someone who does have a (D).

          Obama calls for job-insourcing, via Tax Incentives (tax cuts for business). The same Obama called on Congress (and passed) a Free Trade Job Outsourcing Deal in 2011. This Is Not Change.

          by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 12:34:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Give me Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren (27+ / 0-)

    And get rid of the damned filibuster and imagine what we could do

    #OccupyWallStreet ~ I will protest when and where I damn well please. I have the constitution in my pocket. That is my permit.

    by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:41:46 AM PST

  •  I Recall Gas and Coal Are Among the President's (3+ / 0-)

    "clean" and "renewable" energy sources.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:43:41 AM PST

  •  My husband (15+ / 0-)

    is currently shifting us from the grid to solar/wind energy.  We want out of the fossil fuel rat race.  Go Bernie!

    love the fetus, hate the child

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:51:12 AM PST

  •  I'm sending the Treasury my 35¢ right now, (6+ / 0-)

    if I can just find a 44¢ stamp around here someplace ...

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:02:35 AM PST

  •  Over the last few years, US refineries have (4+ / 0-)

    been shutting down 1 by 1. The East coast alone has lost 1.5 million barrels a day in refined petroleum products, all citing losses. This plant closing started making headway in 2006 when some California plants closed and now the East Coast has lost over 75 percent of its fuel production. This is all from the heavily subsidized US Petroleum industry.
    What these refineries are failing to mention is how they've let the refineries that are closing deteriorate over the years so they have been set up to fail, just as state of the art refineries are opening in Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia and other locations where they won't have to mess with the EPA and labor is cheap. These are companies heavily subsidized by the taxpayers and companies who are turning their backs on the country that made them and allowed them to grow, using taxpayer money, until they've decided to run to greener pastures. Pastures which won't stay green for long and when the Governments of these countries destabilize or nationalize their Petroleum Industry, (See Venezuela and Mexico), these same companies will be screaming for US diplomatic or military intervention.
    There is no doubt in my mind the primary reason for the latest shutdowns is because the economy in the US is not far enough in the toilet to enable a GOP win.
    This past 8 months, 2 Green Technology companies have gone bankrupt after receiving Government Grants or Loans. We can't let that stop the US from investing heavily into Green Energy.
    Why have tax incentives for Alternative Energy dried up? We have a fight on our hands and with the closures of these refineries, the price of fuel is going to skyrocket and the pressure to drill in places that have been able to resist incursion so far is going to become tremendous.
    We can take advantage of higher prices for fossil fuels which makes alternative energy more cost effective or we can roll over and get the shaft for the privilege of burning subsidized petroleum products.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:04:49 AM PST

    •  Another thing: The fact that the Keystone (6+ / 0-)

      pipeline is not going to be bringing oil to the United States to be sold here.

      It's bringing oil to the Houston area refineries, so that the oil companies don't have to build refineries up north.
      When it's refined, it' will be sold, as all oil is sold, on the world market to the highest bidder.

      And the way things are going, that's going to be China.

      All this "Drill, baby, drill!" garbage has nothing to do with guaranteeing that America will have oil supplies. It has to do with fattening profits for huge, multinational oil companies.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:05:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would like to see someone propose putting... (16+ / 0-)

    alternative energy such as PV and hot water solar panels of every Federal Building if feasable.  They could employ outof work construction tradesmen and others, in addition to provide the solar engineering education for the installations to do these projects as well.... Kind of like the Conservation Corps from the past.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution, inevitable." - President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

    by LamontCranston on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:09:01 AM PST

    •  Sort of like the proposal we made... (23+ / 0-)

      ...seven years ago in the crowd-sourced project Energize America 2020 and what I proposed in Resurrect and Energize the Conservation Corps:

      Because of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, Americans can go just about anywhere in this country and see FDR's hand on the landscape. These programs weren't flawless, but they were smart, effective, pragmatic. To hear some Party of No politicians and rightist pundits tell it, however, this particular use of the public sector was just short of a Bolshevik coup. So, obviously, anything with a whiff of New Deal scent about it is going to set off another round of patented GOP sulking and barking amplified by our ever-helpful national media.

      Let them bark. The White House should press for a direct job creation program anyway.

      The CCC put millions of young men to work planting trees, curbing erosion, and generally nurturing the National Park System. Nine years the program lasted. Much of the work done still lives today. A Clean Energy Conversion Corps would not only create jobs but also provide a massive public investment with an impact reaching decades into the future. CECC employees could audit home energy use, weatherize, rehab, retrofit and sign up for paid green apprenticeships. These would provide them the skills to move on to green-collar jobs in the private sector as those become more readily available.

      Unlike its predecessor, the CECC would probably work best if it included a public-private partnership as a major element. The Kentucky Clean Energy Corps program has some good ideas. In my dreams, the CECC would be authorized to assist the formation of cooperatively owned enterprises since much clean energy work is perfect for small businesses.

      I can hear the mutterings of my party’s no-can-do voices. Politically impossible. Not even worth trying. Not enough votes. Wouldn’t work anyway – getting project permits would take eternity. Besides, this isn’t 75 years ago and we need something newfangled. Yes, we do. But we didn’t give up our telephones just because Alexander Graham Bell died 87 years ago. We transformed them. Likewise with the social safety net. Tough? Absolutely. The foes of safety nets in the Party of No and its accomplices in our own party have been shredding them for decades. They ferociously block every attempt at repair and renewal. So what? Progressives don’t whine about obstacles. Well, okay, that's not true. We do. But we don’t surrender. We find ways to overcome the obstacles.

      An audaciously and pragmatically crafted CECC would mesh perfectly with programs already being funded by the $80 billion green portion of the two-year stimulus package and with the still languishing American Clean Energy and Security act passed by the House five months ago. It could provide entry-level positions with good training and a job ladder for one of the most heavily unemployed demographics – men and women aged 18-25, especially those with only a high school diploma, though the program shouldn’t be for them alone. From those first government-funded green jobs, they could move on higher-skilled, better-paying ones in the private sector.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:22:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, the Obama Administration is pushing (7+ / 0-)

      hard with its Better Buildings Initiative.  It is mostly about energy efficiency and it includes both federal initiative and private sector initiative.

      Alcoa, a huge energy hog, has agreed to lower its energy use by 25% by 2020, for example.

      It's definitely a good step forward, especially while we have this obstructionist Congress.

      We Can't Wait: President Obama Announces Nearly $4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings

      Upgrades Will Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs and Save Billions

      WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector. The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers. In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:40:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not enough, building upgrades is just a (0+ / 0-)

        little part of it.

        •  I know it is not enough, but is only one of many (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi

          initiatives, and....

          it is an initiative that can be expanded in scope and it is something that the Republicans can't obstruct.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:26:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  20 billion sounds like a lot, but when you are (0+ / 0-)

        talking about an economy in the trillions, billions become sort of small. It used to be that way with millions, a million used to be a lot of money and still is to most citizens, 99% of them. Hell, an oil company makes more than 20 billion PROFIT in a single quarter.
        Open up that wallet, let the moths fly out and put some REAL money into the job.

        Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

        by Agent420 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:21:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Big box stores, too. (3+ / 0-)

      They already have large, flat roofs.  There is little to no environmental value left to their property.  Not a lot of visual appeal to destroy.  And the energy would be produced where it's used.

      •  Also weatherizing programs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, DSPS owl

        They don't do additional damage to the environment and would help to conserve resources.

        For low income people we should make it free, and give tax credits for those who are more affluent, as an incentive.  

        Retrofitting buildings already in existence makes a lot more sense than encouraging the building of new ones that gobble up energy and materials and continue the blight of urban sprawl.  Provides jobs, too.  Add courses to our community colleges to retrain construction workers, if need be.

        In our state second homes have in recent decades been a huge  source of new construction.  River valleys are now lined with homes used only a few times a year.  Entire communities are dependent on what we might call rural sprawl.

        Unfortunately our economy is based on growth.  Growth that cannot be sustained.  Changing that is our biggest challenge, and I am not optimistic.  Just finished reading The End of Growth by Richard Heinberg.  Thoughtful.  Sobering.

        •  Yes! Community colleges! (3+ / 0-)

          In my rural area, we no longer have even one solar installer. When I got tiny solar for our tiny cabin, I cajoled a dubious contractor friend into installing it. When he saw it running his power tools, he became an enthusiast!

          It was a delight to hear Obama mention using community colleges to produce jobs. There is no technical school in my area, but we have a community college. Couldn't it come to the states in pass-through funds? Hard to argue with jobs!

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:18:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  But that will cost money. (0+ / 0-)

      And we have this huge deficit....and we need to buy jets from Lockheed and keep the tax breaks for commercial jets and and subsidize oil companies ....and not, oh, goodness "No!" not raise taxes on the rich.

      What were you thinking to propose such a thing?!

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:08:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a good proposal. (8+ / 0-)

    However, this right here...

    Together over the past decade, those five have together put $1 trillion on their bottom lines. And yet some of them have had years in which they not only paid zero income taxes, they actually got rebates. Exxon Mobil paid $39 million in taxes on the $9.9 billion in U.S. profits it made for 2009-2010. Its effective tax rate? 0.4 percent. Outrageous, but perfectly legal.

    ... shows why the Republican Big Fossil Congress will never pass it.

    If we want this to happen, we will have to retake Congress.

    What disappoints me - even on progressive websites - is that so many follow the RW lead and pounce on G.E. for not paying taxes, because of Jeffrey Immelt leading Obama's advisor board.  And this despite G.E. being a global leader in clean energy and renewables.

    Don't get me wrong - G.E. should be paying taxes.  It does, however, annoy me that progressives are following the RW lead on this and hardly anyone is mentioning Exxon(and the other Big Oil companies).  G.E., at least, is part of the solution with its cleantech manufacturing.  With Exxon, it is the opposite, ie. they are amongst the worst of the polluting, climate change denier problem.

    Thanks for highlighting how Exxon and co. are part of the problem, MB.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:23:39 AM PST

    •  Ask the upper Hudson Valley in NY if GE is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      part of the solution or part of the problem.  I have no idea about their current practices, but from their past behaviors, I'd look real closely at what they're doing with the pollution for any of their manufacturing processes.

      •  Just like Siemens, G.E. has a yucky nuke (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson

        history.

        But it is also a lot like Siemens in that it is forging ahead with cleantech and renewables.  And Immelt has been the one who is responsible for this transformation at G.E.

        It is the largest U.S. wind turbine manufacturer, and has been rapidly expanding its cleantech sector:

        GE CEO Immelt’s tenure so far marked by cleantech bets
        By Larry Dignan | September 5, 2011, 7:05 PM PDT

        General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt has been on the job a decade and his challenges are numerous, but what has been overlooked is his bet on cleantech and how it can mark the company’s next 10 years.

        snip

        GE’s clean tech push really came together in the latter part of the decade. It remains to be seen if these clean tech bets fuel growth for the decades ahead, but Immelt hasn’t been shy about taking his shots. Immelt’s next decade at GE may be judged on how the company navigated a changing energy ecosystem.

         

        http://www.smartplanet.com/...

        This is likely the main reason for Immelt being the head of the President's economic advisory board.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:15:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This headline at Forbes is a hoot! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          GE Sells Solar to Wind Farms

          Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought that.

          Heh.

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:41:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hehe, funny headline. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson

            Plugging thin film pv solar farms into wind farms is a good idea, as the two forms of electricity production are complimentary.

            You know, I used to dislike G.E. with a passion, but Immelt is in the process of fundamentally changing that company, and I respect him for that.

            That being said, I think G.E. should pay higher taxes and Jeffrey Immelt should also pay higher personal taxes.  :p

            Unlike the COE's of Exxon, I don't think that he would have a problem with that.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:52:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  If only we had a smart congress! (6+ / 0-)

    Sadly, this makes too much sense to get through the current iteration.

    A little blue dot in a vast sea of red.

    by deha on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:24:04 AM PST

  •  10 Years ago (7+ / 0-)

    I was sending letters to ask for DWP to offer free solar panels to any homeowner who was willing to let DWP pay for and keep % for 10 years then split % with homeowners.

    This would skyrocket the solar panel industry, put millions of workers on the job installing these, and we could be putting the sun to work.  

    This is a good plan.  Solar panels are better now then they were 10 years ago.

    "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:33:49 AM PST

    •  I don't know which DWP you're referring to... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, cotterperson

      ...but here in Los Angeles, they subsidize solar installations. Add their subsidy to the state tax credit and the federal tax credit and a solar installation on your house costs you less than half the sticker price.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:53:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  amazing to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Is solar push is not coming from a sunnier state's senator. I guess sunny states tend to be oily states too?

  •  This man makes me want to move to Vermont. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, cotterperson, lineatus

    And I've never even lived on the East Coast.

  •  Rooftop Solar, Absolutely. Finance is Really the (8+ / 0-)

    only obstacle. It needs to not complicate home sales, and there needs to be lending for installation with the home energy bill tradeoff so that it can be rolled out below median income.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:41:27 AM PST

    •  Yep. You know what irks me? Thirty-two... (6+ / 0-)

      ...years ago when I was managing editor of the Solar Law Reporter, we were saying the same thing.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:54:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A few years earlier than that, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, Meteor Blades, aliasalias

        I saw my first off-the-grid house on an Ozark  hillside. Big passive solar facing south and solar panels along side. It even had a refrigerator -- with a battery about half its size to keep going! They even taught basic solar in our local tech school, where my retired parents took the course.

        Thank you, MB, for keeping up the good fight!

        "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

        by cotterperson on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:26:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the first time I ever heard about solar was when I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, Eric Nelson

          first saw it on a small living quarters ('69 or '70) in a Commune in southern Colorado near Pueblo, Drop City was it's name.
          The place had geodesic dome building using triangles cut from wrecking yard cars' hoods and roofs and one big community building, but one small building had some strange thing called solar power.
          I can't remember any names but I remember an older hippie told me he and his "old lady" had electricity for free and he showed me some panels on the south side of their place, telling me a little about how it worked (soon forgotten by me in those days).
          I was amazed because I really did think he was joking with me but he did have electricity (I don't remember much more than a soft light) and there were no power lines running to their little out building.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 04:16:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And make it easier to hook to the grid. (4+ / 0-)

      A lot of people don't know you can do that. They think they would have to rely totally on the solar panels and the windmill.  What about when it's cloudy? What about when there's no wind?

      Hooked to the grid, you can radically cut your use of on-grid electricity,  get credit for your excess solar and wind energy and  still have electricity when your solar and wind sources aren't providing enough.(Which happens less often than people think.) Plus, you don't have the initial high cost of huge banks of batteries.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:14:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Next, I'd like to get Bernie working on stem cell (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, worldlotus, DSPS owl, Zinman

    issues, because I'd really like to get a couple dozen clones of him into the Senate.

  •  But we can't depend on the sun. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Randolph06, frostieb, Zinman

    Some day it is going to burn out. Then what good are all of those solar panels.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little… I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-nourished." -Franklin Roosevelt

    by shoeless on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:45:09 AM PST

  •  I like our new people. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, worldlotus

    The Senate may actually develop some Democrats with spines. Al Franken, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (I hope) are good people to have in your corner on issues I care about.

    It's about time we had some on our side  of the aisle who are willing to fight in the same manner Republicans do. It's been an enormous improvement over what I've been seeing the rest of my life.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:48:18 AM PST

  •  to illustrate your point: (7+ / 0-)

    Photobucket
    credit: Oil Change International

    Oil Change International has as its mission to expose the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitate the coming transition towards clean energy.

    The organization runs three sites:

    Price of Oil

    Energy Money

    Shift the Subsidies

    this was posted yesterday at my site, writing in the rAw

  •  Reduce deficit by 40 billion in 10 years? I heard (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    On Outfront ending the Bush Tax cuts would save 2.3 trillion.
    This is small potatoes. Let's see Congress do something worthwhile! Saying that we are going stop subsidies to oil companies is the same thing as saying we are going to stop our dependence on foreign oil.  Not gonna happen!

    Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. Thomas Jefferson

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 06:54:50 AM PST

  •  What if we had a commander-in-chief (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, maryabein

    who would fast-track the field-testing of some of the renewables that have been developed over the last several decades? Our giant military could begin a preventive war against the fossil-fuel cartel, in the long run making it irrelevant as standardization led to lower costs.

    Oh, wait ....

    The Army has been using solar backpacks in Afghanistan to save lives and money transporting fuel trucks. Now, it's building a solar power plant in California, as are the Air Force and the Navy. The Navy has also just bought 450,000 gallons of biofuel. In Colorado, the Air Force has tested jet fuels and has some solar at work. This week a biofueled Navy destroyer was launched to test biofuels along the California coast.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:03:38 AM PST

  •  Sometimes I find it odd that Bernie, who a lot (0+ / 0-)

    on the "Left" admire and look up to since he stands for a lot of the similar principals the "Left" shares with him... is not a Democrat.  

    Yet, on a Democratic blog, Bernie is often heralded and spoken of in kind words.

    Perhaps we might want to consider, in the name of "More and Better Democrats", turning our backs on Bernie.

    Or perhaps we may want to rethink a mentality which all to often places party affiliation above principal.

    Obama calls for job-insourcing, via Tax Incentives (tax cuts for business). The same Obama called on Congress (and passed) a Free Trade Job Outsourcing Deal in 2011. This Is Not Change.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:09:26 AM PST

  •  I have always wondered (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, cotterperson, LSophia

    why there aren't solar panels on every home and business in the desert Southwest. I've lived here for 10 years, and only last year did my neighborhood association begin approving solar panels on roofs.  The amount of power we could generate.... it boggles the mind to think of the waste.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. FDR

    by grannysally on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:11:29 AM PST

  •  Shared to FB. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson
  •  Obama's DOE Appointments: (0+ / 0-)

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/...

    Yeah.  I hate the Post.  But they had a quick nice listing.

    Click on a few.  Check out the bios.

    Overall, a very interesting group.

    Obama calls for job-insourcing, via Tax Incentives (tax cuts for business). The same Obama called on Congress (and passed) a Free Trade Job Outsourcing Deal in 2011. This Is Not Change.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:16:45 AM PST

  •  Stories like this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, cotterperson

    make it crystal clear why it's important to elect many Democrats up and down the ticket in 2012.  It's so frustrating to know there clear-cut, relatively inexpensive ways to create jobs, improve fairness, and combat global warming but our current Congress isn't jumping all over them.  

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire.

    by Rona on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:18:38 AM PST

  •  Now we're talkin'! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    Senator-at-large. I like that.

    "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

    by poe on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:22:59 AM PST

  •  Is the language intentionally deceptive or (0+ / 0-)

    just a little lazy?

    “We’ve got to end all of the tax breaks for the oil companies and coal companies and I’m going to introduce legislation to do just that,”

    That statement could mean a lot of things.

    It could mean an end to special subsidies for oil exploration, etc -- which I can fully and energetically support, but...

    It could also mean that oil and gas companies would be specifically singled out and not permitted to take the ordinary deductions, etc that other companies can take, which would be a dangerous precedent, and something I can fully and energetically oppose.

    Three things are certain:

    1.  The oil companies have plenty of money.  They can pay for their own damned exploration, etc.,

    2.  As a national security issue, we should not be fostering further dependence on a resource that we have in short supply within our own borders,

    3.  As a free market issue, "alternative" -- quoted only because they are alternative only if you accept that fossil fuels somehow deserver a position of primacy -- energy sources cannot compete in a market that is rigged against them.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:33:09 AM PST

  •  The great Mike Peters editorial cartoon (0+ / 0-)

    from the early 1980s:

    "Solar power isn't feasible"

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:38:24 AM PST

  •  If anybody has dealt in the Petroleum industry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    lately, they will note there is a severe shortage of Diesel on the market and gasoline is not trailing far behind. Venezuela cannot even refine enough gasoline for the country, yet they are a large crude oil exporter. Prices have gone up dramatically, yet refineries are claiming they are running at a loss.
    There are a lot of tricks done in accounting and I have this, somewhat educated, feeling they are being pulled on the American public.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 07:45:52 AM PST

  •  coming from anybody else this might get support (0+ / 0-)

    but I put  Bernie Sanders right up there with Ron Paul when it comes to nuttiness.

    •  Uh... why the hell would you think that (0+ / 0-)

      Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul are similar at all??!

      Ron Paul isn't even in the same intellectual league as Bernie Sanders.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 05:41:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great timing! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Eric Nelson

    The Seattle Times has a fascinating article up about a local dairy farm that is working with the local tribes to convert waste into power:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/...

    They even feed their cows with recycled foods, i.e. beer that has gone flat and so on.

  •  So in other words, we give them $100 million and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, NoMoreLies, Eric Nelson

    the oil/coal companies spend that same $100 million to lobby congress to give them even more benefits through favorable legislation, etc.

    So in essence, we're picking up the tab for their lobbying. Swell.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:50:21 AM PST

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