Pre-vacation blogging

Silly season's as silly as they get this time around. As usual, energy issues are at the forefront. We'll start out with the characteristically insane Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota):
"[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she's just trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet -- we didn't need Nancy Pelosi to do that,"
This came the day the Bush administration made it easier to avoid science when deciding on projects that could affect endangered species. It looks like the Bush administration just gave Jesus a little more work to do.

Speaking of Pelosi, the only slightly less batshit insane Michelle Malkin reveals her latest rant:
All well and good in la-la land, but let’s be real about the limitations and costs of wind power. Past and ongoing experience demonstrates the unreliability of wind and the miserably low operating capacity of wind power facilities here and around the world. Depending on wind requires supplemental fossil fuel plants as backup to be turned on and off to compensate for wind power supply shortfalls — nullifying any reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, which are miniscule, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

Not to mention the thousands of sliced-up birds and other wildlife that have become wind power casualties — a problem scientists say would be solved by “repowering” old turbines at a cost of untold billions.
We really don't expect her to know anything about wind power when writing an editorial about wind power at the National Review. NRO has standards when it comes to wanking, you know. But it appears she didn't even take the time to watch Pickens' Wind-Power-for-Dummies commercial. Not that I really want to defend Pickens from Malkin. But she dredges up all that BS only to set up her straw man:
As reported on dontgomovement.com, Speaker Pelosi bought between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of stock in Pickens’ CLNE Corp. in May 2007 on the day of the initial public offering: “She, and other investors, stand to gain a substantial return on their investment if gasoline prices stay high, and municipal, state and even the Federal governments start using natural gas as their primary fuel source. If gasoline prices fall? Alternative fuels and the cost to convert fleets over to them become less and less attractive.”

CLNE also happens to be the sponsor of Proposition 10, a ballot initiative in Pelosi’s home state of California to dole out a combined $10 billion in state and federal funds for renewable energy incentives — namely, natural gas and wind.
Got that? Pelosi's investment in a company that might stand to profit if an eccentric billionaire's unlikely dream becomes reality decades from now must be why she's against drilling now--never mind of course that natural gas investments are a very good idea right around now anyway, more on that below. Presumably, though, she'd like to make us believe that this is far worse than John McCain's flip-flop on drilling for which he immediately received millions of dollars from oil companies for his campaign.

Finally, fellow Northeasterners are switching to gas. But there's a big bad problem with that:
Switching from oil to gas heating is a multistep process that usually costs between $4,000 and $8,000 for a single-family home, depending on the cost of installing a gas line and the model of furnace. At current prices and average usage, the conversion would take four to six years to pay for itself.
Oh heavens! Best stay with oil, then. I mean, no one in the Northeast cooks with gas. And those oil furnaces don't ever need to be replaced...well, unless they need to be replaced with newer oil furnaces. And costs next to nothing:
The heating-oil industry has been losing market share nationwide by about 0.5% to 1% of its 8 million households each year, says John J. Huber, president of the National Oilheat Research Alliance. Attrition in earlier years was largely due to environmental concerns about heating oil -- like soot and leaking tanks -- although Mr. Maniscalco says modern equipment has minimized those problems.

Mr. Huber says potential oil-to-gas converters can save money just by replacing their outdated oil-heating system. New oil burners, which cost about as much as their gas-burning peers, are up to 50% more efficient than those from the 1970s and 1980s, he says. For consumers with a newer oil burner, however, the best approach is to buy a $500 computerized regulating device that can improve efficiency by as much as 15% by managing the furnace more deftly, Mr. Huber says.
Given the facts, how could anyone consider giving up oil heating?

Where would we be now if we'd given up on propelling individuals from home to work and back again in large, inefficient vehicles? I'd bet we'd have spent a bunch of money on things that no one would want nowadays.