Monday, February 13, 2017

Killing (or changing) Energy

"You came to Washington to kick over some tables. The Energy Department has more tables than a banquet hall. Start kicking."

Yesterday I wrote an article on getting rid of the Department of Energy. What a huge waste of space that department is. Almost a $70B budget for 4,400 employees. Today I am going to address the Department of Energy. And this one will also make your head spin. But - just so show how much out of step the Department of Education is, the Department of Energy has almost 13,000 employees with a budget of about $30B. That is less than half what Education spends and Energy employees almost three times as many people.

Now one would think that the charter of this cabinet level position should be the energy independence of our country. After all, like the Department of Education, it was established under the Carter Administration. The difference is that Education was established (many believe) as a payback to the teacher unions, and Energy was established due to the OPEC oil embargo.

No, the charter of Energy does not focus on energy independence. It does however, focus on the safe handling of our nukes. That would be civilian power plants as well as our nuclear weapons. The second thing in its charter (get ready for this) - the study of genomics. In fact The Human Genome Project was an initiative of the Department of Energy. 

Okay, okay. I know that the study of DNA has as much to do with energy as food stamps has to do with the Department of Agriculture (stay tuned - that one is next). In fact, there are other science experiments which reside under Energy. Why? For example, I would think The Human Genome Project should reside under the National Institute of Heath (which is under the Department of Heath and Human Services). After all, we are doing research on DNA mapping is to improve the health and life expectancy of all of us.

I guess I have mellowed a bit since first penning an article on this department. I just wanted it gone - eliminated. But my thinking has changed a bit. I still think the care and maintenance of our nation's nukes should come under the DOD. The genome stuff should be under HHS. But the care and feeding of our civilian nukes needs a home. And the long term storage of spent nuclear fuel (since Yucca Mountain appears to be dead), needs attention soon. This we still need a re-tooled and much smaller Department of Energy.

The Energy charter needs to change. Let Rick Perry run with an ambitious charter which will change the shape of our country. ALL energy sources should be on the table, to allow for maximum energy independence. In fact, we have so much proven energy sources, we can take care of ourselves AND export.

For the "greenies", don't worry - we are a decade or two away from having abundant and clean energy. Fossil fuels are on their way out before too long. American ingenuity will win the day for us. We will discover and build the better energy mousetrap. And we are getting closer to that goal all the time.

President Trump, my advice to you is to let Secretary Perry re-write the charter for this department. Make it a game changer. You came to Washington to kick over some tables. The Energy Department has more tables than a banquet hall. Start kicking.     

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