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Congressman Tim Murphy Blithering On Energy

congressman tim murphyTim Murphy is on vacation all this week, but his mind seems to have started vacation early last week, as shown when he rose to give his opinion on U.S. energy policy. He said, “They say that we’re going to get 200 tons of steel to build a windmill, and that’s true, but it takes 90 tons of steel to build a clean coal power plant. What we ought to be doing is spending our money tearing down our old dirty coal plants, building new ones, and using our massive resources. Let’s use the oil off our shores to fund clean coal technology, build nuclear power plants, get a million more jobs in America, and clean the air in our country.”

Hmm. Where did Representative Murphy get that figure of 90 tons of steel being used to build a clean coal power plant? An operational and profitable clean coal power plant has never been built. Not ever. Windmills of one variety or another, on the other hand, have been built for centuries.

I searched and searched for some kind of source for Murphy’s 90 tons of steel claim, but I couldn’t find it. What I did find was an article reporting that the coal sludge lagoon at Kingston, Tennessee, the sort of lagoon that would still exist under so-called clean coal, contained 90 tons of the heavy metal vanadium… before the dam containing the lagoon burst open and spewed its toxic contents across the countryside. I also discovered that a new coal-burning power plant proposed for the town of Roundup, Montana is expected to emit 90 tons of hazardous air pollutants every year.

Oh, but let’s move on. Tim Murphy proposes using crude oil gathered from expanded offshore oil drilling to fund clean coal power plants. Pretend for a moment that clean coal power actually exists. How, exactly, does Congressman Murphy propose that offshore oil drilling will pay for new coal power plants? Does he mean that the money from federal leases, instead of paying for environmental cleanup required as a result of the drilling, will be given to Big Coal, to pay for its private, for profit coal burning plants? Does Murphy suggest that the American people just hand out the money, or that the government nationalize the coal industry?

I’d also love to know how oil drilled along America’s shores is going to be used to build nuclear power plants. Are there new designs in which the nuclear plants’ cooling towers are made of asphalt?

How, also, does Representative Murphy propose that the crude oil pumped out of the ocean floor, shipped in big tankers across American waters, refined, and then sold at gas stations, will “clean the air in our country”? Is there now clean gasoline, as well as clean coal, that uses new technology from the land of Honalee to remove pollutants from the air?

If crude oil can build nuclear power plants and clean the air, can it also teach my two year-old son to use the potty? Could I use it as a conditioner for my hair? Perhaps it could clean the dishes, file my paperwork, and walk the dog. Oooh, the possibilities! Thanks for being a big thinker, Congressman Murphy.

5 thoughts on “Congressman Tim Murphy Blithering On Energy”

  1. Kris says:

    I saw Murphy’s editorial in the Post Gazette ( He starts with a stirring reference to the American space race but then seques into such bizarre observations that “According to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, cap and trade could add $3,100 in costs to each family’s annual energy bill by 2016”. One thought: as the cost of energy goes up, we use less – families will have significant discretion and time to adjust to changes in enery costs, – driving electric cars, putting solar panels on your home and conserving electricity could all reduce your CO2 footprint and reduce costs. I do understand the concern about American competitiveness, but the answer is to make the change as part of a global, multi-lateral commitment that would work to reduce CO2 everywhere and to allocate some of the cap money to helping Americans adjust to the changes. Murphy’s proposal reads like a puppet statement from the big energy interests. Its nonsense.

  2. Jim says:

    Wow, you guys hit the nail on the head except for a few FACTS. First, CO2 is not a polutant, it’s plant food. Man-made global warming is a detailed, structured political hoax. It’s been designed to use the “environment” to create a global governing body. This FACT has been documented and corraborated by everyone with the brainpower to do any real research instead of just listening to Al Gore. Keep your eyes on the sun (big bright round thing in the sky) if you want to know what really is the cause of warming and/or cooling on our little rock called earth. Second, windmills are increadibly inefficient. It’s a FACT that they actually pollute more than existing coal fired power plants when all of the maintenance and repair is taken into consideration. Third, where does any of this green crap appear in the constitution? Where does the Constitution of the United States does congress have the rights or responsibilities to govern the environment? The FACT is it doesn’t, it’s the individual State’s jobs to deal with that. The only reason it’s been pushed to the federal level is that liberals knew they’d loose 90% of the time if they tried to go after individual states. Have fun destroying the world liberals…

    1. Green Man says:

      This lovely, lovely logic also would lead you to the conclusion that human feces are not a pollutant, but just plant food, so that human shit could be taken straight and thrown onto fields of vegetables, which then could go straight to the store, without any regulation. Mmm. Brilliant brainpower, Jim.

      Did you know that arsenic is just bacteria food, Jim? Spread some on your morning toast!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a great idea. In order to reduce CO2 we should have less people breath. In order to do this we could let homosexual marrige be ok so that we would have less couples producing babys and we should allow abortions which would produce less babys. By doing these things the population would go down and we would have less of a carbon foot print. In fact, we should push these things more in school so that they are the preferred way of doing things.

    1. Anonymous says:

      nobody likes my idea? It would work!

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