One Unplanned Consequence of Our Kitchen Renovation

Remember our kitchen renovation from last year? Well, I recently discovered an unplanned consequence of that renovation. I found it out after I signed up for an online account with our electric company and started looking at our billing history. Here’s a comparison of our energy usage in 2008 and 2007:

Bottom line: we’re using a lot more energy! Why? Because prior to our renovation, the kitchen was a separate room and most of the heat was contained in the kitchen. Now with that wall gone the heat is allowed into the famly room. Another important thing to point out is that we decided to recirculate the built-in microwave’s vent back into the room so the heat isn’t allowed to escape. We’ll most likely be changing this in the future.

What’s the Solution to Our Energy Needs?

I’m getting sick of talking about oil. Why? Because NOT ENOUGH is being done. Oh sure, congress dragged in the oil executives and berated them over high fuel prices and threatened to slap them with windfall profit taxes (what the heck is that supposed to accomplish?). It was a great PR stunt to make it look like our elected officials give a flip about what the average American is going through.

Sadly, most politicians don’t have a clue and they don’t care that they don’t have a clue.

If they cared, they would be trying to strike a balance between meeting today’s needs with tomorrow’s needs. But, they aren’t doing squat. I mean, why the heck aren’t we drilling in America?

While energy “independence” is an impossible dream, there’s no doubt the U.S. has vast undeveloped fossil-fuel deposits. A tiny corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil and would be the largest producing oil field in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet the Senate blocked that development as recently as last month. The Outer Continental Shelf is estimated to contain some 86 billion barrels of oil, plus 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Yet of the shelf’s 1.76 billion acres, 85% is off-limits and 97% is undeveloped.

Engineers recently perfected refining solid shale rock into diesel or gas, which may amount to the largest oil supply in the world – perhaps as much as 1.8 trillion barrels in the American West. That’s enough to meet current U.S. oil demand for more than two centuries. Yet as late as 2007, Democrats attached a rider to the energy bill that prohibits leasing the federal interior lands that contain at least 80% of America’s oil shale. The key vote was cast by liberal Senator Ken Salazar from Colorado, of all places.

Source: $4 Gasbags, WSJ

Granted, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is usually going to side with business, but if what they say is true, then we owe it to ourselves to at least consider drilling in the U.S. Surely we have the technology to drill without jacking up the environment.

I think drilling along with developing biofuels is the way to go. Surely that’s got to be better than sending all that money to the Middle East.

What are your thoughts? How do we solve our energy needs? Do you think our government is doing enough?