“$3.4 million gambled away on drilling for geothermal energy” was the headline Monday. That wasn’t exactly the headline, but it was what our local utility did. (Monday article, “Geothermal energy project a bust after drilling hits bedrock.”) But then they were just following the lead of President Obama, gambling taxpayer money on failing green projects (Solyndra, SunPower, Chevy Volt and many other bundlers for Obama)!
I object to the utility using our money on a dubious gamble, but I’m not against a rational use of taxpayer funds to help out the energy issue we’re all facing. Use that same amount of money to fund conversion of cars and trucks to liquid natural gas. Make it a loan if you want, 50 to 100 percent, based on income. It’s a win-win for the owners (fuel costs drop by 1/3 to ½) for the taxpayers (their money comes back with a little interest) and for the environment (CO2 levels are dropping as liquid natural gas use increases.)
The money thrown away so far could have partially funded 6,800 conversions or fully funded up to 3,000 at a cost of $500 to $1,200 per conversion. Other side effects — more businesses and jobs in the county, a boost in the lidquid natural gas infrastructure, more families with more disposable income and the beginning of a conversion to a hugely available natural resource, LNG. And remember, the PUD was going to throw this money away two or three more times! Is that the definition of insanity?