The Department of Energy

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default The Department of Energy

Just in case our Congressman, Dick Nugent, is too busy with his responsibilities making soundbites for TV showing how hard he's working for us in Washington or serving on the critically important Committees on House Administration and the House Rules Committee, I sent him this e-mail today...

Dear Congressman Nugent,

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Fiscal Year 2012 budget request is $29.5 billion, an 11.8 percent or $3.1 billion increase from FY 2010 current appropriation levels.

We never had a DOE until President Carter established it in 1977. Back then a primary purpose for the new cabinet-level department was to respond to the gas shortages during Carter's Presidency with a comprehensive, long-term energy policy. In addition, DOE is concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production.

Here we are, 34 years later, and DOE's budget request is skrocketing. Why? We have no energy policy; we haven't built a nuclear reactor since DOE was established; we haven't changed the way we store spent nuclear fuel; we have many fewer nuclear warheads than in 1977; our production of nuclear-powered ships has slowed. Basically, there appears to be less work for DOE than when it was formed in 1977. But it's budget is going through the roof.

A good example of the waste generated by DOE is the Yucca Flats nuclear waste storage facility in Nevada. After studying various sites around the country beginning in 1978, finally construction was started on Yucca Flats 23 years later in 2001--not exactly a brisk pace for the project. The latest revised estimate from DOE shows that from start to finish, the Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository will cost taxpayers $96.2 billion, a 38 percent increase from the $57.5 billion estimate published at the beginning of the project. At one point, there were as many as 4,000 people employed by DOE at Yucca Flats. At this point, the facility is ready to accept nuclear waste, but not one single pound of material has been deposited there. Nor are there any plans to do so.

There are many examples, but Yucca Flats is as good as any. Why do we need the DOE at all? It seems to me that little would be lost if we simply eliminated the DOE. We'd save almost $30 billion per year. Unfortunately, it's too late to save the almost $100 billion already spent to build the white elephant Yucca Flats nuclear waste storage facility.

Why not?

Next, I have a few ideas for the Department of Education.
  #2  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:14 AM
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Kahuna--Agree wholeheartedly.

Those portions of DoE which handle defense-related nuclear material should go back to DoD. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve could go under Homeland Security, maybe also Yucca Flats if it is reopened. And in the (unlikely) event any of the other functions are needed, throw them under Interior.

Looking forward to your comments on Education. I think I know what you're thinking and we're probably in agreement.
  #3  
Old 03-09-2011, 03:40 PM
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Default Doe

The Dept of Energy, Dept of Education, IRS, Fed Reserve, EPA can either be eliminated or reduced drastically. Frankly the federal government needs a total reorganization because there are departments created long ago from previous administration that never did make any sense and yet continue to get financing. and let's noot forget Fannie and Freddie... Further do we really need 435 plus representatives? With the advances in technology and communication how many representatives does each state really need. Haven't we learned from their previous inability to act effectively that they are too big and have failed. Or stated another way there are so many in the House their tripping over one another. Perhaps we should move from "never for for an incumbent" to lets eliminate a number of incumbent positions .
  #4  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:58 PM
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I can agree with a lot of those ideas, except one.

If anything, we should INCREASE the number of reps in Congress.

I know - it sounds LUDICROUS. That was my reaction when I heard it.

The argument goes this way: There's too much concentration of power. With the number of seats frozen at 435 + 100, with an increasing population, the power of one vote keeps getting diminished. This power continues to bet increasingly concentrated in more senior members who control the all-important committees.

Way Back When, there was one representative for something like 15,000 people. Now that same one rep has a constituency of over half a million.

This concentration of power is self-perpetuating. Because of a seat having so much power, more and more resources are spent in the election cycle, which takes us further and further away from the "temp job" that a Representative was supposed to be back in the days of the Founding Fathers.
  #5  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:36 PM
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Default I think we would gain a lot by replacing the 535 we have

with non lawyer, non politicians, capable of creative thinking and LEADERSHIP!!

btk
  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:46 PM
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Default a new slate of contenders

Maybe in the next primary election, we will see Billkid, Village Kahuna, and even RichieLion on the ballot.

Why not be part of the solution, guys? Step up and speak out forcefully at town meetings of all the parties.

This is not meant to be satire but meant to be sincere. You all have deep political beliefs - maybe not mine - but certainly a lot of others will agree with your political beliefs. Possible that the party heads will like some outsiders to run for office.
  #7  
Old 03-11-2011, 11:11 PM
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Default Life Is Too Short

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbugs View Post
Maybe in the next primary election, we will see Billkid, Village Kahuna, and even RichieLion on the ballot.

Why not be part of the solution, guys? Step up and speak out forcefully at town meetings of all the parties.
Are you kidding? Do you know how long I'd last as a politician? If there's any weakness I have that has limited what I've accomplished in life it's an absence of political correctness. That and when it's readily apparent that there's a problem and equally apparent what the solution is, I'd probably say so. And by doing so p**s a whole lot of "career politicians" off. Nah, life is too short.
  #8  
Old 03-12-2011, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Villages Kahuna View Post
Are you kidding? Do you know how long I'd last as a politician? If there's any weakness I have that has limited what I've accomplished in life it's an absence of political correctness. That and when it's readily apparent that there's a problem and equally apparent what the solution is, I'd probably say so. And by doing so p**s a whole lot of "career politicians" off. Nah, life is too short.
Kahuna, it would only be a two year stint since none of us will be voting for incumbents ever again.
  #9  
Old 03-13-2011, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaudit View Post
Kahuna, it would only be a two year stint since none of us will be voting for incumbents ever again.
Two years?? At my age, I don't even buy green bananas!
  #10  
Old 03-13-2011, 03:04 PM
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Default Doe

"At my age I don't even buy green bananas" I like that line VK:: It keeps things in propsective.
 

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