One thing that strikes me about the energy industry (which is a misnomer, but be patient) is its -- well, let's call it "fossilized thinking" about energy sources. They're locked into coal and oil, big time.
This story teased it up to the front of my brain this morning:
The wind energy industry faces a lame duck fight in the House of Representatives over extending the expiring production tax credit. The tax credit has broad bipartisan support, and considering that 81 percent of U.S. wind projects are installed in Republican districts, GOP lawmakers have a good reason to support it.
But with Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups mobilizing to defeat the credit, its future after 2012 is uncertain. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, told Politico Pro this week that it aims to make the credit a toxic issue for House Republicans: (Article requires subscription access):
“Our goal is to make the PTC so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, ‘Yeah, I can bend on this one,’” said Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance.
Think about that for a minute: they call themselves "energy" companies, and yet are fighting tooth and nail against sustainable energy sources when they should be the ones at the front of the line for developing things like wind and solar power. I'm reminded of a story from a couple of years ago about a solar battery developed by Sony under a DoD contract. It was successful -- they developed a battery that could be installed in an automobile and recharged by solar panels mounted on the vehicle's exterior. When the project ended, the whole thing was sold to Chevron, which leveled the factory Sony had built to make the things, and buried the specs way deep somewhere. Why didn't they continue development and start licensing the things? They would have made a mint. (Tell me there's no possibility of a military contract there.)
They're not "energy" companies -- they're oil and coal companies. Their thought patterns haven't yet made it out of the Cretaceous.
And we're supposed to admire these people for their innovative, entrepreneurial spirit? Sheesh!