Get it straight Reps. Blunt and Markey!

See if you can spot the mistake in the following statements (hint -it’s the same mistake):

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), House Republican Whip: “clearing the way for clean alternatives such as nuclear energy to take root [...] would have a downward impact on our [oil] dependence, and a stabilizing effect on price.”

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: “said alternative sources such as wind, energy and solar were the only long-term solution to get around soaring oil prices.”

Bigger hint:
Electricity generation by energy source

Even bigger hint:

Oil demand by sector

Memo to Reps. Blunt and Markey – we use very little oil to generate electricity, and conversely only a tiny fraction of our electricity is generated from oil. So you may have all sorts of reasons to favor solar, wind, and nuclear power, but please get your facts straight — increasing their use will do nothing to reduce U.S. oil dependence. And please note that the Department of Energy has reported that even today’s grid has sufficient reserve off peak power generation capacity to fuel over 70% of the US vehicle fleet should we have a massive shift to plug-in hybrid vehicles. You may have various reasons to wish to further diversify what electricity is generated from, but let’s keep the facts straight — it’s 98% not oil.

UPDATE: More pols making the same error:

New Jersey Republican candidates] for U.S. Senate used the record price of oil as a backdrop for all that is wrong with the U.S. economy.

During their first debate, the candidates — Dick Zimmer of Hunterdon County, Joseph Pennacchio of Montville and Murray Sabrin of Fort Lee — invoked Ronald Reagan’s free-market philosophy, saying that private enterprise got America through tough times before and it must do the job again, with oil at $119 a barrel.

“When our backs were against the wall, Americans were able to split the atom,” said Joseph Pennacchio, a dentist and state senator. He suggested that the country put the same fervor into nuclear, wind and solar power research.

Dick Zimmer, the former congressman and state legislator, suggested easing some regulations on the nuclear industry and taking other steps to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

[...]Murray Sabrin, a Ramapo College professor, decried what he called “anti-nuclear hysteria.”

“Of course we need nuclear energy,” he said.

Like we said – lots of reasons to support a variety of sources of electricity – but since we essentially no longer generate electricity from oil, reducing oil dependence isn’t one of them.

Have other examples of politicians or columnists making this same mistake? Add them to the comments.

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