Robert Winner

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Department of Energy

President Carter established the Department Of Energy on Aug 4 1977. " The impending crisis of energy shortages has brought about an unprecedented quick action by the Congress "

"The head of this Department will be a person working directly under the President, who can be identified for those who want to work together in our Nation to at least alleviate the consequences of inevitable shortages of oil and and gas and other energy supplies."

"I want to point out that the Department can now, I think, begin to deal in a much more aggressive and effective way not only with the needs of suppliers to increase the production of oil, gas, coal, solar, nuclear powers, but also to make sure that consumers of our country are treated fairly, that prices are adequate and not excessive."

All of these are quotes from the signing speech.

The DOE had (has) only one job ... to increase US production and to stop reliance on foreign supply.

Another failed government mission ... does it still have a purpose ... should it be abolished? The DOE budget is 27.2 billion for 2013 and our dependance on foreign oil increases.

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    May 27 2013: No question. I would even question whether the DOE has made us more dependent on foreign energy.
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    May 30 2013: Robert... I assume you are implying that we should just allow the market forces to determine how we deal with energy shortages?

    I don't think we should abolish it. I think it should be scaled down considerable. Their only function should be to make sure that all government agencies have the necessary supplies to produce energy and maintain their function for a predetermined time period if market analysis indicates a foreseeable future shortage. Most of this was established during the first, OPEC inspired, fuel shortage wasn't it?
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      May 27 2013: Once again ... if you have a problem with me or the conversation ... contact TED (again). Continuing to open your responses with a attack on me is personal .... get over it and contact TED for resolution.
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          May 27 2013: Anyone who is a regular Tedster, quite quickly identifies the political leanings of different posters. We have people of all political persuasions participating, and that's what makes it worthwhile. Bob's politics might lie to the right of yours and to the right of mine to a lesser extent but don't take offence. The best thing about Ted conversations is that everyone gets to express their opinion including Bob and yourself. Afterall you learn by talking to people that disagree with you.
          Peter
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          May 27 2013: Wait. He posted his own opinion on the "Debate" section? Say it ain't so!

          Can we have a civil discussion?
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          May 27 2013: If you are offended please do not reply. If my posts are offensive please contact TED for resolution. Again.
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          May 29 2013: If you are offended please do not reply. If my posts are offensive please contact TED for resolution. Again.
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          May 29 2013: If you are offended please do not reply. If my posts are offensive please contact TED for resolution. Again.
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          May 30 2013: Lamar, you are quite new here, so you couldn't know that Robert has made valuable contributions for years to TED Conversations. He is very conservative, as quite a few participants are. You will find he is always civil and brings interesting ideas into conversations, because his experiences in life have been quite unique.

          You have made your point clearly that you see a recognizable political position in his words. Everyone here recognizes who speaks from a conservative point of view and who does not.

          Having a point of view that might be strongly identified with a political party or position is not a violation of the terms of use.

          It would be great if further posts on this thread were to address the question about the Department of Energy.
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      May 30 2013: Perhaps it needs to be cut up into different divisions so it's mission can be made more efficient, as social needs change. Instead of one department working on one or more projects at a time you have many departments working on multiple projects, each with their own necessary budget. As each department enters a slump, we transfer employees and equipment where they are needed most. What we need to do is decrease the idea that Government jobs are lifetime jobs needing the necessary retirement attributes, etc. and exploit capitalism to it's fullest or increase the size of government, decrease it's cost and become more socially oriented.

      The only real difference is, you are using resources to enhance the welfare of the greatest number of people instead of increasing the wealth of a given population of the people. Yes, capitalism breeds competition for resources but so does human needs and social goals.
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          May 31 2013: I know exactly where your coming from there LaMar. I realize that Nuclear energy and it's chemical components are serious hazards and offer possibilities for mankind. Perhaps we should keep those toys in one box. I remember we did loose a couple of Nukes a few years ago or some equipment associated with them. But, from a strategic point of view, if we put too many things in one package they can still get lost with only a limited number of responsible officials.

          We all have a problem with who gets cut and who survives to live the America Dream. Right now, that is looking to be government workers and Academia. They also appear willing to leave many people behind in order to save themselves. Deans and Principles making million dollar salaries, how preposterous is that? Everyone wants to be a superstar.

          To tell you the truth, I believe you have the best plan going right now with your small footprint homes. If we could combine that with some social development and merge that with some serious self sustaining agriculture, I think we'd have a plan to allow for some serious decrease in energy use. It would also allow us to continue our technological progress while allowing the greatest number of people to live a comfortable life.
          I've been talking to my wife about this in a serious way. This country, if not the whole world is in for some serious social change. Or is it the world is changing and waiting for us to get on board?
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          May 31 2013: There is little any of us can do that does not have some kind of selfish motive. The key word here is motiv(ation). Motivation Plus imagination creates solutions. Exactly what TED is trying to accomplish with their website. Welcome to the club. And remember the rules.

          There are some conservative minded people here and liberal minds too. We need to all make room for one another. Roberts a cool guy. You might get to know him better. You can email me any time.