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Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 1

Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

***General Biomass Bad***..........................................................................................................................................7


Biomass Bad – Fertilizers...............................................................................................................................................8
Biomass Bad – Fertilizers ..............................................................................................................................................9
Biomass Bad – Food Prices..........................................................................................................................................10
Biomass Bad – Food Prices...........................................................................................................................................11
Biomass Bad – Developing Countries..........................................................................................................................12
Biomass Bad – Invasive Species...................................................................................................................................13
Biomass Bad – Energy Loss/FF....................................................................................................................................14
Biomass Bad – Needs FF..............................................................................................................................................15
Biomass Bad – CO2 Sinks............................................................................................................................................16
Biomass Bad – CO2 Sinks............................................................................................................................................17
Biomass Bad – Air Pollution.........................................................................................................................................18
Biomass Bad – Inefficient.............................................................................................................................................19
Biomass Bad – Cost......................................................................................................................................................20
Biomass Bad – Cost-Competitiveness..........................................................................................................................21
Biomass Bad – Infeasible..............................................................................................................................................22
Biofuels Bad – Cultivation............................................................................................................................................23
Biofuels Bad – Econ.....................................................................................................................................................24
Biomass Bad – Infrastructure........................................................................................................................................25
Biomass Bad – Marginalizes Women...........................................................................................................................26
Biomass Bad – Cap K...................................................................................................................................................27
Biomass Bad – AT: Environment..................................................................................................................................28
Biomass Bad – Solvency Turn......................................................................................................................................29
***Biogas Bad***........................................................................................................................................................30
Biogas Bad – Anthropocentric......................................................................................................................................31
Biogas Bad – Water/Toxic/Inequity..............................................................................................................................32
Biogas Bad – Toxic.......................................................................................................................................................33
Biogas Bad – Composting CP.......................................................................................................................................34
***Algae Biofuels Bad***...........................................................................................................................................35
Algae Bad – Cost-Competitiveness..............................................................................................................................36
Algae Bad – Poor Fuel..................................................................................................................................................37
Algae Bad – Maintenance.............................................................................................................................................38
Algae Bad – Siting........................................................................................................................................................39
***General Biomass Good***.....................................................................................................................................40
Biomass Good – Environment......................................................................................................................................41
Biomass Good – AT: Fertilizers....................................................................................................................................42
Biomass Good – AT: Food Prices.................................................................................................................................43
Biomass Good – AT: Food Prices.................................................................................................................................44
Biomass Good – AT: Developing Countries.................................................................................................................45
Biomass Good – AT: Invasive Species..........................................................................................................................46
Biomass Good – AT: Air Pollution................................................................................................................................47
Biomass Good – AT: Cultivation..................................................................................................................................48
Biomass Good – AT: Energy Loss................................................................................................................................49
Biomass Good – AT: Increases CO2/Needs FF............................................................................................................50
Biomass Good – AT: Needs FF/Inefficient...................................................................................................................51
Biomass Good – AT: Cost.............................................................................................................................................52
Biomass Good – AT: Cost Competitiveness.................................................................................................................53
Biomass Good – AT: Defo............................................................................................................................................54
Biomass Good – AT: Remove CO2 Sinks.....................................................................................................................55
Biomass Good – AT: Marginalizes Women..................................................................................................................56
Biomass Good – AT: Econ............................................................................................................................................57
AT: Biomass Bad – Turns N/U......................................................................................................................................58
***Biogas Good***......................................................................................................................................................59
Biogas Good – AT: Toxic..............................................................................................................................................60
Biogas Good – AT: Inequity..........................................................................................................................................61
Biogas Good – AT: Water..............................................................................................................................................62
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 2
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox
Biogas Good – AT: Fertilizers/Food Prices...................................................................................................................63
Biogas Good – AT: Increases Emissions/Defo..............................................................................................................64
Biogas Good – AT: Marginalizes Women.....................................................................................................................65
Biogas Good – AT: Composting CP..............................................................................................................................66
***Algae Biofuels Bad***...........................................................................................................................................67
Algae Good – AT: Cost-Competitiveness/Siting...........................................................................................................68
Algae Good – AT: Poor Power......................................................................................................................................69
***Uniqueness***........................................................................................................................................................70
Geothermal will Increase in US (1/2)...........................................................................................................................71
Geothermal will Increase in US (2/2)...........................................................................................................................72
Geothermal down Now/Gov’t Incentives Key..............................................................................................................73
Geothermal Down Now/Gov’t Incentives Key.............................................................................................................74
Geothermal Potential – Cascades..................................................................................................................................75
***Feasibility***..........................................................................................................................................................76
Yes feasible...................................................................................................................................................................77
Not Feasible - Slow Return on Investment...................................................................................................................78
***Geothermal Bad***................................................................................................................................................79
Geothermal No Solve – Few Locations........................................................................................................................80
Geothermal No Solve – Longevity...............................................................................................................................81
Geothermal No Solve – Transportation........................................................................................................................82
Geothermal Bad – Water/Aquatic Life..........................................................................................................................83
Geothermal Bad – Water/Aquatic Life..........................................................................................................................84
Geothermal Bad – Water/Aquatic Life..........................................................................................................................85
Geothermal Bad – Aquatic Biodiversity Impacts.........................................................................................................86
Geothermal Bad – Earthquakes.....................................................................................................................................87
Geothermal Bad – Earthquakes Impacts.......................................................................................................................88
Geothermal Bad – Blowouts/Accidents Impacts..........................................................................................................89
Geothermal Bad – Hydrogen Embrittlement................................................................................................................90
Geothermal Bad – Landslides.......................................................................................................................................91
Geothermal bad – Toxic Waste, CO2............................................................................................................................92
Geothermal Bad – Toxic Waste.....................................................................................................................................93
Geothermal Bad – Toxic Waste Impacts.......................................................................................................................94
Geothermal Bad – Toxic Waste Impacts, Genocidal Poisoning....................................................................................95
Geothermal Bad – Noise pollution................................................................................................................................96
Geothermal Bad – Noise Pollution Impacts..................................................................................................................97
Geothermal Bad – Thermal Pollution...........................................................................................................................98
Native American Turn...................................................................................................................................................99
Native American Turn.................................................................................................................................................100
Native American Turn.................................................................................................................................................101
***Geothermal Good***............................................................................................................................................102
Geothermal Better Other Alt. Energies.......................................................................................................................103
AT: Few Locations......................................................................................................................................................104
AT: General Environment – Regulations Prevent.......................................................................................................105
AT: Water/streams.......................................................................................................................................................106
AT: Habitat/land-use...................................................................................................................................................107
AT: Habitat/land-use...................................................................................................................................................108
AT: Earthquakes (1/2).................................................................................................................................................109
AT: Earthquakes (2/2).................................................................................................................................................110
AT: Accidents..............................................................................................................................................................111
AT: Land Subsistence/Landslides................................................................................................................................112
AT: Solid waste emissions...........................................................................................................................................113
AT: Emissions..............................................................................................................................................................114
AT: Emissions..............................................................................................................................................................115
AT: NO2......................................................................................................................................................................116
AT: Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)/SO2..............................................................................................................................117
AT: Particulates...........................................................................................................................................................118
AT: Carbon Dioxide (CO2).........................................................................................................................................119
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 3
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AT: Mercury................................................................................................................................................................120
AT: Noise Pollution.....................................................................................................................................................121
AT: Thermal Pollution.................................................................................................................................................122
AT: Worker Safety – Hydrogen sulfide exposure........................................................................................................123
AT: Native Turn – Won’t be Built on Native Land.....................................................................................................124
AT: Native American Turn – Geothermal Good for NA.............................................................................................125
***Hydrogen Bad***.................................................................................................................................................126
Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss.....................................................................................................................................127
Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss.....................................................................................................................................128
Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss.....................................................................................................................................129
Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss.....................................................................................................................................130
Hydrogen Bad – NP....................................................................................................................................................131
Hydrogen Bad – Warming/Ozone...............................................................................................................................132
Hydrogen Bad – Warming...........................................................................................................................................133
Hydrogen Bad – Ozone...............................................................................................................................................134
Hydrogen Bad – AT: Sequestration.............................................................................................................................135
Hydrogen Bad – Tradeoff............................................................................................................................................136
Hydrogen Bad – Storage.............................................................................................................................................137
Hydrogen Bad – Airplanes..........................................................................................................................................138
Hydrogen Bad – Leaks................................................................................................................................................139
Hydrogen Bad – Food.................................................................................................................................................140
Hydrogen Bad – Trucks..............................................................................................................................................141
Hydrogen Bad – Inefficient/Need FF..........................................................................................................................142
Hydrogen Bad – Needs FF..........................................................................................................................................143
Hydrogen Bad – Inefficient.........................................................................................................................................144
Hydrogen Bad – Inefficient.........................................................................................................................................145
Hydrogen Bad – Explosions/Fires..............................................................................................................................146
Hydrogen Bad – Suffocation/Burns............................................................................................................................147
Hydrogen Bad – Infrastructure...................................................................................................................................148
Hydrogen Bad – Cost..................................................................................................................................................149
Hydrogen Bad – Long TF...........................................................................................................................................150
Hydrogen Bad – Evidence Indict................................................................................................................................151
Hydrogen Bad – AT: Renewables Solve.....................................................................................................................152
Hydrogen Bad – AT: Renewables...............................................................................................................................153
***Hydrogen Good***...............................................................................................................................................154
Hydrogen Good – AT: Energy Loss............................................................................................................................155
Hydrogen Good – AT: Warming..................................................................................................................................156
Hydrogen Good – AT: Ozone......................................................................................................................................157
Hydrogen Good – AT: Tradeoff...................................................................................................................................158
Hydrogen Good – AT: Storage....................................................................................................................................159
Hydrogen Good – AT: Storage....................................................................................................................................160
Hydrogen Good – AT: Storage....................................................................................................................................161
Hydrogen Good – AT: Airplanes.................................................................................................................................162
Hydrogen Good – AT: Food........................................................................................................................................163
Hydrogen Good – AT: Trucks.....................................................................................................................................164
Hydrogen Good – AT: Needs FF.................................................................................................................................165
Hydrogen Good – AT: Needs FF.................................................................................................................................166
Hydrogen Good – AT: Inefficient................................................................................................................................167
Hydrogen Good – AT: Inefficient................................................................................................................................168
Hydrogen Good – AT: Dangerous...............................................................................................................................169
Hydrogen Good – AT: Explosions/Fire.......................................................................................................................170
Hydrogen Good – AT: Infrastructure..........................................................................................................................171
Hydrogen Good – AT: Cost.........................................................................................................................................172
Hydrogen Good – AT: Long TF..................................................................................................................................173
Hydrogen Good – AT: Long TF..................................................................................................................................174
Hydrogen Good – AT: Tech Issues..............................................................................................................................175
Hydrogen Good – Turns Non-Unique.........................................................................................................................176
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 4
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***OTEC Bad***.......................................................................................................................................................177
No Solvency - Titanium Shortage...............................................................................................................................178
No Solvency – Not Commercially Viable...................................................................................................................179
No Solvency – No Investors.......................................................................................................................................180
No Solvency - Inefficient............................................................................................................................................181
No Solvency – Slime...................................................................................................................................................182
No Solvency – High Risk............................................................................................................................................183
No Solvency – Materials.............................................................................................................................................184
No Solvency – No Program........................................................................................................................................185
No Solvency – Long Timeframe.................................................................................................................................186
No Solvency – No Sites..............................................................................................................................................187
Turn – Marine Environment Destruction....................................................................................................................188
Turn – Marine Environmental Destruction.................................................................................................................189
Turn – Kills Fish.........................................................................................................................................................190
Turn – Temperature Change Kills...............................................................................................................................191
Turn – Biocides/Chemicals.........................................................................................................................................192
Turn – Plankton...........................................................................................................................................................193
Turn – Overfishing......................................................................................................................................................194
***OTEC Good***....................................................................................................................................................195
A2: Low Energy Production.......................................................................................................................................196
A2: Low Energy Production.......................................................................................................................................197
A2: No Investors.........................................................................................................................................................198
A2: Not Cost Competitive...........................................................................................................................................199
A2: Temperature..........................................................................................................................................................200
A2: Overfishing...........................................................................................................................................................201
A2: Plankton...............................................................................................................................................................202
A2: Pollution...............................................................................................................................................................203
A2: Increased Warming...............................................................................................................................................204
A2: Water Pollution.....................................................................................................................................................205
Politically Unpopular..................................................................................................................................................206
Politically Popular.......................................................................................................................................................207
***Hydropower***....................................................................................................................................................208
No Solvency – Hydro not Commercially Feasible.....................................................................................................209
Dams->Methane..........................................................................................................................................................211
Dams->Methane..........................................................................................................................................................212
Dams Kill Biodiversity...............................................................................................................................................213
UQ- Salmon Up/Dams Down.....................................................................................................................................214
Dams Kill Salmon.......................................................................................................................................................215
Salmon Key to West-Coast Econ................................................................................................................................216
Dams Kill Economy....................................................................................................................................................217
A2: Hatcheries Solve..................................................................................................................................................218
Aff- Salmon Dead Now..............................................................................................................................................219
Aff- A2: Dams Kill Salmon........................................................................................................................................220
Aff- A2: Dams Kill Salmon........................................................................................................................................221
Aff- Stopping Global Warming Key...........................................................................................................................222
Dams Popular..............................................................................................................................................................223
***Tidal Power***.....................................................................................................................................................224
Tidal Power - No Sites................................................................................................................................................225
Tidal Power Kills Species...........................................................................................................................................226
Tidal Power Kills Species...........................................................................................................................................227
Aff- A2: Tidal Power Kills Species.............................................................................................................................228
***Wavepower***......................................................................................................................................................229
Wave Power Kills Species..........................................................................................................................................230
Wave Power – Sonar DA............................................................................................................................................231
Wave Power – Sonar DA............................................................................................................................................232
Wave Power -> Pollution............................................................................................................................................233
Wave Power -> Coastal Erosion.................................................................................................................................234
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Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox
Wave Power Hurts Whales..........................................................................................................................................235
A2: Wave Power Hurts Species..................................................................................................................................236
A2: Wave power Noise Hurts Animals.......................................................................................................................237
A2: Whales..................................................................................................................................................................238
A2: Sonar DA..............................................................................................................................................................239
***Wind Bad***.........................................................................................................................................................240
No Solvency - No Investment.....................................................................................................................................241
No Solvency - Expensive............................................................................................................................................242
No Solvency - Turbine Shortage.................................................................................................................................243
No Solvency - Inefficient............................................................................................................................................244
No Solvency - Increase Emissions..............................................................................................................................245
No Solvency - Increase Emissions..............................................................................................................................246
No Solvency - Increases co2 ......................................................................................................................................247
Micro – turbines Increase CO2...................................................................................................................................248
No Solvency - Lightning.............................................................................................................................................249
Birds DA.....................................................................................................................................................................250
Wind Kills Birds..........................................................................................................................................................251
Birds Key to Biodiversity...........................................................................................................................................252
Bats DA.......................................................................................................................................................................253
Bats K/T Disease.........................................................................................................................................................254
Grid Failure DA..........................................................................................................................................................255
A2: No Investment......................................................................................................................................................258
A2: Increase Emissions...............................................................................................................................................259
A2: Biodiversity- General...........................................................................................................................................260
A2: Biodiversity- Altamont Pass.................................................................................................................................261
A2: Birds Key to Biodiversity....................................................................................................................................262
A2: Bats DA................................................................................................................................................................263
A2: Grid DA................................................................................................................................................................264
***Oil Shale***..........................................................................................................................................................265
Oil Shale: Not Commercially Feasible - Costs...........................................................................................................266
Oil Shale: Not Economically/Environmentally Feasible............................................................................................267
Oil Shale: Not Commercially Feasible – Prices..........................................................................................................268
Oil Shale: No solvency – tech ....................................................................................................................................269
Oil Shale: No solvency – Not Enough Energy ...........................................................................................................270
Oil Shale: No solvency – Not Enough Energy ...........................................................................................................271
Oil Shale: Warming Turn............................................................................................................................................272
Oil Shale: Warming Turn............................................................................................................................................273
Oil Shale: Warming Turn............................................................................................................................................274
Oil Shale: Biodiversity Turn.......................................................................................................................................275
Oil Shale: Biodiversity Turn ......................................................................................................................................276
Oil Shale: Warming Turn............................................................................................................................................277
Oil Shale Incr Oil Dependence...................................................................................................................................278
Oil Shale = Water Shortages.......................................................................................................................................279
Oil Shale = Water Shortages.......................................................................................................................................280
Oil Shale = Water Shortages.......................................................................................................................................281
Oil Shale = Water Toxicity..........................................................................................................................................282
***Tar Sands***.........................................................................................................................................................283
Tar Sands: No Solvency – Lack of Water...................................................................................................................284
Tar Sands: No Solvency – Lack of Water...................................................................................................................285
Tar Sands: Not Commercially Feasible – Prices.........................................................................................................286
Tar Sands: Not Economically/Environmentally Feasible...........................................................................................287
Tar Sands: Warming Turn...........................................................................................................................................288
Tar Sands: Warming Turn...........................................................................................................................................289
Tar Sands: Warming Turn...........................................................................................................................................290
Tar Sands: Warming Turn...........................................................................................................................................291
Tar Sands: Warming Turn...........................................................................................................................................292
Tar Sands: Biodiversity Turn......................................................................................................................................293
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 6
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox
Tar Sand Plants = Toxic Ponds!..................................................................................................................................294
Solar Power Bad – Expensive.....................................................................................................................................295
Solar Power Bad – Pollution.......................................................................................................................................296
Solar Power Bad – Pollution.......................................................................................................................................299
Solar Power Bad - Pollution........................................................................................................................................300
Solar Power Destroys Environment............................................................................................................................301
Solar Power Bad – Inefficient.....................................................................................................................................302
Solar Power Bad - Inefficient......................................................................................................................................303
Solar Fails – No economy of scale..............................................................................................................................304
Solar Energy Good - Cost...........................................................................................................................................305
Solar Energy Good – Commercial Feasibility............................................................................................................306
A2: Solar Power Expensive........................................................................................................................................307
Solar Power Good – Price Drop..................................................................................................................................308
Solar Power Good – Price Drop..................................................................................................................................309
Solar Power Good – Price Drop..................................................................................................................................310
***Other Energy***...................................................................................................................................................311
AT: Zero-Point.............................................................................................................................................................313
Nano = Biopower........................................................................................................................................................314
AT: Nano - Grey Goo..................................................................................................................................................315
AT: Self-replicating nano............................................................................................................................................316
AT: Assemblers impossible.........................................................................................................................................317
AT: Grey Goo..............................................................................................................................................................319
NanoTech Econ Link...................................................................................................................................................320
NanoTech -> Poverty..................................................................................................................................................321
NanoTech -> Terrorism...............................................................................................................................................322
NanoTech Destroys Enviro.........................................................................................................................................323
Tesla Coils K Heg.......................................................................................................................................................324
AT: Free Energy..........................................................................................................................................................325
AT: Free Energy..........................................................................................................................................................326
Bioenergetics = false...................................................................................................................................................327
AT: Teleportation.........................................................................................................................................................328
AT: Tachyon Energy....................................................................................................................................................329
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 7
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***General Biomass Bad***


Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 8
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Biomass Bad – Fertilizers


Nitrous oxide fertilizers from production mean that the biofuel industry releases more
GHG’s than fossil fuels
Spiegel News 8 (By Charles Hawley in Berlin “'A TOTAL DISASTER' Critique Mounts against Biofuels”
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-530550,00.html SPIEGEL ONLINE 01/23/2008 05:58 PM
accessed July 16, 2008)
Environmentalists say that emissions aren’t the only serious problem created by the biofuel boom. Even
crops grown in northern countries, like corn in the United States or rapeseed in Germany and the rest of
Europe, harbor major dangers to the climate. Both maize and rapeseed are voracious consumers of
nitrogen, leading farmers to use large quantities of nitrous oxide fertilizers. But when nitrous oxide is
released into the atmosphere, it reflects 300 times as much heat as carbon dioxide does. Paul J. Crutzen,
who won the 1995 Nobel prize for chemistry, estimates that biodiesel produced from rapeseed can result in
up to 70 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. Corn, the preferred biofuels crop in the
US, results in 50 percent more emissions, Crutzen estimates.

Biofuel production and combustion releases nitrous oxide, wiping out all benefits from
replacing fossil fuels and making global warming worse.
Royal Society of Chemistry 7 (“Biofuels could increase global warming with laughing gas, says Nobel prize-
winning chemist” Source: Royal Society of Chemistry, published by Physorg.com September 21, 2007.
http://www.physorg.com/printnews.php?newsid=109581631 accessed July 16, 2008)
Growing and burning many biofuel crops may actually raise, rather than lower, greenhouse gas
emissions. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, best
known for his work on the ozone layer. He and his colleagues have calculated that growing some of the
most commonly used biofuel crops releases around twice the amount of the potent greenhouse gas
nitrous oxide (N2O, also known as ‘laughing gas’) than previously thought – wiping out any benefits from
not using fossil fuels and, worse, probably contributing to global warming. ‘The significance of it is that
the supposed benefits of biofuels are even more disputable than had been thought hitherto,’ Keith
Smith, a co-author on the paper and atmospheric scientist from the University of Edinburgh, told Chemistry
World magazine. ‘What we are saying is that [growing many biofuels] is probably of no benefit and in fact
is actually making the climate issue worse.’

Nitrous oxide emissions outweigh any cooling from saved fossil fuel emissions.
Royal Society of Chemistry 7 (“Biofuels could increase global warming with laughing gas, says Nobel prize-
winning chemist” Source: Royal Society of Chemistry, published by Physorg.com September 21, 2007.
http://www.physorg.com/printnews.php?newsid=109581631 accessed July 16, 2008)
The work is currently subject to open review in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and Crutzen
himself has declined to comment until that process is completed. But the paper suggests that microbes
convert much more of the nitrogen in fertilizer to nitrous oxide than previously thought – 3 to 5 per
cent, which is twice the widely accepted figure of 2 per cent used by the International Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) to calculate the impact of fertilizers on climate change. For rapeseed biodiesel, which
accounts for about 80 per cent of the biofuel production in Europe, the relative warming due to nitrous
oxide emissions is estimated at 1 to 1.7 times larger than the relative cooling effect due to saved fossil
CO2 emissions. For corn bioethanol, dominant in the US, the figure is 0.9 to 1.5. Only cane sugar
bioethanol – with a relative warming of 0.5 to 0.9 – looks like a better alternative to conventional fuels. In
the wake of the findings comes a recent report prepared by the OECD for a recent Round Table on
Sustainable Development, which questioned the benefits of first generation biofuels and concluded that
governments should scrap mandatory targets. Richard Doornbosch, the report’s author, says both the
report and Crutzen’s work highlights the importance of establishing correct full life-cycle assessments
for biofuels. ‘Without them, government policies can't distinguish between one biofuel and another –
risking making problems worse,’ he said.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 9
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Biomass Bad – Fertilizers

Biofuels increase fertilizer use, increasing food prices and exacerbating poverty in
developing nations

Mongabay.com 2/20 (environment news site, “World fertilizer prices surge 200% in 2007”, http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0220-fertilizers.html)
IFDC says the rise in fertilizer prices is fueled by new demand for grain for biofuel production, higher
energy and freight prices, increased demand for grain-fed meat in emerging markets, and increased use of
natural gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG). "Farmers in industrialized countries are applying high levels
of fertilizers to maximize harvests of grain at the highest prices ever," said Dr. Balu Bumb, leader of the
Policy, Trade, and Markets Program of IFDC. "Those forces drive fertilizer prices higher." IFDC notes that
from January 2007 to January 2008 diammonium phosphate (DAP) prices rose from $252 per ton in January
2007 to $752 (U.S. Gulf price); prilled urea rose from $272 to $415 per ton (Arab Gulf price); and muriate of
potash (MOP) rose from $172 to $352 (Vancouver price). At the same time the price of 1 metric ton of corn
rose from $3.05/bushel to $4.28/bushel. Bumb says the rise in prices is affecting poor farmers the most.
"The unprecedented rise in fertilizer prices—more than 200% in the past year—is creating a fertilizer
crisis for resource-poor farmers in developing countries," Bumb says. "Particularly hard-hit are
farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Farmers there need fertilizers desperately, to replenish their nutrient-
depleted soils. But fertilizer use in Africa is the world’s lowest—about 8 kg per hectare. The lack of
fertilizers in Africa accentuates hunger and poverty. To stimulate adequate fertilizer use, the purchasing
power of the poorest of the poor must be enhanced through market-friendly safety nets so they can be
included in the marketing process." The rising price of fertilizers contributes to a positive feedback loop
for grain prices. As the cost of inputs increase, so do prices of food.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 10
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Biomass Bad – Food Prices

Increased food prices from biomass have led to riots; the detriments to the environment
outweigh the advantages

Spiegel News 8 (By Charles Hawley in Berlin “'A TOTAL DISASTER' Critique Mounts against Biofuels”
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-530550,00.html SPIEGEL ONLINE 01/23/2008 05:58 PM
accessed July 16, 2008)
'A Total Disaster' Another issue receiving increasing attention recently is that of rising food prices as
foodstuffs are turned into fuel. Price increases for soybeans and corn hit developing countries
particularly hard. Indeed, there have already been food price riots in Mexico, Morocco, Senegal and
other developing countries. While the price increases cannot be pinned entirely on biofuels, it has certainly
played a role. In October, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler called
for a five-year moratorium on biofuels to combat rising prices. Using arable land for biofuels, he said,
"is a total disaster for those who are starving." Slowly, it appears that some governments are beginning to
listen to the chorus of criticisms. Last autumn, the Canadian province of Quebec announced that it would
cease building plants to produce the biofuel ethanol. And on Monday, the UK's House of Commons
Environmental Audit Committee called for a stop in the increase of biofuel use. "Biofuels can reduce
greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. But at present, most biofuels have a detrimental impact
on the environment overall," committee chairman Tim Yeo said, according to Reuters.

Biomass takes food and money from the poor, raising the price of food staples

AFP 8 (“Biofuels under attack as world food prices soar” Abstract Marlowe Hood, AFP (20 April 2008)
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021 accessed July 16, 2008)
Hailed until only months ago as a silver bullet in the fight against global warming, biofuels are now accused
of snatching food out of the mouths of the poor. Billions have been poured into developing sugar- and
grain-based ethanol and biodiesel to help wean rich economies from their addiction to carbon-belching
fossil fuels, the overwhelming source of man-made global warming. Heading the rush are the United
States, Brazil and Canada, which are eagerly transforming corn, wheat, soy beans and sugar cane into
cleaner-burning fuel, and the European Union (EU) is to launch its own ambitious programme. But as
soaring prices for staples bring more of the planet's most vulnerable people face-to-face with
starvation, the image of biofuels has suddenly changed from climate saviour to a horribly misguided
experiment.

Food shortages mean that biofuels are neither a sustainable nor complete solution for the
world’s energy problem

Reuters 8 (“Biofuels won't solve world energy problem: Shell” Abstract Alex Lawler, Reuters (20 April 2008)
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021 accessed July 16, 2008)
Biofuels will not solve the world's energy problem, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell said on
Sunday, amid growing criticism of their environmental and social benefits. The remarks follow protests in
Brazil and Europe against fuels derived from food crops. Food shortages and rising costs have set off
rioting and protests in countries including Haiti, Cameroon, Niger and Indonesia. "The essential point
of biofuels is over time they will play a role," Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell,
told reporters on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum. "But there are high expectations what
role they will play in the short term." The oil minister for Qatar, a member of the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries, had harsher words to say about biofuels.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 11
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Biomass Bad – Food Prices

Switching to biofuels starves 2 billion people

O’Hanlon 6 (Larry, independent science writer for Discovery News, “Expert: Biofuel Crisis Looms”, 7/14,
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/07/14/ethanol_pla.html?category=earth&guid=20060714120030&&clik=news_main)
July 14, 2006 —The surging demand for corn, sugar cane and vegetable oils to make Earth-friendlier
biofuels is pitting hungry cars against hungry people, and trouble’s brewing, says sustainable
development pioneer Lester Brown. Biodiesel and ethanol, both made from food crops, have been recently
touted as the way to free America of its addiction to foreign oil and to stem the rise of greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere. But the growing demand for biofuels is beginning to adversely affect food supplies
worldwide, and could eventually lead to serious economic and political instability, warned Brown,
president of the Earth Policy Institute. "In effect what we have are 800 million motorists who want to
maintain their mobility and two billion people who want to survive," he said in a press conference on
Thursday, announcing the release of a new report on the problem. Those two billion are the same people
who already spend more than half their annual income — in most cases less than $3,000 — on food, he
said. The competition between corn and ethanol struck home to Brown recently, he said, as he was reading
U.S. Department of Agriculture grain production numbers. "I was looking at USDA grain estimates and two
numbers jumped out at me," he said. World grain demand is projected to grow by 20 million tons this
year. Some 14 million tons of that demand is expected to be for biofuels for cars in the United States.
That leaves just six million tons to satisfy the food needs of many countries that import U.S. grain — at
a time when grain stocks are at a 34-year low and climate change and water shortages are making it
harder than ever to grow grain, he said.

Biofuel use is the key cause of high food prices – this accounts for all alt. causes

Mitchell 4/8 (Donald, World Bank Development Prospects Group sr. economist, “A Note on Rising Food Prices”, p. 1)
The World Bank’s index of food prices increased 140 percent from January 2002 to February 2008.
This increase was caused by a confluence of factors but the most important was the large increase in
bioufels production in the U.S. and E.U. Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks
would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been
moderate. The export bans and speculative activity would not have occurred because they were responses to
rising prices. Higher energy and fertilizer prices would have still increased crop production costs by
about 15 percent in the U.S. and lesser amounts in other countries with less intensive production practices.
The back-to-back droughts in Australia would not have had a large impact because they only reduced
global grain exports by 4 percent and other exporters would normally have been able to offset this loss.
The decline of the dollar has contributed about 20 percentage points to the rise in food prices. Thus, the
combination of higher energy prices and related increases in fertilizer prices, and dollar weakness caused
food prices to rise by about 35 percent from January 2002 until February 2008 and the remaining three-
quarters of the 140 percernt actual increase was due to biofuels and the related consequences of low
grain stocks, large land use shifts, speculative activity, and export bans. The growth in global grain
consumption (excluding biofuels) was 1.7 percent from 2000 to 2007 while yields grew 1.3 percent and area
grew by 0.4 percent.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 12
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Developing Countries

Worldwide biofuel modeling trades off with food aid, and seizes land from the poor

IPS 8 (“Record Financing For Biofuels, Not Food” Abstract by Stephen Leahy, IPS (4 February 2008)
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43020 accessed July 16, 2008)
Biofuels have quickly turned from environmental saviour to just another mega-scale get-rich quick
scheme. Countries and regions without their own oil reserves to tap now see their farms, peatlands and
forests as potential "oil fields" -- shallow but renewable lakes of green oil. However, renewable does not
mean sustainable, and in most cases the only green part of biofuel is the wealth they generate. Not
surprisingly, given the record high oil prices, worldwide investment in bioenergy reached 21 billion
dollars in 2007, according to the U.N. Environment Programme. The Inter-American Development Bank
announced 3 billion dollars for investment in private sector biofuel projects -- mainly in Brazil -- while the
World Bank said it had 10 billion dollars available in 2007. Meanwhile development assistance for food-
producing agriculture had fallen to 3.4 billion dollars in 2004 -- with the World Bank's share less than 1
billion dollars, according to the Bank's own World Development Report on Agriculture released in October
2007. And most of this financial assistance was spent on subsidising use of chemical fertilisers. "It's not
just the World Bank, regional development agencies, progressive development groups in Europe and many
countries are all investing in agrofuels," says Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute, a U.S. NGO focused
on social and environmental issues. "I was amazed to see how much land in India has been taken away
from poor people to start up new agrofuel operations," Mittal told IPS after a recent visit to her home
country.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 13
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Invasive Species

Biofuels often use plants that are invasive species, causing economic losses and ecological
havoc

New York Times 5/21 (“New Trends in Biofuels has New Risks”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/science/earth/21biofuels.html)
ROME — In the past year, as the diversion of food crops like corn and palm to make biofuels has helped
to drive up food prices, investors and politicians have begun promoting newer, so-called second-
generation biofuels as the next wave of green energy. These, made from non-food crops like reeds and wild
grasses, would offer fuel without the risk of taking food off the table, they said. But now, biologists and
botanists are warning that they, too, may bring serious unintended consequences. Most of these newer
crops are what scientists label invasive species — that is, weeds — that have an extraordinarily high
potential to escape biofuel plantations, overrun adjacent farms and natural land, and create economic
and ecological havoc in the process, they now say. At a United Nations meeting in Bonn, Germany, on
Tuesday, scientists from the Global Invasive Species Program, the Nature Conservancy and the International
Union for Conservation of Nature, as well as other groups, presented a paper with a warning about invasive
species. “Some of the most commonly recommended species for biofuels production are also major invasive
alien species,” the paper says, adding that these crops should be studied more thoroughly before being
cultivated in new areas. Controlling the spread of such plants could prove difficult, the experts said,
producing “greater financial losses than gains.” The International Union for Conservation of Nature
encapsulated the message like this: “Don’t let invasive biofuel crops attack your country.” To reach their
conclusions, the scientists compared the list of the most popular second-generation biofuels with the list
of invasive species and found an alarming degree of overlap. They said little evaluation of risk had
occurred before planting. “With biofuels, there’s always a hurry,” said Geoffrey Howard, an invasive
species expert with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. “Plantations are started by
investors, often from the U.S. or Europe, so they are eager to generate biofuels within a couple of years
and also, as you might guess, they don’t want a negative assessment.”

Biofuel use spreads invasive species

New York Times 5/21 (“New Trends in Biofuels has New Risks”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/science/earth/21biofuels.html)
From a business perspective, the good thing about second-generation biofuel crops is that they are easy to
grow and need little attention. But that is also what creates their invasive potential. “These are tough
survivors, which means they’re good producers for biofuel because they grow well on marginal land
that you wouldn’t use for food,” Dr. Howard said. “But we’ve had 100 years of experience with
introductions of these crops that turned out to be disastrous for environment, people, health.”

Increased biofuel use leads to the introduction of invasive species to the Everglades

New York Times 5/21 (“New Trends in Biofuels has New Risks”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/science/earth/21biofuels.html)
A proposed Florida biofuel plantation and plant, also using giant reed, has been greeted with
enthusiasm by investors, its energy sold even before it is built. But the project has been opposed by the
Florida Native Plants Society and a number of scientists because of its proximity to the Everglades, where
giant reed overgrowth could be dangerous, they said. The giant reed, previously used mostly in
decorations and in making musical instruments — is a fast-growing, thirsty species that has drained
wetlands and clogged drainage systems in other places where it has been planted. It is also highly
flammable and increases the risk of fires.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 14
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Energy Loss/FF

Biomass fuels cost more energy than they produce, increasing fossil fuel use

Cornell U News Service 5 (“Cornell ecologist’s study finds that producing ethanol and biodiesel from corn and other crops is not
worth the energy”, 7/5, http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/July05/ethanol.toocostly.ssl.html)
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy
than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of
California-Berkeley study."There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says
David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."
Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a
detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood
biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published
in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76). In terms of energy output compared with energy input
for ethanol production, the study found that: * corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the
fuel produced; * switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and *
wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced. In terms of energy output
compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that: * soybean plants requires
27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and * sunflower plants requires 118 percent
more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 15
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Needs FF

Biomass requires fossil fuels – there’s no advantage

NewScientist 7 (“Forget biofuels – burn oil and plant forests instead”, http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn12496-forget-
biofuels--burn-oil-and-plant-forests-instead.html)
The reason is that producing biofuel is not a "green process". It requires tractors and fertilisers and
land, all of which means burning fossil fuels to make "green" fuel. In the case of bioethanol produced from
corn – an alternative to oil – "it's essentially a zero-sums game," says Ghislaine Kieffer, programme
manager for Latin America at the International Energy Agency in Paris, France (see Complete carbon
footprint of biofuel - or is it?).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 16
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – CO2 Sinks

Biofuels cause deforestation, destroying ecosystems and increasing CO2 emissions

The Guardian 7 (8/17, “Biofuels switch a mistake, say researchers”,


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/aug/17/climatechange.energy)
Increasing production of biofuels to combat climate change will release between two and nine times
more carbon gases over the next 30 years than fossil fuels, according to the first comprehensive analysis
of emissions from biofuels. Biofuels - petrol and diesel extracted from plants - are presented as an
environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels because the crops absorb carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere as they grow. The study warns that forests must not be cleared to make way for biofuel crops.
Clearing forests produces an immediate release of carbon gases into the atmosphere, accompanied by a
loss of habitats, wildlife and livelihoods, the researchers said. Britain is committed to substituting 10% of
its transport fuel with biofuels under Europewide plans to slash carbon emissions by 2020. "Biofuel policy is
rushing ahead without understanding the implications," said Renton Righelato of the World Land Trust, a
conservation charity. "It is a mistake in climate change terms to use biofuels." Dr Righelato's study, with
Dominick Spracklen from the University of Leeds, is the first to calculate the impact of biofuel carbon
emissions across the whole cycle of planting, extraction and conversion into fuel. They report in the
journal Science that between two and nine times more carbon emissions are avoided by trapping carbon
in trees and forest soil than by replacing fossil fuels with biofuels. Around 40% of Europe's
agricultural land would be needed to grow biofuel crops to meet the 10% fossil fuel substitution target.
That demand on arable land cannot be met in the EU or the US, say the scientists, so is likely to shift
the burden on land in developing countries. The National Farmers Union said 20% of Britain's agricultural
land could be used to grow biofuels by 2010. However, the researchers say reforesting the land would be a
better way to reduce emissions. Biofuels look good in climate change terms from a Western perspective,
said Dr Spracklen, but globally they actually lead to higher carbon emissions. "Brazil, Paraguay,
Indonesia among others have huge deforestation programmes to supply the world biofuel market", he
said.

Biofuels destroy carbon sinks, damaging the environment, accelerating DeFo, and
producing dramatic social problems

Spiegel News 8 (By Charles Hawley in Berlin “'A TOTAL DISASTER' Critique Mounts against Biofuels”
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-530550,00.html SPIEGEL ONLINE 01/23/2008 05:58 PM
accessed July 16, 2008)
'No Way to Make Them Viable' "The biofuels route is a dead end," Dr. Andrew Boswell, a Green Party
councillor in England and author of a recent study on the harmful effects of biofuels, told SPIEGEL
ONLINE. "They are going to create great damage to the environment and will also produce dramatic
social problems in (tropical countries where many crops for biofuels are grown). There basically isn't any
way to make them viable." The evidence against biofuels marshalled by Boswell and other
environmentalists appears quite damning. Advertised as a fuel that only emits the amount of carbon
dioxide that the plants absorb while growing -- making it carbon neutral -- it actually has resulted in a
profitable industrial sector attractive to countries around the world. Vast swaths of forest have been
felled and burned in Argentina and elsewhere for soya plantations. Carbon-rich peat bogs are being
drained and rain forests destroyed in Indonesia to make way for extensive palm oil farming. Because the
forests are often torched and the peat rapidly oxidizes, the result is huge amounts of CO2 being released
into the atmosphere. Furthermore, healthy peat bogs and forests absorb CO2 -- scientists refer to them
as "carbon sinks" -- making their disappearance doubly harmful. Indeed, the Stern Review on the
Economics of Climate Change, released in October 2006, estimates that deforestation and other
comparable land-use changes account for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions around the world.
Biofuels, say activists, accelerate that process.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 17
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – CO2 Sinks

Even with statutes on which land can be used for biofuels, it’s not going to be enforceable

Spiegel News 8 (By Charles Hawley in Berlin “'A TOTAL DISASTER' Critique Mounts against Biofuels”
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,druck-530550,00.html SPIEGEL ONLINE 01/23/2008 05:58 PM
accessed July 16, 2008)
A Gold Rush "We are causing a climate catastrophe by promoting agro-fuels," Greenpeace agricultural
specialist Alexander Hissting told SPIEGEL ONLINE, using his group's preferred term for biofuels. "We are
creating a huge industry in many parts of the world. In Indonesia, something akin to a gold rush has
broken out." The European Union seems to have taken note of the gathering biofuels storm. The plan
has noted that the 10-percent goal is dependent on whether "production is sustainable," as an EU PowerPoint
presentation delivered to reporters on Tuesday noted. The EU also wants to make it illegal to use biofuels
made from crops grown in nature reserves or in recently clear-cut forest lands. Crops grown in places
valuable as carbon sinks are also to be avoided. But critics doubt whether such clauses, which call for
acceptable fields to be certified, is enforceable. "At the moment, such certification systems are very
incomplete and it is very unlikely that they will ever work," says Boswell. "The biofuel supply chain is
incredibly complicated." Even EU scientists doubt whether the supposed benefits of biofuels will ever
outweigh the costs. A recent report in the Financial Times cited an unpublished study by the Joint Research
Center, a stable of European Commission scientists, as saying that the "uncertainty is too great to say
whether the EU 10 percent biofuel target will save greenhouse gas or not." It noted that subsidies in
place to promote biofuels would cost European taxpayers between €33 billion and €65 billion by 2020.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 18
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Air Pollution

Low availability, processing, and air pollution are among many concerns.

CRE Group 2K (Report prepared for the European, Comission “OPPORTUNITIES AND MARKETS FOR CO-
UTILISATION OF BIOMASS AND WASTE WITH FOSSIL FUELS FOR POWER GENERATION” Technical
Review 2000. PDF accessed July 18, 2008).
Disadvantages: • Supplies of low-value feedstocks need to be sourced locally in order to capitalise on economic
advantages. • Some feedstocks may only be available seasonally. Amounts available may vary throughout the
year. Thus, availability of fuel may impact on plant siting and/or economic viability. • The chemical and
physical properties of biomass and wastes may vary significantly, either through natural fluctuations or climatic
effects. Many refuse-derived fuels can be extremely variable in composition. • Feedstock pre-preparation may
be required. For instance, MSW/RDF-type fuels require separation of non-combustible materials prior to
preparation. In addition, wood requires chipping, straw may require chopping up, etc. resulting in increased energy
requirements. • Some biomass materials have low bulk density (e.g. straw), this resulting in the handling and
storage of large quantities of materials. • Moisture content may be high, reducing overall plant efficiency. In
situations where slurry-type materials are used, moisture content may require reduction. In the case of sewage
sludge, the material is usually de-watered and granulated. • Depending on the feedstock, the complexity of fuel
feeding requirements may be increased; some materials can be co-fed using a single feed system whereas others
require a separate, dedicated system. • Some feedstocks, such as straw, can have high levels of alkali species
present. This can impact adversely on plant operations and cause high temperature corrosion in some types of
power plants. The presence of some materials can also increase the propensity for slagging and fouling
phenomena to occur. • Fuels such as MSW can contain large amounts of chlorine-containing materials, resulting
potentially in increased gas cleanup requirements and plant component corrosion. • Some biomass fuels
generate higher levels of particulates in the flue gas, resulting in increased particulate control requirements. •
Co-firing can reduce the quality of ash produced, compared to using coal alone, restricting potential utilisation
outlets. Thus, where a power plant co-firing coal and/or biomass/wastes is contemplated, there are various
issues that require consideration. These range from initial availability of feedstocks through to control and
disposal of gaseous and solid residues generated.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 19
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Inefficient

Biomass is inefficient, increasing emissions and cost

University of Leeds 8 (“Energy Crops Take a Roasting”, 5/20, http://www.leeds.ac.uk/media/press_releases/current/biomass.htm)


Raw biomass takes up a lot of space and has a low energy density which makes it costly –
environmentally and economically – to transport. Plus you need more of it than say, coal, to produce
energy efficiently,” says Professor Jenny Jones who worked on this study with PhD student Toby
Bridgeman.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 20
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Cost

The costs to biofuel subsidies outweigh the environmental and economic benefits

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 8 (“Biofuels make little environmental difference” Abstract by


ABC-Rural (Australia) (5 February 2008) http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43020 accessed July 16, 2008)
New research from Australia and the OECD shows the benefits of biofuels in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions are insignificant, at only one to four per cent. A new Federal Parliamentary report shows
there's also no economic case for mandating the level of ethanol in fuel. OECD trade and agriculture
analyst, Martin von Lampe, says with global subsidies of nearly 16 billion dollars going to biofuel
production, governments need to reconsider if they're worthwhile. "Governments around the world are
putting a lot of hope in a number of areas on biofuels and it seems that many of these hopes are only
partially justified", he says. "The environmental benefits are much less than they were assumed to be,
the savings in fossil energy are much lower than they were thought to be, and, at the same time, the
support to biofuels is relatively costly".
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 21
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Cost-Competitiveness

Cellulosic ethanol is still economically uncompetitive, even with governmental mandates


and incentives- and even with development, it takes time.

Stall 6/23 (Sam, Purdue University. “Switching to Switch Grass?” Indiana Business Journal, published on
REDORBIT NEWS June 23, 2008. http://www.redorbit.com/news/display/?id=1445728 accessed July 18, 2008)
There's just one problem: Cellulosic ethanol is still too expensive to undersell even $120-a-barrel
crude. "We could build a plant today if someone said, 'I'll buy your $4 or $5 (per gallon wholesale)
ethanol,'" Tyner said. "One of the jokes in the business is that everybody wants to build the third cellulose
ethanol plant. No one wants to build the first or second one, because its incredibly risky." The problem is
that no one can say for sure how much the stuff will cost until a decent number of commercial facilities
go online. "For example, one of the critical enzymes in the enzymatic conversion process is now about $1 a gallon," Tyner said. They
hope to get that down to 25 cents a gallon, but it's not there yet. Now if you get some plants running, you get a lot of enzyme being
produced, then maybe you get economies of scale. But how far it will come down we don't know." What he can say with some
certainty is that, unless oil prices skyrocket to ridiculous heights, a gallon of cellulosic ethanol will
probably still cost more on the wholesale market than a gallon of regular gas. Plus, ethanol contains
only 69 percent of the energy of the same amount of gasoline, further widening the price difference.
That's where the government comes in. "What Congress has done is pass a renewable fuel standard that
mandates that cellulose be used," Tyner said. "And so if people perceive that that's credible, then the oil
companies will be obliged to buy it. The standard says that if somebody produces it, you've got to buy it
and you've got to blend it (with gasoline, usually in a 10-percent mix called E10). So whether it's
economical, in the sense that it can compete with gasoline, is less relevant than the standard." But even if a
government-mandated market already exists, filling it with switchgrass products could take some time.
For one thing, someone will have to start growing the plant. Right now, the number of Hoosier acres
planted in switchgrass is close to zero.

The market can’t absorb any more ethanol into the system

Stall 6/23 (Sam, Purdue University. “Switching to Switch Grass?” Indiana Business Journal, published on
REDORBIT NEWS June 23, 2008. http://www.redorbit.com/news/display/?id=1445728 accessed July 18, 2008)
Bulky proposition The sheer bulk of that notional harvest would also present problems. Tyner calculates
that a 100 million-gallons-per-year cellulosic plant would gobble up a dozen 13-ton truckloads of
biomass every hour of the day. "That's a truck every five minutes that has to be unloaded and the material
moved into the system," he said. Cellulosic production facilities don't come cheap, either. Putting one up
from scratch would cost between $200 and $400 million. Existing plants that process corn would have to
be extensively retrofitted to handle switchgrass and other forms of biomass. But there's another problem.
Current regulations mandate selling a blended E10 fuel that's 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline. "This year,
we're probably going to produce 11 billion to 12 billion gallons of corn ethanol (nationally)," Tyner said. "We consume
140 billions of gasoline annually. So with the 10 percent blend that's used the United States, we only need
14 billion tons of ethanol. Once we get there, we hit what we call in the business 'the blending wall.'
Even if every drop of gasoline sold in this country is blended, all you need to do that is 14 billion
gallons of ethanol. Right now we're in a. position where our production is about up to what the market
can absorb." All without harvesting the first acre of switchgrass. There are several ways to stimulate
further demand, the simplest being to bump up the required per-gallon ethanol content to 15 percent or even
20 percent. But the car companies worry this new blend could damage their engines. "The ethanol people
say there's no problem, but the automobile people say 'Wait, I'm not sure I want to warranty these fuel systems designed
for E10 for E20,'" Tyner said. "So there are problems. I'm not saying they're insurmountable, but there are hurdles that
have to be jumped in order to go beyond E10."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 22
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Infeasible

Biomass requires major technological breakthroughs

San Diego Union-Tribune 2/17 (“The Promise of Brwonfields”, http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080217/news_lz1e17kay.html)


So, when can we implement those solutions that promise to reduce greenhouse gases? Major technological
breakthroughs are still needed to make these biofuels a reality. For one, the new crops need to be bred
and selected – domesticated – for high biomass production. We still need to find the best genes and
create the most efficient bacteria that would carry out these novel fermentations to produce alkanes rather
than ethanol. We also need to develop more economical methods for the large-scale cultivation of algae
and ways of extracting the new fuel molecules. Unfortunately, research on plants, algae and microbes
has been woefully underfunded for decades as the nation focused its research dollars on human health
and diseases.

The vast majority of the American biofuel industry is inefficient and based on speculative
research

Holdmeyer 8 (Frank Holdmeyer, Wisconsin Agriculturalist. “Solution to Energy Independence Is At Local


Level” Abstract 6 February 2008 http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43020 accessed July 16, 2008)
Udall emphasized, however, that fuels such as hydrogen, which takes an enormous amount of energy to
produce, won't play a role in the future. "Even corn ethanol, which is currently expanding in production
around the Midwest, produces two units of energy for every unit required to produce the fuel." Wind
energy, he said, provides a return of 30 to one. David Morris, vice president of the Institute for Self
Reliance, and the author of "Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, said "Congress has mandated a six-
fold increase in bio fuels, two thirds of which will be produced using a technology that has not yet been
developed and a feedstock that has not yet been identified. "The United States can produce more
biofuels from corn and crop waste, but can it produce it better? Now is the time to ask that question as the
nation races to meet those mandates, provide energy security for the nation, and wrestles with new energy production that
reduces greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming," he said. "If the forces of this production are locally
owned," Morris added, "the benefit to the economy of local communities is 20% higher. If the investment in
these facilities is locally owned, they're politically easier to build -- and the investments are long term.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 23
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biofuels Bad – Cultivation

Screws the environment- disadvantages outweigh

Holt-Giménez 7 (Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development
Policy, Foodfirst.org. “The Great Biofuel Hoax: Touted by Politicians and Industry, “Green” Energy Comes with a
High Price Tag” First printed in Food First Backgrounder, Summer Issue, 13.2 June 8, 2007
www.indypendent.org/2007/06/09/the-great-biofuel-hoax-touted-by-politicians-and-industry-
%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D-energy-comes-with-a-high-price-tag accessed July 18, 2008)
Myth #1: Agro-fuels are clean and green Because photosynthesis from fuel crops removes greenhouse gases
from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we are told fuel crops are green. But when
the full “life cycle” of agro-fuels is considered — from land clearing to automotive consumption — the
moderate emission savings are undone by far greater emissions from deforestation, burning, peat
drainage, cultivation and soil carbon losses. Every ton of palm oil produced results in 33 tons of carbon
dioxide emissions — 10 times more than petroleum. Clearing tropical forests for sugarcane ethanol emits 50
percent more greenhouse gases than the production and use of the same amount of gasoline. There are other
environmental problems as well. Industrial agro-fuels require large applications of petroleum-based
fertilizers, whose global use has more than doubled the biologically available nitrogen in the world,
contributing heavily to the emission of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon
dioxide. To produce a liter of ethanol takes three to five liters of irrigation water and produces up to 13
liters of waste water. It takes the energy equivalent of 113 liters of natural gas to treat this waste,
increasing the likelihood that it will simply be released into the environment. Intensive cultivation of
fuel crops also leads to high rates of erosion.

Industry means that even hardy fuel crops will still be heavily cultivated, with negative
impacts

Holt-Giménez 7 (Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development
Policy, Foodfirst.org. “The Great Biofuel Hoax: Touted by Politicians and Industry, “Green” Energy Comes with a
High Price Tag” First printed in Food First Backgrounder, Summer Issue, 13.2 June 8, 2007
www.indypendent.org/2007/06/09/the-great-biofuel-hoax-touted-by-politicians-and-industry-
%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D-energy-comes-with-a-high-price-tag accessed July 18, 2008)
Myth #5: Better “second-generation” agrofuels are just around the corner Proponents of agro-fuels argue
that current agro-fuels made from food crops will soon be replaced with environmentally friendly
crops like fast-growing trees and switchgrass. This myth, wryly referred to as the “bait and switchgrass”
shell game, makes food-based fuels socially acceptable. The agro-fuel transition transforms land use on
a massive scale, pitting food production against fuel production for land, water and resources. The
issue of which crops are converted to fuel is irrelevant. Wild plants cultivated as fuel crops won’t have a
smaller “environmental footprint.” They will rapidly migrate from hedgerows and woodlots onto arable
lands to be intensively cultivated like any other industrial crop, with all the associated environmental
externalities.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 24
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biofuels Bad – Econ

Screws the unemployment rate in the US

Holt-Giménez 7 (Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development
Policy, Foodfirst.org. “The Great Biofuel Hoax: Touted by Politicians and Industry, “Green” Energy Comes with a
High Price Tag” First printed in Food First Backgrounder, Summer Issue, 13.2 June 8, 2007
www.indypendent.org/2007/06/09/the-great-biofuel-hoax-touted-by-politicians-and-industry-
%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D-energy-comes-with-a-high-price-tag accessed July 18, 2008)
Myth #3: Agro-fuels will bring rural development In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming
generates 35 jobs. Oil palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two and soybeans just one half-job
per 100 hectares, all poorly paid. Until this boom, agro-fuels primarily supplied local markets, and
even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and farmer-owned. Big Oil, Big Grain and
Big Genetic Engineering are rapidly consolidating control over the entire agro-fuel value chain. The
market power of these corporations is staggering: Cargill and ADM control 65 percent of the global grain
trade, Monsanto and Syngenta a quarter of the $60 billion gene-tech industry. This market power allows
these companies to extract profits from the most lucrative and low-risk segments of the value chain —
hundreds of thousands of small farmers have already been displaced by soybean plantations in South
America.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 25
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Infrastructure

Infrastructure can’t take on combustible biomass yet

Stall 6/23 (Sam, Purdue University. “Switching to Switch Grass?” Indiana Business Journal, published on
REDORBIT NEWS June 23, 2008. http://www.redorbit.com/news/display/?id=1445728 accessed July 18, 2008)
During his 2006 State of the Union Address, President Bush called the plant - better known as switchgrass -
a potential biofuel powerhouse that could help end the country's dependence on foreign oil. As quickly as
you can say "hype," it became the poster plant for the biofuels movement. Far from the limelight, a cadre of
hardworking experts - many of then based in Indiana - have struggled for years to help switchgrass live up to that billing. If they can
work. out the remaining technological, logistical, and economic kinks, it might indeed be used as everything from feedstock for the
production of cellulosic ethanol to a cleaner-burning additive at coal-fired power plants. But the devil - a big, complicated,
expensive devil - is in the details. Consider the task before Dr. Klein Ileleji, assistant professor and
extension engineer in the agricultural and biological engineering department at Purdue University. His
objective seems straightforward: Find a way to burn some switchgrass along with the coal that's used
to fire one of the four boilers powering the Purdue campus. Nothing drastic just enough of the stuff to
account for 5 percent to 10 percent of the unit's output. "But you can't just say, 'I want to use
switchgrass,'" Ileleji offered. "You have to re-engineer your entire system."

Switchgrass is an inefficient fuel that would demand the entire boiler system be retrofitted.

Stall 6/23 (Sam, Purdue University. “Switching to Switch Grass?” Indiana Business Journal, published on
REDORBIT NEWS June 23, 2008. http://www.redorbit.com/news/display/?id=1445728 accessed July 18, 2008)
Switchgrass is so bulky compared to coal that one must burn bales and bales of the stuff to produce
significant energy. Those bales must be ground into small pieces to fit into the boiler, but the little pieces
tend to clog pipes. And because those bits bone-dry switchgrass are bascially kindling, they have to be
processed with kid gloves so they don't catch fire before they're supposed to. "There's a chance we could
pelletize it, but it's expensive," Ileleji said. "That's an option we might go to in our tests." Those tests will
begin in earnest if he manages to raise the roughly $1.5 million needed to modify the boiler and put in
switchgrass-friendly handling equipment. All this effort and coin so that Purdue can, to put it
diplomatically, burn a bunch of weeds. But Ileleji thinks the program could generate environmental rather than.
economic savings. Switchgrass is "carbon neutral," because when burned it only releases the carbon dioxide that it
extracted from the environment during its growth. Replacing 10 percent of coal at any given plant sounds insignificant,
but if it were done nationwide, the carbon reduction would be significant. "When we look at a fuel mix like this, we need
to look at all sides of the issue," Ileleji said. "It might not be economical from an energy standpoint, but you
reap environmental benefits." Only if you retrofit pretty much every coal-burning boiler in the nation,
however.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 26
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Marginalizes Women

Biomass increases the marginalization of women

FAO 4/21 (“Large-scale biofuel production may increase marginalization of women”, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43064)
21 April 2008, Rome – Rapid increases in the large-scale production of liquid biofuels in developing
countries could exacerbate the marginalization of women in rural areas threatening their livelihoods,
according to a new FAO study. The study notes that large-scale plantations for the production of liquid
biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel require an intensive use of resources and inputs to which small
farmers, particularly women, traditionally have limited access. These resources include land and
water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. “Unless policies are adopted in developing countries to
strengthen the participation of small farmers, especially women in biofuel production by increasing their
access to land, capital and technology - gender inequalities are likely to become more marked and
women’s vulnerability to hunger and poverty further exacerbated,” said Yianna Lambrou, co-author of
the paper entitled Gender and Equity Issues in Liquid Biofuels Production – Minimizing the Risks to
Maximize the Opportunities. “Biofuel production certainly offers opportunities for farmers – but they will
only trickle down to the farm level, especially to women, if pro-poor policies are put in place that also
empower women.”

Biofuels disproportionately hurt women and the rural poor

FAO 4/21 (“Large-scale biofuel production may increase marginalization of women”, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43064)
The growing global demand for liquid biofuels, combined with increased land requirements, could put
pressure on so-called “marginal” lands, which provide key subsistence functions to the rural poor and
are frequently farmed by women, the report noted. The conversion of these lands to plantations for
biofuels production “might cause the partial or total displacement of women’s agricultural activities
towards increasingly marginal lands,” with negative consequences for women’s ability to provide food,
according to the report. The potential depletion or degradation of natural resources associated with large-
scale plantations for biofuel production may place an additional burden on rural farmers’ work and
health, in particular on female farmers. If biofuel production competes, either directly or indirectly, for
water and firewood supplies, it could make such resources less readily available for household use. This
would force women, who are traditionally responsible, in most developing countries, for collecting
water and firewood, to travel longer distances thus reducing the time available to earn income from
other sources. The report also warned that the replacement of local crops with monoculture energy crop
plantations could threaten agro-biodiversity as well as the extensive knowledge and the traditional
skills of smallholder farmers in the management, selection and storage of local crops, all activities
performed mainly by women.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 27
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Cap K

Link: Agrifuels represent the industrial transition to a totalizing, exclusive capitalism.


Holt-Giménez 7 (Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development
Policy, Foodfirst.org. “The Great Biofuel Hoax: Touted by Politicians and Industry, “Green” Energy Comes with a
High Price Tag” First printed in Food First Backgrounder, Summer Issue, 13.2 June 8, 2007
www.indypendent.org/2007/06/09/the-great-biofuel-hoax-touted-by-politicians-and-industry-
%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D-energy-comes-with-a-high-price-tag accessed July 18, 2008)
Agro-fuel: a new industrial revolution? The International Energy Agency estimates that over the next 23
years, the world could produce as much as 147 million tons of agro-fuel. This will be accompanied by a lot
of carbon, nitrous oxide, erosion and more than two billion tons of waste water. Remarkably, this fuel will
barely offset the yearly increase in global oil demand, now standing at 136 million tons a year — not
offsetting any of the existing demand. The agro-fuel transition is based on a 200-year relation between
agriculture and industry that began with the Industrial Revolution. The invention of the steam engine
promised an end to drudgery. As governments privatized common lands, dispossessed peasants supplied
cheap farm and factory labor. Cheap oil and petroleum- based fertilizers opened up agriculture itself
to industrial capital. Mechanization intensified production, keeping food prices low and industry
booming. The last 100 years have seen a threefold global shift to urban living with as many people now
living in cities as in the countryside. The massive transfer of wealth from agriculture to industry, the
industrialization of agriculture, and the rural-urban shift are all part of the “agrarian transition,”
transforming most of the world’s fuel and food systems and establishing non-renewable petroleum as
the foundation of today’s multi-trilliondollar agri-foods industry. The pillars of this agri-foods industry
are the great grain corporations, including ADM, Cargill and Bunge. They are surrounded by an equally
formidable consolidation of agro-chemical, seed and machinery companies on the one hand and food
processors, distributors and supermarket chains on the other. Like the original agrarian transition, the
present agro-fuels transition will “enclose the commons” by industrializing the remaining forests and
prairies of the world. It will drive the planet’s remaining smallholders, family farmers and indigenous
peoples to the cities. This government-industry collusion has the potential to funnel rural resources to
urban centers in the form of fuel, concentrating industrial wealth. But this time, there is no cheap fuel
to drive industrial expansion and there will be no jobs for the masses of people displaced from the
countryside. Millions of people may be pushed farther into poverty.

<insert impact>

Alt: Food sovereignty.


Holt-Giménez 7 (Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development
Policy, Foodfirst.org. “The Great Biofuel Hoax: Touted by Politicians and Industry, “Green” Energy Comes with a
High Price Tag” First printed in Food First Backgrounder, Summer Issue, 13.2 June 8, 2007
www.indypendent.org/2007/06/09/the-great-biofuel-hoax-touted-by-politicians-and-industry-
%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D-energy-comes-with-a-high-price-tag accessed July 18, 2008)
Building Food and Fuel Sovereignty The agro-fuels transition is not inevitable. There is no inherent
reason to sacrifice sustainable, equitable food and fuel systems to industry. Many successful, locally
focused, energy efficient and people-centered alternatives are presently producing food and fuel in
ways that do not threaten food systems, the environment or livelihoods. The question is not whether
ethanol and biodiesel have a place in our future, but whether or not we allow a handful of global
corporations to impoverish the planet and the majority of its people. To avoid this trap we must
promote a steady-state agrarian transition built on re-distributive land reform that re-populates and
stabilizes the world’s struggling rural communities. This includes rebuilding and strengthening our local
food systems and creating conditions for the local re-investment of rural wealth. Putting people and
environment — instead of corporate megaprofits — at the center of rural development requires food
sovereignty: the right of people to determine their own food systems.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 28
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – AT: Environment

Mishandling and chemical treatment of energy crops means biomass doesn’t solve
environmental harms

Union of Concerned Scientists 6/19 (“Clean Energy”, http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-


how-biomass-energy-works.html)
All of these benefits are described in comparison with food crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.
Compared to undisturbed natural habitat, energy crops are not as good. But the strength of biomass is that it
is much closer to the natural world than our modern industrial agriculture. The harvest of prairie grasses is
not so different than the fires that periodically swept across the plains. Plantations of poplar and maple trees
may not be the same as varied forests, but are certainly closer than pesticide-laden monocrops. Nonetheless,
the environmental benefits of biomass hinge on whether energy crops are managed with sustainable
agricultural practices. Just like food crops, they can be mishandled, with productivity increased by
greater chemical inputs. If biomass energy turns out to have unforeseen environmental effects, we must be
willing to alter our methods to reduce these effects.

Agrofuels can never meet demand, in the meantime, big agribusiness brainwashes the
public into thinking this is environmentally sustainable.

Holt-Giménez 7 (Eric Holt-Giménez is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development
Policy, Foodfirst.org. “The Great Biofuel Hoax: Touted by Politicians and Industry, “Green” Energy Comes with a
High Price Tag” First printed in Food First Backgrounder, Summer Issue, 13.2 June 8, 2007
www.indypendent.org/2007/06/09/the-great-biofuel-hoax-touted-by-politicians-and-industry-
%E2%80%9Cgreen%E2%80%9D-energy-comes-with-a-high-price-tag accessed July 18, 2008)
The Agro-fuels Boom Industrialized countries have unleashed an “agro-fuels boom” by mandating
ambitious renewable fuel targets. Renewable fuels are to provide 5.75 percent of Europe’s transport fuel by
2010, and 10 percent by 2020. The U.S. goal is 35 billion gallons a year. These targets far exceed the
agricultural capacities of the industrial North. Europe would need to use 70 percent of its farmland for
fuel. The United States’ entire corn and soy harvest would need to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel.
Northern countries expect the global South to meet their fuel needs, and southern governments appear
eager to oblige. Indonesia and Malaysia are rapidly cutting down forests to expand oil-palm plantations targeted to supply up to 20
percent of the European Union biodiesel market. In Brazil — where fuel crops already occupy an area the size of the Netherlands,
Belgium, Luxemburg and Great Britain combined — the government is planning a fivefold increase in sugar cane acreage with a goal of
replacing 10 percent of the world’s gasoline by 2025. The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within
the agro-fuels industry is breathtaking. From 2004 to 2007, venture capital investment in agro-fuels increased eightfold.
Private investment is swamping public research institutions, as evidenced by BP’s recent award of half a billion dollars to the University
of California. In open defiance of national anti-trust laws, giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are forming
powerful partnerships: ADM with Monsanto, Chevron and Volkswagen, BP with DuPont and Toyota. These corporations are
consolidating research, production, processing and distribution chains of our food and fuel system
under one colossal, industrial roof. Agro-fuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are
renewable, they are environmentally friendly and can reduce global warming, fostering rural
development. But the tremendous market power of agro-fuel corporations, coupled with weak political
will of governments to regulate their activities, is a recipe for environmental disaster and increasing
hunger in the global South. It’s time to examine the myths fueling this biofuel boom — before it’s too
late.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 29
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Bad – Solvency Turn

Subsidies for biofuels prevent the emergence of a necessary global market

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 8 (host organization for international biofuels conference, “A Sustainable
Biofuels Consensus”, 3/24-28, p. 1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021)
Future biofuel markets could be characterized by a diverse set of supplying and consuming regions.
From the current fairly concentrated supply (and demand) of biofuels, a future international market could
evolve into a truly global market, supplied by many producers, resulting in stable and reliable biofuel
sources. This balancing role of an open market and trade is a crucial precondition for developing
biofuel production capacities worldwide. While domestic mandates ensure the existence of markets,
they can also further distort markets for energy and agricultural products. The co-existence of
mandates with other policy instruments such as subsidies, tariffs, import quotas, export taxes and non-
tariff barriers have not always resulted in effective deployment and efficient production and can restrict
the opportunities that biofuels present. The current negative image of biofuels in some quarters,
provoked in part by a rather complex set of national public support schemes, is threatening the
fulfillment of their promise and must be addressed. Paramount to a solution is an orderly and defined
schedule for elimination of subsidies, tariffs, import quotas, export taxes and non-tariff barriers in parallel
with the gradual implementation of sustainable biofuels mandates. These measures will provide the
necessary conditions to reduce risks and to attract investment to develop and expand sustainable
production. Several different efforts to reach these goals are ongoing including multilateral, regional, and
bilateral negotiations, as well as unilateral actions. Ad hoc public and private instruments such as standards
and product specifications and certification may also prove useful for addressing technical and sustainability
issues. In addition, the development of a global scheme for sustainable production combined with technical
and financial support to facilitate compliance, will ensure that sustainability and trade agendas are
complementary.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 30
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

***Biogas Bad***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 31
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biogas Bad – Anthropocentric

Biogas continues a extractive and exploitative with animals and nature

AWI 4 (Animal Welfare Institute, “Biogas from Manure: How Green?”, Summer, http://www.awionline.org/pubs/Quarterly/04-53-
3/533p7.htm)
While AWI applauds efforts to develop renewable energy sources, we are concerned that subsidizing energy
production from liquefied manure artificially creates a demand to continue an extractive and
exploitive relationship with animals and nature and perpetuates a form of animal production that has
proved detrimental to public health and rural communities.

Biogas production treats animals inhumanely

AWI 4 (Animal Welfare Institute, “Biogas from Manure: How Green?”, Summer, http://www.awionline.org/pubs/Quarterly/04-53-
3/533p7.htm)
CAFOs house pigs and dairy cattle on solid concrete or slatted floors from which manure is scraped
into gutters or flushed into under-floor collection pits. Laying hens live in wire cages through which
manure drops onto conveyers and into pits. CAFOs do not provide bedding that would interfere with
liquid manure collection and anaerobic digestion. They submit farmed animals to lifetimes of breathing
polluted air, without the possibility of performing healthful natural behaviors such as grazing or
flapping of wings. Such inhumane practices will be entrenched by CAFOs' need to collect enough
manure to produce energy.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 32
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biogas Bad – Water/Toxic/Inequity

Biogas provides a tiny amount of energy while exacerbating water scarcity, emitting deadly
toxins, and perpetuating inequality.

AWI 4 (Animal Welfare Institute, “Biogas from Manure: How Green?”, Summer, http://www.awionline.org/pubs/Quarterly/04-53-
3/533p7.htm)
In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article a California Energy Commission spokesman estimated that, if all
the dairies in California (which subsidizes methane digesters) were hooked into the state's utility grid,
they would produce only "100 megawatts or so" of energy. But CAFOs have public costs that exceed
their energy potential. CAFOs flush manure from buildings with water, a scarce resource in some
regions. Besides methane, anaerobic decomposition of liquefied manure emits other gasses, including
hydrogen sulfide, a potent neurotoxin. Hydrogen sulfide from manure pits and inside CAFO buildings has
killed animals and people, including three California dairy CAFO workers. Methane is highly explosive and
has asphyxiated workers repairing equipment in manure pits. Local governments' health care services
and community food shelves too often are forced to "subsidize" CAFOs that hire unskilled workers at
wages well below the cost of living. Commercial biogas production requires skilled and attentive
management and top of the line equipment. Most sources indicate that investments in manure digesters are
not possible without subsidies. Some contend that manure digesters may never be profitable without them
and that equipment life may be little longer than the payback period, necessitating further capital
investments. The farmer soon finds himself on an even faster treadmill than the one on which he was
running to keep up before. CAFOs' continuous need to expand to pay capital costs has driven industry
structure to fewer and larger CAFOs, displacing smaller operators. Additional capital costs of manure
energy are likely to exacerbate the trend.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 33
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biogas Bad – Toxic

Biogas energy releases deadly H2S and ruins equipment

Smith 7 (Dr. James, inventor of patented Biogas Purification process, “Treatise on Efficient Biogas Purification: Hydrogen Sulfide Removal
and Efficient Energy Recovery”, 11/19, http://www.solidwaste.com/article.mvc/Treatise-On-Efficient-Biogas-Purification-Hyd-
0002?VNETCOOKIE=NO)
Energy recovery from biogas is becoming more common, but the processes are hampered with the
presence of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Biogas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) and is often
contaminated with toxic quantities of H2S. Sources of biogas are: municipal landfills that produce landfill
gas (LFG); wastewater treatment plants; industrial plants; and large scale livestock farms. The H2S levels
can range between 200-5000 ppmv from municipal facilities to over 30,000 ppmv from industrial
facilities.Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) itself has an offensive odor of "rotten eggs" at concentrations as low as 50
parts per billion by volume (ppbv) and is toxic at concentrations above 100 parts per million by volume
(ppmv). H2S is a health and safety hazard, and when combined with carbon dioxide (CO2) and water
vapor (H2O), corrodes plant equipment such as boilers and piping, and can ruin power-generating
equipment. High levels of H2S can also interfere with other processes such as killing useful bacteria in
anaerobic digesters. Reducing H2S offers cost savings associated with less maintenance, increased process
and energy efficiency, and reduced toxic emissions.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 34
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biogas Bad – Composting CP

Composting solves advantages to biogas and avoids the turns

AWI 4 (Animal Welfare Institute, “Biogas from Manure: How Green?”, Summer, http://www.awionline.org/pubs/Quarterly/04-53-
3/533p7.htm)
Government programs should support farming practices that are inherently sustainable rather than inherently
demanding of remediation. A first positive step is to stop liquefying manure. Composting bedding-based
manure is safer for people, animals, and the environment than anaerobic digestion. Sustainable farms
raise animals in proportion to the land they have for spreading manure. Rather than a "waste,"
composted manure is a valuable soil amendment needed by crops. Raising animals on pasture
contributes to animal health, reduces veterinary expenses and antibiotic use, conserves energy, and
helps prevent soil erosion. Requiring low capital investment, sustainable practices keep farmers off the
high-tech treadmill and can provide comfortable livings for farm families and better lives for farmed
animals.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 35
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

***Algae Biofuels Bad***


Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 36
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Algae Bad – Cost-Competitiveness

Basic physics makes cost-competitiveness for algal energy impossible

Dimitrov 7 (Krassen, Ph.D. and founder of Nanostring Technologies, “GreenFuel Technologies: A Case Study for
Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture”, p. 4)
GreenFuel Technologies (www.greenfuelonline.com/) has recently generated positive publicity for their
technology, which converts CO2-containing emissions from power plants into valuable biofuels using
proprietary algal photobioreactors (PBRs). This report shows that GreenFuel’s method will not be
economically feasible, even if the company achieves spectacular progress in development of its
technology. Fundamental thermodynamic constrains make it impossible for such approach to be
commercially viable for fuel prices below $800/bbl, even if flawless technological implementation is
assumed. Since other technologies offer alternative options at substantially lower costs, GreenFuel’s
approach cannot be expected to have a significant place in our future energy supply or carbon
mitigation strategy.

Cost-competitiveness for algal biofuels is impossible, even in best-case scenarios

Dimitrov 7 (Krassen, Ph.D. and founder of Nanostring Technologies, “GreenFuel Technologies: A Case Study for
Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture”, p. 7)
Photosynthetic organisms (PO), such as algae, transform visible light in the 400-700 nm part of the
spectrum - called photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) - into the chemical energy of carbon-containing
compounds. PAR varies with latitude, seasonality and geographical factors. An excellent resource for
mean annual PAR levels can be found here. The energy - in the form of biomass - that can be obtained via
photosynthesis thus depends on the level of PAR and the efficiency of the conversion process Q. Ebiomass
= PAR x Q Photosynthetic organisms use eight photons to capture one molecule of CO2 into carbohydrate
(CH2O)n Given that one mole of CH2O has a heating value of 468kJ and that the mean energy of a mole of
PAR photons is 217.4kJ, then the maximum theoretical conversion efficiency of PAR energy into
carbohydrates is: 468kJ/(8 x 217.4kJ) = 27% This is the ideal yield on PAR energy that is: (i) actually
absorbed by the photosynthetic organism, (ii) in conditions where this organism operates with 100%
photosynthetic efficiency (every photon that is absorbed is effectively used in photosynthetic reactions),
and (iii) the organism does not waste any energy on any life-support functions, other than building
biomass. We will call this efficiency Qtheo. In addition, there are other fundamental limitations
affecting Q, these are discussed in detail in Appendix A. Based on these the maximum value for Q can
safely be assumed to be around 10%. A scaled-up plant working at 10% efficient PAR conversion into
useful energy will be a remarkable feat, where everything must go right and all of the efficiency
components (the Qs in Appendix A) must assume their maximum values. If achieved, it will represent a
ten-fold improvement on solar energy yield per surface area as compared to the best recorded agricultural
yields, and approximately 30-fold improvement over more normal agricultural yields. Unfortunately, this
10-30 fold improvement over existing land yields does not justify the capital and operational costs
associated with building PBR plants.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 37
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Algae Bad – Poor Fuel

Biofuel produced from algae is low-quality due to low lipid content; the only way to fix it is
to increase Nitrogen Dioxide emissions

Dimitrov 7 (Krassen, Ph.D. and founder of Nanostring Technologies, “GreenFuel Technologies: A Case Study for
Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture”, p. 8)
A very important question is what the form of this captured energy is. For the high value biodiesel
production, one would like a very high lipid fraction. There are some species of algae that can produce
biomass with very high lipid content (30-50%, up to 80%) under certain physiological conditions. As early
as in the 1940s these have been discussed as possible biofuel feedstocks, and in the 1980s the governments of
the USA and Japan invested heavily in algal lipid research. All of the evidence to date, however, shows that
the high lipid contents can only be achieved in conditions of physiological stress, most notably nitrogen
starvation. It has been thus concluded6 that there are no conditions in which the microorganism would
reallocate energy into lipids production, there are only conditions in which the fraction of other
components (mostly proteins) is suppressed. This makes a lot of physiological sense as cells need protein
to grow efficiently, not lipids. In GreenFuel’s case, nitrogen starvation is out of the question, as the flue
gases are rich in NOx. Further research will be required to optimize other stress factors that may be
introduced to increase the lipid content. The benefit of higher lipid content will be an easier extraction
process, however, it will happen at the expense of growth rate and photosynthetic efficiency, so it is not
likely to be pursued.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 38
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Algae Bad – Maintenance

Microalgae biofuel plants would require constant maintenance that would destroy the
structure

Dimitrov 7 (Krassen, Ph.D. and founder of Nanostring Technologies, “GreenFuel Technologies: A Case Study for
Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture”, p. 15)
The biggest concern that we have is the fouling of the internal surface of the sunlit panel. Cultivating
microorganisms for prolonged time in near saturated cultures generates cell debris with propensity to
stick to and pollute the walls of the vessel. Even in the photo of GreenFuel’s prototype (see Figure 1) one
can clearly see spots and smears on the PBR walls. Such contamination requires scrubbing for removal,
11 however after a few years of use the scrubbing damages the surface, thus affecting the optical
properties of even the highest grade glass. Another possible contaminant in GreeFuel’s case may be
soot particles from the flue gas, which could be particularly troublesome due to their high absorptivity.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 39
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Algae Bad – Siting

Algae biofuels require multiple conditions for plant siting – their success is unlikely

Dimitrov 7 (Krassen, Ph.D. and founder of Nanostring Technologies, “GreenFuel Technologies: A Case Study for
Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture”, p. 15)
A PBR plant does not need to be situated on agricultural land, however, this does not mean that it can
be built anywhere. The land requirements are: • proximity to a fossil-fuel emission source (power plant)
• proximity to process water • good insolation level Most power plants are situated in proximity to
urban areas where the land is at premium. As discussed elsewhere, water availability is geographically
divorced from high insolation areas. In an article available here, GreenFuel claims that there are more than
1,000 power plants in the U.S. with sufficient water and land availability to host a commercial installation (it
makes no mention of insolation levels at these sites). It is hard to evaluate, based on this brief mention, what
is considered land availability. In their patent application, GreenFuel cites an example of a 1.3 km2 PBR
plant connected to a 250MW coal-fired power plant. Even assuming that this land area refers to solar
aperture and not to footprint as the Example claims, it is evident from Table 1 and Table 2 that such
installation will have a very limited biodiesel output as well as very limited carbon mitigation potential.
Despite the company’s claims, it is argued here that land availability will be a difficult factor in
deployment of the technology. A GreenFuel installation will either require substantial amounts of land
near power plants to achieve significant production rates, or it will be a small-scale installation, which
will not benefit from economies of scale and will lead to high BOP capital costs.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 40
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

***General Biomass Good***


Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 41
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Biomass Good – Environment

Biomass solves environmental harm

Union of Concerned Scientists 6/19 (“Clean Energy”, http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-


how-biomass-energy-works.html)
Biomass energy brings numerous environmental benefits—reducing air and water pollution, increasing
soil quality and reducing erosion, and improving wildlife habitat. Biomass reduces air pollution by
being a part of the carbon cycle (see the box below), reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent
compared with fossil fuels. Sulfur dioxide and other pollutants are also reduced substantially. Water
pollution is reduced because fewer fertilizers and pesticides are used to grow energy crops, and erosion
is reduced. Moreover, agricultural researchers in Iowa have discovered that by planting grasses or poplar
trees in buffers along waterways, runoff from corn fields is captured, making streams cleaner. In
contrast to high-yield food crops that pull nutrients from the soil, energy crops actually improve soil
quality. Prairie grasses, with their deep roots, build up topsoil, putting nitrogen and other nutrients into the
ground. Since they are replanted only every 10 years, there is minimal plowing that causes soil to erode.
Finally, biomass crops can create better wildlife habitat than food crops. Since they are native plants,
they attract a greater variety of birds and small mammals. They improve the habitat for fish by
increasing water quality in nearby streams and ponds. And since they have a wider window of time to be
harvested, energy crop harvests can be timed to avoid critical nesting or breeding seasons.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 42
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Fertilizers

Biomass won’t increase fertilizer use – plant materials can be reused

Fixen 7 (Paul E, International Plant Nutrition Institute @ Brookings Institute, proceedings of 2007 Fluid Forum,
Fluid Fertilizer Foundation, “Potential Biofuel Influence on the Fertilizer Market”, p. 6)
The question remains of what large nutrient removal by biomass crops and crop residue harvest means to the
fertilizer industry. At first glance is appears to represent a potentially large increase in fertilizer demand
following the logic that nutrients are being removed from fields that will indeed eventually need
replacement. Yet when one considers the fate of the nutrients being removed, the vision of these
removed nutrients as raw material for a new fertilizer source or sources appears. At least some of the N
and P moving to biorefineries will very likely end up entering the livestock feed industry as is the case
with grain-based ethanol production, but the K accumulating will have limited value for that use. It will go
somewhere, and the likely place is back to the production fields, but not necessarily the fields it came from
because they may not have the greatest agronomic need. It appears it would be wise for the fertilizer
industry to further explore with the bioenergy industry the potential for partnerships based on the
concept of biomass nutrients as fertilizer co-products. Early discussions, before commercialization, may
be beneficial to allow consideration of how processes might be modified to accommodate fertilizer co-
product production while also increasing ethanol production efficiency. Brazil learned long ago how to
make a fluid fertilizer (venasse) from the nutrients resulting from processing of sugarcane into ethanol.
Perhaps there is a corollary here.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 43
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Food Prices

Multiple alternate causes to high food prices – biofuels can solve

ABC Science 4/21 (“Biofuels attacked as food prices soar”, http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/04/21/2222880.htm)


The EU's and the Brazilian delegates in Paris contested the link between biofuels and the world food
crisis. "This is highly exaggerated," said Sergio Serra, Brazil's ambassador for climate change. "There is no
real relation of cause and effect between the expansion of the production of biofuels and the raising of
food prices. At least it is not happening in Brazil." EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said
experts will report back by the end of May on how to guarantee that Europe's planned biofuel boost
would not impinge on the environment or the poor. "There are a lot of concerns about social impacts,
rising food prices and environment issues, and for all those reasons we want to insist on sustainability criteria
in our legislation," he says. Defending biofuels Defenders of biofuels say food shortfalls have multiple
causes, including a growing appetite for meat among the burgeoning middle class in China and India.
On average, it takes more than 4 kilograms of grain to produce 1 kilogram of pork, and 2 kilograms of
grain to yield 1 kilogram of beef. Climate change may well be a contributing factor. Some scientists fear
rising temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns may be worsening water scarcity in key agriculture areas
such as Australia's wheat belt, and rice-growing deltas may be hit by saline intrusion from rising seas. In
addition, the surging cost of oil has had an indirect impact on many poor people, adding to the pinch
caused by rising food prices.

Multiple alternate causes to rising food prices

Earth2tech 5/23 (Giga Omni Media environment news, “Biofuels are just one factor in food prices, says report”,
http://earth2tech.com/2008/05/23/biofuels-are-just-one-factor-in-food-prices-says-report/)
Looks like the Wall Street Journal is going have to write a flaming op-ed about the research firm New Energy
Finance now, too. While earlier this week the WSJ lambasted Vinod Khosla for down-playing the role of
ethanol in the food crisis (we reprinted Khosla’s rebuttal here), according to research from New Energy
Finance out next week, biofuels are “far from the dominant” factor in rising food prices. Yes, they’re a
contributing factor, leading to an 8.1 percent increase in global average grain prices, but other factors like
increases in input costs, changes in consumption habits and increases in global population have played
a much larger role, says New Energy Finance. In Brazil, the case was a bit different — rising oil prices
drove domestic demand for ethanol and added a 70 percent increase in sugarcane prices by mid-2006.
Gulp. But overall the price of food staples has risen by up to 244 percent since 2004, notes the research
firm.

Biofuels need little land; tradeoff with food production and deforestation will be minimal

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 8 (host organization for international biofuels conference, “A Sustainable
Biofuels Consensus”, 3/24-28, p. 1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021)
Of the 13.2 billion hectares (bn ha) of the world’s total land area, 1.5 bn ha are used to produce arable
crops and 3.5 bn ha are in pasture for meat, milk and wool production. Crops currently used specifically
for biofuels, as a result of farmers’ choice, utilize only 0.025 bn ha. In Brazil, for example, over 40% of
total gasoline demand is provided by ethanol produced from sugarcane grown on 1% of the 320 Mha of
arable and pasture land, and none in the Amazon rain forest.

No tradeoff – biofuels will be grown on marginal lands

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 8 (host organization for international biofuels conference, “A Sustainable
Biofuels Consensus”, 3/24-28, p. 1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021)
The future potential for biomass could reach 150-400 EJ/yr (up to 25% of world primary energy) by
2050 using available farm, forest and urban residues and by growing perennial energy crops. Some
of the 1 bn ha of marginal and degraded lands unsuitable for food production (such as from rising
salinity levels) could be reclaimed for productive use by growing selected energy crops.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 44
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Food Prices

Biofuel production isn’t causing high food prices and it won’t trade off with land for food
production

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 8 (host organization for international biofuels conference, “A Sustainable
Biofuels Consensus”, 3/24-28, p. 1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021)
Recent agricultural commodity price increases for the most part can be attributed to factors unrelated
to biofuel production. These are increasing food and fodder demand as such, speculation on
international food markets and incidental poor harvests due to extreme weather events. Also, high oil
prices and related high costs of fertilizers have an impact on the price of agricultural commodities. 
Low productivity in agriculture in many regions has resulted in unsustainable land-use, erosion and loss of
soils, deforestation and poverty. Increased productivity over time as a result of better farm management,
new technologies, improved varieties3, energy related capital investment and capacity building would
gradually increase the intensity of land use so that sufficient land becomes available the meet the
growing demand for food, fodder, fiber and biofuel production.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 45
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Developing Countries


No link – biomass will come from crops in the US

Hayes 7 (David J et. al., Latham & Watkins law firm’s Global Chair of the Environment, progressive policy institute, “The Promise of
Biofuels”, 3/6, http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?contentid=254211&subsecid=149&knlgAreaID=116)
Then, of course, there are the environmental benefits. Unlike gasoline made from oil, which releases carbon
dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere when it is used in internal combustion engines, biofuels are "climate-
neutral." Burning them does not add new greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, since the growth and
destruction of the crops that biofuels are made from is part of the natural cycle of CO2 absorption (during
growth) and release (during destruction or decomposition). Nearly all of America's farms, rangelands, and
forests, moreover, have the potential to grow plants that can be converted into biofuels. This offers the
possibility of injecting new life into the U.S. agricultural sector. Even more broadly, producing fuels
domestically instead of importing them from abroad will keep the profits at home, spur new
investments, and create jobs -- not just in the farm sector but also in processing plants and distribution
systems. Industry-led studies estimate that new demand for ethanol helped create 153,725 U.S. jobs last year
-- 19,000 of which were in manufacturing. Rural communities would stand to benefit the most from ethanol
production because farmers own one-half of all existing ethanol refineries.

Biofuels boost the economies of developing countries and is sustainable

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 8 (host organization for international biofuels conference, “A Sustainable
Biofuels Consensus”, 3/24-28, p. 1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43021)
When produced responsibly, increased global biofuels trade, transport use and production can be cost-
effective, equitable and sustainable. Many nations have the ability to produce their own biofuels
derived both from agricultural and forest biomass and from urban wastes, subject to adequate capacity
building, technology transfer and access to finance. Trade in biofuels surplus to local requirements can
thus open up new markets and stimulate the investment needed to promote the full potential of many
impoverished countries.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 46
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Invasive Species

Plants used for biofuels are safe – no risk of environmental harm

New York Times 5/21 (“New Trends in Biofuels has New Risks”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/science/earth/21biofuels.html)
The biofuels industry said the risk of those crops morphing into weed problems is overstated, noting that
proposed biofuel crops, while they have some potential to become weeds, are not plants that inevitably
turn invasive. “There are very few plants that are ‘weeds,’ full stop,” said Willy De Greef, incoming
secretary general of EuropaBio, an industry group. “You have to look at the biology of the plant and the
environment where you’re introducing it and ask, are there worry points here?” He said that biofuel
farmers would inevitably introduce new crops carefully because they would not want growth they
could not control.

Biofuel crops won’t become invasive species – precautions check

New York Times 5/21 (“New Trends in Biofuels has New Risks”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/science/earth/21biofuels.html)
But he and other experts emphasized that some of the second-generation biofuel crops could still be safe
if introduced into the right places and under the right conditions. “With biofuels we need to do proper
assessments and take appropriate measures so they don’t get out of the gate, so to speak,” he said. That
assessment, he added, must take a broad geographical perspective since invasive species don’t respect
borders.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 47
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Air Pollution

Biofuels solve air pollution

Cornell 4/10 (Clayton B, U Utah Bio Honors B.S., 4/10, http://gas2.org/2008/04/10/biodiesel-mythbuster-20-twenty-two-biodiesel-myths-dispelled/)


FACT: According to the University of Minnesota in 2006 (1), the production and use of soybean biodiesel
decreases life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 41% over regular diesel (NREL says 78%, page
4), and also decreases other pollutants like Carbon monoxide, PM10, and SOx. In fact, pure biodiesel
reduces air toxics by 90% when compared to diesel fuel. As an aside, according to the same Minnesota
study, the life-cycle of corn-grain ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 12% and actually increases emissions
of five major pollutants.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 48
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Cultivation

Biomass has a net beneficial effect on the environment

Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program 5 (“Energy Crops and the Environment”, 8/31,
http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/misc/cropenv.html)
Biomass energy crops are trees and perennial grasses grown specifically to provide raw materials
(feedstocks) for energy producers and industry. The U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Feedstock
Development Program (BFDP) conducts and funds research on a variety of trees and switchgrass. The
Program has determined that hybrid poplars, hybrid willows, and switchgrass have the greatest potential for
dedicated energy and raw material (fiber) crops across a wide geographic range. Agricultural, forest and
municipal wastes and residues, and recycled paper, are valuable short term “bioenergy” resources, but alone
do not provide the long term advantages of dedicated tree and grass energy crops. Together, bioenergy from
waste sources and dedicated crops can provide substantial contributions to the Nation’s energy use
mix. The main goal of dedicated crops is to provide energy and material sources while providing
environmental benefits and increasing opportunities for rural economic development. These biomass
energy crops provide environmental benefits such as improved water quality, native wildlife habitat,
and increased soil conservation compared to traditional agricultural row crops. Trees and perennial
grasses can often be grown on farm land that is less suitable for conventional crops and can soil
stabilization. Although energy crops could potentially be grown on any of the nearly 400 million acres of
cropland available in the U.S., energy crops must be economically competitive with traditional crops. Recent
studies have used an agricultural simulation model to estimate how energy crops (switchgrass, willow, and
hybrid poplar) would compete with traditional crops at a farmgate price of about $40/dry ton. In this analysis,
about 42 million acres of switchgrass could be competitively grown and sold for bioenergy by 2008. The
potential regional distribution of switchgrass production is shown in the map below. For additional details on
this analysis, please visit http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/wagin/
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 49
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Energy Loss

Biofuels produce more energy than they consume

The Daily Campus 4/2 (CT college newspaper, “Importance of Efficient Biofuels”,
http://media.www.dailycampus.com/media/storage/paper340/news/2008/04/02/News/Importance.Of.Efficient.Biofuels-3297804.shtml)
One word often heard in current environmental discussions is biofuel. It sounds eco-friendly, but what is it?
According to Richard Parnas, a chemical engineering professor and head of biodiesel research at UConn, the
term biofuel comprises two distinctly different energy sources, both of which have the potential to reduce
American dependence on foreign oil and air pollution. The first type of biofuel is biodiesel, which is
completely different than the other type of biofuel, ethanol. "Biodiesel is a direct substitute for regular diesel
fuels and home heating oil," Parnas said. Biodiesel is produced from vegetable oils through a simple
chemical process. With current technology, biodiesel creates three times more energy than it takes to
produce the fuel, Parnas said. This is a 300 percent benefit in comparison to regular diesel fuel.
Biodiesel is produced by recycling used vegetable oil, like the grease left over from French fry fryers at fast
food restaurants, according to Parnas. The state of Connecticut alone has the potential right now to produce
14 million gallons of biodiesel from waste vegetable oil.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 50
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Increases CO2/Needs FF

Biomass solves CO2 emissions

San Diego Union-Tribune 2/17 (“The Promise of Brwonfields”, http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080217/news_lz1e17kay.html)


Biofuels can help mitigate this global climate change phenomenon because they are made from plants
and algae that absorbed carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis. When we burn fossil fuels, we
add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but burning biofuels releases carbon dioxide that was taken out of
the atmosphere by plants or algae a few days, weeks or years earlier. So, we create a carbon cycle,
helping to prevent further buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The United States has a strong
biofuels industry based largely on ethanol derived from corn grain and made possible by the high price of
petroleum, generous farm subsidies and a stiff tariff on imports of sugar and ethanol.

Technological developments solve their turns

San Diego Union-Tribune 2/17 (“The Promise of Brwonfields”, http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080217/news_lz1e17kay.html)


Fortunately, new technological developments are on the horizon. Ethanol can also be made from
cellulose, the large linear molecule of plants consisting entirely of glucose that is the most abundant natural
material in the world. Cellulose is the main ingredient in wood and in the new so-called biomass crops such
as miscanthus that do not require much nitrogen fertilizer and have yields of 20 tons of biomass per
acre. Scientists reported at our biofuels conference that sugar can also be fermented directly into gasoline-
like molecules, such as alkanes, that do not need to be distilled. This would require us to create new
superbugs. Remember the superbugs that ate oil spills? Our new superbugs would produce oil-like
molecules for transportation. Also, oil can be produced by microalgae living in shallow ponds using the
nutrients in municipal wastewater. With such plant and algal sources and with new industrial
processes and fermentations, we could have a true greenhouse gas neutral transportation system that
prevents further buildup of carbon dioxide and the two other greenhouse gases released as a result of
agricultural practices – methane and nitrous oxide – into the atmosphere. Indeed, the other greenhouse
gases have to be counted as well. Jeff Severinghaus, of UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
reported at the meeting that for those crops that require nitrogen fertilizers such as corn, canola and
switchgrass, the release of nitrous oxide by soil bacteria may negate the positive effect of carbon dioxide
absorption by photosynthesis.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 51
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Needs FF/Inefficient

Biofuels can be made efficiently from renewable energy and microorganisms

Science Daily 1/7 (“Efficient Biofuel Made From Genetically Modified E. Coli Bacteria”
ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2008) — Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied
Science have developed a new method for producing next-generation biofuels by genetically modifying
Escherichia coli bacteria to be an efficient biofuel synthesizer. The method could lead to mass
production of these biofuels. Concerns about long-term fossil fuel availability, coupled with
environmental problems resulting from their production and use, have spurred increased efforts to
synthesize biofuels from renewable resources. Biofuels, like commercially available ethanol, are produced
from agricultural products such as corn, sugarcane or waste cellulose. Ethanol, however, has limitations — it
is not as efficient as gasoline and must be mixed with gas for use as a transportation fuel. It also tends to
absorb water from its surroundings, making it corrosive and preventing it from being stored or distributed in
existing infrastructure without modification. Higher-chain alcohols have energy densities close to gasoline,
are not as volatile or corrosive as ethanol, and do not readily absorb water. Furthermore, branched-chain
alcohols, such as isobutanol, have higher-octane numbers, resulting in less knocking in engines. Isobutanol or
C5 alcohols have never been produced from a renewable source with yields high enough to make them viable
as a gasoline substitute. A new strategy has been developed by UCLA professor of chemical and
biomolecular engineering James Liao, postdoctoral fellow Shota Atsumi and visiting professor Taizo Hanai.
"These alcohols are typically trace byproducts in fermentation," Liao said. "To modify an organism to
produce these compounds usually results in toxicity in the cell. We bypassed this difficulty by
leveraging the native metabolic networks in E. coli but altered its intracellular chemistry using genetic
engineering to produce these alcohols." The research team modified key pathways in E. coli to produce
several higher-chain alcohols from glucose, a renewable carbon source, including isobutanol, 1-butanol, 2-
methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and 2-phenylethanol. This strategy leverages the E. coli host's highly
active amino acid biosynthetic pathway by shifting part of it to alcohol production. In particular, the
research team achieved high-yield, high-specificity production of isobutanol from glucose. This new
strategy opens an unexplored frontier for biofuels production, both in coli and in other
microorganisms. "The ability to make these branched-chain higher alcohols so efficiently is surprising,"
Liao said. "Unlike ethanol, organisms are not used to producing these unusual alcohols, and there is no
advantage for them to do so. The fact that they can be made by E. coli is even more surprising, since E. coli
is not a promising host to tolerate alcohols. These results mean that these unusual alcohols in fact can be
manufactured as efficiently as what evolved in nature for ethanol. Therefore, we now can explore these
unusual alcohols as biofuels and are not bound by what nature has given us." UCLA has licensed the
technology through an exclusive royalty-bearing license to Gevo Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based company
founded in 2005 and dedicated to producing biofuels. "Given that part of UCLA's mission is to transfer
technologies to the commercial sector to benefit the public, we are excited at the prospect that this UCLA-
developed technology may play a key role in addressing climate change and energy independence," said Earl
Weinstein, assistant director of the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property. "It has been a pleasure to work with
the team at Gevo on this deal, and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with them". "This discovery
leads to new opportunities for advanced biofuel development," said Patrick Gruber, Gevo's chief executive
officer. "As the exclusive licensee of this technology, we can further our national interests in developing
advanced renewable resource-based fuels that will help address the issues of climate change and future
energy needs while creating a significant competitive advantage."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 52
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Cost

Co-firing solves cost while reducing emissions and solving energy security

Union of Concerned Scientists 6/19 (“Clean Energy”, http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-


how-biomass-energy-works.html)
An approach that may increase the use of biomass energy in the short term is to burn it mixed with
coal in power plants—a process known as "co-firing." Biomass feedstock can substitute up to 20 percent
of the coal used in a boiler.[3] The benefits associated with biomass co-firing include lower operating
costs, reductions of harmful emissions, and greater energy security. Co-firing is also one of the more
economically viable ways to increase biomass power generation today. In 2000, the Chariton Valley
Biomass Project, a joint effort including Alliant Energy, the U.S. Department of Energy, and local biomass
groups, began testing the co-firing of switchgrass with coal at Alliant's Ottumwa Generating Station in Iowa.
The project has proved so successful that in 2005, Alliant received permission to build a permanent biomass
processing facility at the plant, capable of co-firing up to five percent of its energy with switchgrass.[4]
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 53
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Cost Competitiveness

Biofuels can be cost-competitive by 2015; no breakthroughs are necessary

NRDC 7 (National Resource Defense Council, “Move Over, Gasoline: Here Comes Biofuels”, 6/19,
http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/biofuels.asp)
This is not hypothetical technology of the future. Biofuels are available now, ready to compete in the
market with fossil fuels. The biofuels industry relies on real-world technologies that are improving by
leaps and bounds every day. With technological advances that we could deploy over the next 10 years,
biofuels could bring staggering economic and environmental benefits: * Biofuels can slash global
warming pollution. By 2050, biofuels -- especially cellulosic biofuels -- could reduce our greenhouse gas
emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year. That's equal to more than 80 percent of current transportation-related
emissions. * Biofuels can be cost competitive with gasoline and diesel. Economists estimate that by
2015, we could produce biofuels for sale at prices equal to, or lower than, average gas and diesel prices.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 54
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Defo

Multiple alternate causes to deforestation

Financial Times 7 (“UN Backs Biofuel Despite Fears of Deforestation”, 4/20, http://www.truthout.org/article/un-backs-biofuel-despite-
fears-deforestation)
The carbon dioxide emissions from forest fires in Indonesia and Brazil could outweigh predicted
emissions reductions from the use of biofuels in diesel and other fuels in Europe, the environmental groups
said. Mr Steiner, who attended a meeting on business and the environment in Singapore on Thursday,
suggested such efforts to curb biofuel development reflected a "sledgehammer" approach and were
based on "simplistic" views. He said there were multiple causes for the burning of forest land,
including clearing space for agriculture, and that biofuels should not be solely blamed for the problem.

Biofuel production will be sustainable

Financial Times 7 (“UN Backs Biofuel Despite Fears of Deforestation”, 4/20, http://www.truthout.org/article/un-backs-biofuel-despite-
fears-deforestation)
But he said biofuel consumers in Europe and elsewhere were becoming aware of the problem and would
demand that biofuel producers be certified as engaging in sustainable production. Mr Steiner
predicted that biofuel producers and governments would co-operate in establishing international
standards to certify sustainable production. A group of palm oil producers recently formed the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to set up a certification process, while palm oil producers in south-
east Asia and soya producers in Brazil have established partnerships with environmental groups to
develop sustainable criteria.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 55
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Remove CO2 Sinks


Biofuels actually complement the sequestration capabilities of carbon sinks. There’s no net
loss since the crops and land would be used anyway.
Grieg and Cummine 2K (Andrew, Gorton Timber Company, and Alan, Australian Forest Growers. “Carbon
Sinks and Biofuels – Silviculture in the Greenhouse” from the Australian Forest Growers Biennial Conference,
Cairns, September 2000. PDF accessed July 16, 2008)
Biofuels – a complement to carbon sinks The targeted mitigation of Ghg emissions cannot be
achieved by carbon sinks alone. A substantial reduction of fossil fuel sources is also necessary. This
reduction can be effected through more efficient fossil fuel utilisation and, indirectly, through
substitutions with renewable energy. In the context of Greenhouse, the concept of renewable energy
is proving contentious. In particular, some are contending that any substitution accompanied by carbon
dioxide emission is inadmissible. On that basis, they consider the combustion of biomass to be an
ineffective and unacceptable means of mitigation. Such a contention misunderstands the dynamics of
biomass in recycling atmospheric carbon. Greenhouse gases from inevitable biomass decay Through
photosynthesis, biomass offers the most natural form of solar energy. In tapping that energy for economic
use, biomass combustion is not significantly different from consuming biomass as food. Both forms of
utilisation are accompanied by Ghg emissions. Furthermore, combustion is itself a mechanism of
biomass decay autonomously occurring in Nature. The potential for Ghg sequestration by
enhancement of vegetative sinks is limited. To the extent that carbon stocks on some areas of land have
been reduced to less than storage capacity, those sinks can be replenished. Beyond that replenishment, no
further sequestration is possible.

Revegetation via biofuel production, as well as inevitable decay, mean that biomass can
displace carbon sinks without effect
Grieg and Cummine 2K (Andrew, Gorton Timber Company, and Alan, Australian Forest Growers. “Carbon
Sinks and Biofuels – Silviculture in the Greenhouse” from the Australian Forest Growers Biennial Conference,
Cairns, September 2000. PDF accessed July 16, 2008)
With Kyoto’s first commitment period looming, and carbon stocks well below some sites’ storage capacities,
any early resort to biofuels may appear counterproductive to realising sequestration’s potential. Not
so. In the first instance, any increase of carbon stocks brought about by revegetation activities will
be nett of natural Ghg emissions during the decay phase of some individual plants. Even stands of
recently-planted perennials will, in the next ten years, exhibit that phase. Only part of the remains will be
preserved as additions to soil carbon stocks. Through the agents of that decay, the other part will re-
enter the atmosphere as carbon dioxide or methane by-products of the respiration of those agents.
Secondly, biomass will continue to be utilised for food and fibre. Farming/harvesting practices adopted to
enhance soil carbon stocks will nevertheless seek to optimise such enhancement with other constraints on the
in-situ retention of biomass that is surplus to product yield. Subsequent processing of harvested material
will separately accumulate that surplus biomass for disposal. Within both these growth scenarios,
quantities of decaying biomass accrue concomitant with, but surplus to, the activity's objective. In
bringing its decay to completion, by using such surpluses as fuel, combustion of the biomass is simply
alternative to the otherwise inevitable generation of Ghg through the process of decay. On that basis
alone, biomass fuels displacing fossil fuels is no less effective than carbon sequestration in mitigating
nett Ghg emissions.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 56
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Marginalizes Women

Biomass increases employment for women and local systems solve their offense

FAO 4/21 (“Large-scale biofuel production may increase marginalization of women”, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43064)
The establishment of plantations for biofuel production may create new employment opportunities in
rural areas. These opportunities are targeted mainly to low-skilled agricultural workers, who are
increasingly employed on a seasonal or casual basis. A growing number of these workers are women
(around 40 percent of the total in Latin America and the Caribbean), who due to existing social inequalities
tend to be particularly disadvantaged, compared to men, in terms of wages, working conditions and
benefits, training and exposure to safety and health risks. The report stresses the need for further research
and data on the socio-economic effects of liquid biofuel production on men and women. The study calls for
an environmentally sustainable and pro-poor biofuel development strategy, integrating energy crop
plantations into existing local agri-food systems in order to protect smallholder farmers’ traditional
agricultural activities, skills and specialized knowledge, which are crucial to the food security and long-
term resilience of rural communities.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 57
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Biomass Good – AT: Econ

Biomass solves oil dependence, revitalizing growth

Energy Future Coalition 7 (partner of the United Nations Foundation, “Biofuels for our Future: A Primer”, p. 6,
http://www.energyfuturecoalition.org/biofuels/benefits_us_economy.htm)
America’s dependence on oil jeopardizes its national security, drains billions of dollars from the U.S.
economy, and contributes to global warming. The economic benefits of breaking this addiction to oil
would be immense and widespread. Fortunately, the commodities best positioned to help end that
dependence and enable a transition to a low-oil, high-growth economy are already growing in the fields
and forests of rural America. Plants and trees, known collectively as biomass, can be converted into
transportation fuel – chiefly ethanol and biodiesel. Renewable fuels from biomass are called biofuels.

Oil dependence destroys the US economy – shift to biofuels revitalizes

Energy Future Coalition 7 (partner of the United Nations Foundation, “Biofuels for our Future: A Primer”, p. 6,
http://www.energyfuturecoalition.org/biofuels/benefits_us_economy.htm)
The U.S. economy depends on transportation, and transportation depends almost entirely on oil. This
dependence on oil as the nation’s only significant transportation fuel creates risk – of economic shock,
should supplies be disrupted; of terrorist acts financed by oil-producing nations; and of military engagement
to protect access to oil. The increased production and use of biofuels could significantly reduce the
amount of oil needed to fuel U.S. cars and trucks. Creating an abundant supply of biofuels – and the
accompanying national production and distribution network – would ensure a more prosperous and secure
future for America. It would mean higher incomes for farmers and an increase in skilled jobs in rural
areas. Tens of billions of dollars would be invested in the U.S. economy rather than sent overseas. The
transition to biofuels would also result in a more vital U.S. manufacturing sector, creating cutting-edge
technologies and “flexible-fuel” cars that could be marketed to consumers around the world.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 58
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AT: Biomass Bad – Turns N/U

Biofuel production is accelerating rapidly

ABC Science 4/21 (“Biofuels attacked as food prices soar”, http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/04/21/2222880.htm)


Biofuels may still be in their infancy but they are growing rapidly, with annual production leaping by
double-digit percentages. In a speech last week that set down a target for reducing US carbon emissions,
President George W Bush pointed to legislation requiring US producers to supply at least 136 billion
litres of renewable fuel by 2020. In 2007, 20% of grain or 81 million tonnes, produced in the US was
used to make ethanol, according to US think tank the Earth Policy Institute, which predicts the percentage
will jump to nearly a quarter this year. "We are looking at a five-fold increase in renewable fuel," Bush's
top climate change advisor, Jim Connaughton, said in Paris last week at a meeting of the world's major
greenhouse-gas polluters. But more than half of that legislatively-mandated production would come from
second-generation biofuels made from non-food sources such as switchgrass and wood by-products, he
said.

Biomass is being used in the squo - only a risk that tech development can solve better

Union of Concerned Scientists 6/19 (“Clean Energy”, http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-


how-biomass-energy-works.html)
In the United States, we already get 45 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from biomass, about 1.2
percent of our nation's total electric sales.[9] We also get nearly four billion gallons of ethanol, about
two percent of the liquid fuel used in cars and trucks.[10] The contribution for heat is also substantial.
But with better conversion technology and more attention paid to energy crops, we could produce
much more.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 59
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***Biogas Good***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 60
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Biogas Good – AT: Toxic

Cow-manure composting sequesters toxic byprodicts

Zicari 3 (Steven McKinsey, Cornell U master of science degree, “REMOVAL OF HYDROGEN SULFIDE FROM BIOGAS USING COW-
MANURE COMPOST”, Jan., p. 108, www.cowpower.cornell.edu/project_docs/MS-Thesis-Steve-Zicari.pdf)
Initial testing of cow-manure compost indicates that it has potential as an effective and economic
medium for H2S removal. PVC test columns were constructed and a 2:1 biogas-to-air mixture passed
through the columns containing anaerobically digested cow-manure compost. The tests of most significance
were run for 1057 hours with an empty-bed gas-residence time near 100 seconds and inlet H2S
concentrations averaging 500 ppm as measured by electrochemical sensor with a 40:1 sample dilution.
Removal efficiencies over 80% were recorded for the majority of the trial. Elimination capacities recorded
were between 16–118 g H2S/m3-solids/hr. This is significant considering only minimal moisture and no
temperature or pH controls were implemented. Temperature in the bed varied from 19-43°C and the
moisture contents in the spent column ranged from 41-70%, with pH values from 4.6 to 6.9. It is not clear
whether the major mechanism for sulfur removal from the gas stream is biological, chemical or
physical, but it is known that sulfur content in the compost increased by over 1400%, verifying
sequestration of sulfur in the solid. These initial results indicate that future work is warranted for
examining the suitability of cow-manure compost as a biofiltration medium for use with biogas.

Bio-scrubbers solve biogas toxins

Nishimura and Yoda 97 (Sosuke and Motyuki, Kurita Water Industries engineers, “Removal of hydrogen sulfide from anaerobic
biogas using a bio-scrubber”, http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/els/02731223/1997/00000036/00000006/art00542)
A novel biological treatment process for removing hydrogen sulfide from anaerobic biogas using a bio-
scrubber has been developed. The treatment process is composed of a gas/liquid contact tower and an
aeration tank. The biogas from an anaerobic wastewater treatment process is introduced into a multiple-
bubble-tray contact tower (bio-scrubber) and scrubbed with activated sludge liquor from an aeration tank.
The sludge liquor containing sulfides is then returned to the aeration tank, where the sulfide is oxidized to
sulfate by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria such as Thiobacillus. The contact tower is designed to be air tight in order
to prevent air from mixing into the biogas used as a fuel. A simulation model was developed to calculate
effluent gas concentrations from the contact tower, incorporating input parameters such as influent hydrogen
sulfide concentrations, gas flow rates, and gas/liquid ratios. Using the simulation model, design criteria were
calculated and a full-scale plant for treating biogas from a UASB process for potato processing
wastewater was constructed. The data shows that the hydrogen sulfide in the biogas was effectively
reduced from 2,000 ppm to less than 20 ppm.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 61
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Biogas Good – AT: Inequity

Biogas lifts farmers out of poverty in the developing world – helps them manage scarce
resources and increase agricultural output

Omane 3 (Nana, MAKA GROUP chairman, “Why Gana has to exploit its Biogas potential”, 9/30, http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage//features/artikel.php?ID=43885)
In Ghana, just as in most other developing countries, the dual problems of progressive deforestation due to
high demand for firewood and the need for fertilization are most profound. Huge sums of money are spent
on importation of chemical fertilizers. But it has been established that the amount of technically available
nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous in the form of organic materials is around eight times as high as
the quantity of chemical fertilizers actually consumed in developing countries. And especially for small
farmers, biogas technology is a suitable tool for making maximum use of scarce resources. For after
extraction of the energy content of dung and other organic waste material, the resulting sludge still
remains a good fertilizer, capable improving general soil quality as well as ensuring higher crop yields.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 62
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Biogas Good – AT: Water

Biogas solves water scarcity, water pollution, warming, and unsustainable resource use

Omane 3 (Nana, MAKA GROUP chairman, “Why Gana has to exploit its Biogas potential”, 9/30, http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage//features/artikel.php?ID=43885)
Today, in the fields of municipal sludge treatment, industrial wastewater purification and treatment of
agricultural wastes biogas technology has reached maturity and is enjoying an upswing in such
developing countries in Asia (as in India) and Latin America, whereas a Europe is currently experiencing a
boom in municipal treatment of waste using anaerobic digestion . Large-scale biogas projects are have been
completed or are underway in several developing countries due to the ability of the project developers and
governments to recognize the agricultural, environmental and energy issues involved, and hence correctly
identify the multifaceted benefits to society. Moreover, previous research conducted in Ghana point to the
need to adopt such an approach in evaluating biogas projects. International and bilateral funding programs
are in existence, and are ready to be sourced, as demonstrated by the latest report in the mass media on a
project initiated by Third Millennio Foundation, an international humanitarian and environmental
organization based in Italy and the United Kingdom, that has offered to finance a waste-to-energy project in
Ghana. Global concern over increasing emission of greenhouse gases, increasing water consumption
and water pollution, declining soil fertility, unsatisfactory waste management and the growing rate of
deforestation is largely due to the unsustainable resource use systems that prevail. Ghana is a signatory
to international agreements on sustainable development, and has duty to take measures to help realize goals
spelt out in them, by initiating action home. This must be done first by adopting appropriate policies, setting
targets, and then putting in place implementation of projects that help achieve the targets set. Biogas
technology can be said to be an important hardware component in the chain of measures to counteract
the problems enumerated above. International institutions exist that are committed to play a lead role in
networking and information exchange to ensure that the potential of biogas technology is recognized and
made optimal use of. Moreover, companies that have proven designs are known, and all that is left is for
government to draw a roadmap: a roadmap that could be crucial to the success of all agriculture-related
PSI (Presidential Special Initiatives).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 63
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Biogas Good – AT: Fertilizers/Food Prices

Biogas provides organic fertilizers to increase food production

ISIS 6 (Institute of Science in Society, “Biogas China”, http://www.i-sis.org.uk/BiogasChina.php)


The liquid and solids in the digester is a treasure trove of valuable biological resources [3]. These
include major nutrients for crops such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), as well as
trace elements that can stimulate seed germination and growth. Also present are biologically active
compounds such amino acids, growth hormones, gibberelin, sugars, humic acid, unsaturated fatty acids,
vitamins, cellulase and other enzymes, and antibiotics that may suppress the growth of pathogens, which
benefit both plants and animals. The slurry and solids can be used as fodder for livestock and fish. The
solid phase will include the micro-organisms responsible for fermenting the wastes and producing methane,
which would have multiplied in the digest, constituting a rich source of protein when the digested slurry or
dregs are used as fodder. The digested slurry can be used as organic manure in the sowing season and as
a source of water in other seasons. Seeds submerged in slurry germinate better and the seedlings grow
stronger. Used as a spray for plants, the slurry inhibits disease and boosts yields. The digested slurry
can be used to feed fish, the dosage depending on the transparency of the fishpond (an indication of how
much organic nutrient is present). It can also be fed to pigs as an additive to speed up growth and shorter
the rearing period by 25 percent, saving feeds by 15 percent. When fed to boiler and layers, the slurry
from cow, chicken and pig manure increased the rate of egg laying by 14 percent, 9 percent and 7
percent respectively. The solid dregs from the digester have high levels of humic acid and can be used
as a soil conditioner or as substrate for culturing mushrooms. They can also be used to culture
earthworms to be fed to chickens. Chickens fed earthworms lay 15 to 30 percent more eggs [11].
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 64
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Biogas Good – AT: Increases Emissions/Defo

Biogas solves emissions and deforestation

ISIS 6 (Institute of Science in Society, “Biogas China”, http://www.i-sis.org.uk/BiogasChina.php)


The second main reason for anaerobic digestion is that methane is a major greenhouse gas, second to
carbon dioxide in amount generated, but with a global warming potential 22 times that of carbon dioxide.
Using biogas not only removes polluting wastes, but also mitigates global warming [8] (Dream Farm 2 -
Story So Far). The methane flux from exposed slurry is 3.92 mg per square metre per hour, compared with
10.26 mg per square metre per hour from compost in rice fields [3]. Methane mitigation saves carbon
emissions and can be traded as carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto
Protocol for climate change [9] (Biogas Bonanza for Third World Development ). Using biogas also solves
the most serious problem of energy supply in rural areas, where people traditionally forage for fuel
wood in forest. A 10m3 digester in rural areas can save 2 000 kg of fuel wood, which is equivalent to
reforesting 0.26-4 ha [6]. Africa lost 64 million ha of forest between 1990 and 2005, more than any other
continent, and fuel wood gathering was a major cause of forest depletion [10].
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Biogas Good – AT: Marginalizes Women

Biodigesters have a positive impact on women – reduce workload

Laurdisen 98 (“Evaluation of the impact on women's lives of the introduction of low cost polyethylene biodigesters on farms in villages
around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 7/12, http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd10/3/met1031.htm)
This investigation has shown that the introduction of biodigesters has had a very positive impact on the
practical life of women, mainly because it has reduced their workload because they save time getting
firewood and in cooking. With a biodigester it is easier and cleaner to work in the kitchen and on the
farm. There appeared to be no direct effect on the social life of the women. They never mentioned that the
introduction of biodigesters had changed their role in the community, their level of participation or their
relationship to their husbands. It is also worth noting that none of the participants answered that they used the
time saved on social activities outside the family.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 66
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Biogas Good – AT: Composting CP

Liquefied manure is better – lower cost and increased flexibility in handling reduces
environmental impact

Tyson 97 (Ted W, Auburn U agricultural engineering associate prof., Extension Agricultural Engineer,
“Advantages of Manure Solid-Liquid Separation”, http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1025/)
Animal waste lagoons and storage ponds are designed to hold large amounts of raw manure and flush
water. Managing this waste in an environmentally sound way is easier and more flexible if the manure
solids are separated out before they reach the treatment/storage structure. Advantages to solids separation
include the following: reducing the initial size of the lagoon or storage pond, which lowers construction
costs; increasing handling flexibility for ultimate disposal and use of animal waste; and for lagoons,
extending the time between solids cleanout, which makes treatment more efficient and controls odor.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 67
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***Algae Biofuels Bad***


Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 68
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Algae Good – AT: Cost-Competitiveness/Siting

Algae biofuels would be cost-competitive – new technology and abundant siting

MIT Research Council 6 (“Algae system transformers greenhouse emissions into green fuel”, 7/24,
http://web.mit.edu/erc/spotlights/alg-all.html)
Using algae to capture CO2 isn’t a new idea, but no one has found a commercially viable method of
doing it. What’s Berzin’s secret? “We give an old idea a push with technology,” he explained. For
example, Berzin and his coworkers “tailor” algae to perform well at a specific power plant. They use a
terrestrial cousin of a miniature bioreactor designed for the International Space Station. As algae grow
inside the bioreactor, their environment is gradually shifted to conditions they will encounter at the
plant. Within three months, the tailored algae are thriving on flue gases instead of air. No genetic
engineering is involved. “We just use the natural tendency of algae to adapt to any environment,” said Berzin.
In fall 2005, the algae system was installed at a 1000-MW power plant in the Southwest. Initial field
trials at the plant were successful, and testing is now moving into a pilot phase. Berzin estimates that
more than 1000 power plants in the United States have enough flue gas, water, and land to host a
commercial-scale installation. Many other industrial facilities would no doubt also qualify.

Biodiesel can be cost-competitive by 2009 – current research is meeting successes

Science Daily 7 (“Pond Scum: Fueling our Future?”, 2/2, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070130090717.htm)


USU is currently conducting research on algae and plans to produce an algae-biodiesel that is cost-
competitive by 2009. Algae, plainly referred to as pond scum, can produce up to 10,000 gallons of oil per
acre and can be grown virtually anywhere. "This is perhaps the most important scientific challenge facing
humanity in the 21st century," said Lance Seefeldt, USU professor of chemistry and biochemistry. "There
are several options for solving the world's energy problem, but at this point, none of them are
realistically viable for long-term use." Biodiesel is a clean and carbon-dioxide-neutral fuel that is
becoming more popular, but most of the current product comes from soybean and corn oil. As supply and
demand grows, so does the price of soybeans and corn. People and animals rely on soybean and corn as a
food commodity, eventually causing competition between commodities and growing enough product.
Meeting this demand would require the world to use virtually all of its arable land, said Seefeldt. The
world today relies on fossil fuels to supply much of its energy, and there are currently 13 terawatts of energy
used per year. A terawatt is 1,000 billion watts, and Seefeldt said usage is predicted to double to 26 terawatts
by the year 2050. Fossil fuels are expensive, finite and generate greenhouse gasses that many believe are
harming the environment, said Seefeldt. "This has moved from a purely environmental issue to a global
economics issue," said Seefeldt. Sir Nicholas Stern, chief economist for the World Bank, said that climate
change presents a unique challenge for economics and that it has the potential to be the world's greatest and
widest ranging market failure ever seen. "Business as usual will result in a five-to six-degree warming of the
Earth by 2100," said Stern. "This will result in a five to 10 percent loss in global gross domestic product,
having a direct impact on human health and environment." Seefeldt, along with several fellow USU
professors, formed the Biofuels Program to develop new and emerging technologies that will produce
methane, biodiesel, hydrogen and alcohols from renewable, carbon-dioxide-neutral energy sources, such as
consumer and agricultural waste and sunlight. The state of Utah sees so much promise in the research that
it has given the USU Biofuels Program $6 million for five years through the Utah Science and Technology
Research Initiative. USTAR makes highly-selective, strategic investments in research with the potential to
benefit Utah's economy. The research has already set in motion several spin-off and industry
relationships, and one patent has already been issued, with four others pending.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 69
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Algae Good – AT: Poor Power

Algae produces high quality fuel with environmental sustainability

Oilgae 6/29 (advocacy organization for the production of oil from algae, “Oil from Alage!”, http://www.oilgae.com/)
While a number of bio-feedstock are currently being experimented for biodiesel (and ethanol ) production,
algae have emerged as one of the most promising sources especially for biodiesel production, for two
main reasons (1) The yields of oil from algae are orders of magnitude higher than those for traditional
oilseeds, and (2) Algae can grow in places away from the farmlands & forests, thus minimising the
damages caused to the eco- and food chain systems. There is a third interesting reason as well: Algae can
be grown in sewages and next to power-plant smokestacks where they digest the pollutants and give us
oil! Though research into algae oil as a source for biodiesel is not new, the current oil crises and fast
depleting fossil oil reserves have made it more imperative for organizations and countries to invest more time
and efforts into research on suitable renewable feedstock such as algae. Just by way of history, petroleum is
widely believed to have had its origins in kerogen, which is easily converted to an oily substance under
conditions of high pressure and temperature. Kerogen (Kerogen – from Wikipedia) is formed from algae,
biodegraded organic compounds, plankton, bacteria, plant material, etc., by biochemical and/or chemical
reactions such as diagenesis and catagenesis. Several studies have been conducted to simulate petroleum
formation by pyrolysis. On the basis of these findings, it can be inferred that algae grown in CO2-enriched
air can yield oil that can be converted into biodiesel. Such an approach can contribute to solving two
major problems: air pollution resulting from CO2 evolution, and future crises due to a shortage of energy
sources.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 70
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***Uniqueness***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 71
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Geothermal will Increase in US (1/2)


Geothermal production will increase 20 % by 2010

Bertani 6 (Ruggero, Enel, Generation and Energy Management , “World Geothermal Power Generation 2001 –
2005”, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/worldpower05.pdf)
In the United States, geothermal electrical production is restricted to California, Nevada, Utah and
Hawaii. Since 1989, only 110 MWe have been added to the country’s installed capacity. Geothermal activity
in the last five years includes two injection projects at The Geysers, in which recycled waste and lake waters
are sent from a number of local communities to the geothermal field via lengthy pipelines. The Southeast
Geysers Effluent Recycling Project (SEGEP) was the first wastewater-to-electricity system. As a
consequence of massive reinjection of fluid, power generation at The Geysers has increased by an estimated
77 MWe (Fig. 15). A second pipeline that carries treated wastewater from the City of Santa Rosa to The
Geysers went online in 2004. Its beneficial effects are under evaluation, but the water is expected to provide
recovery of an additional 85 MWe (Monastero, 2002; Sass and Priest, 2002; Lund, 2003, 2004; Campbell et
al., 2004; Lund et al., 2005). Present installed gross geothermal power capacity in the United States is
2,564 MWe, with a net running capacity of nearly 2000 MWe, and production in 2004 of 17,917 GWh.
The difference between capacity and production derives mainly from The Geysers, where the 21 power
plants currently in operation have an installed capacity of 1,421 MWe. Because of overexploitation, however,
steam is available to generate only about 900 MWe. Several geothermal power plants are scheduled for
installation in the western United States. If all of them succeed, U.S. geothermal electric energy
production should grow by 340 MWe by 2010, corresponding to a 20-percent increase over the 2005-
2010 period.

Multiple states set to expand the geothermal market, double current production

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


Recent interest in geothermal energy particularly, and renewable energy in general, has precipitated
expansion of the geothermal electricity market. The Chena Hot Springs Resort in Alaska will develop
its first geothermal power project that pairs the direct use of geothermal energy with on-site
geothermal electricity generation; meanwhile, in the next few years, the first geothermal plant will be
developed in Arizona. Idaho will soon see its first geothermal power project at Raft River come online, and
potentially demonstrate new higher-efficiency power generation technology. The Nevada Renewable
Portfolio Standard is expected to stimulate the production of over 200 megawatts (MW) of new geothermal
power, doubling the geothermal generation in the state. Oregon may also see significant growth in
geothermal power development, and Hawaii, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Texas and Wyoming
are beginning to explore the potential of new geothermal power facilities. These and other developments
are expected to add 2,000 MW or more of geothermal power in the United States during the next
decade, doubling current geothermal electric production.

New legislation will create double-digit growth for the geothermal industry

Wicker 5 (Ken, Rocky Mountain Institute researcher, “Geothermal: Hotter than ever”, Power; Jan/Feb2005, Vol.
149 Issue 1, p40-44, 4p)
Legislation is also fueling geothermal advocates' optimism. With Congress' recent renewal of the
Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), U.S. geothermal power projects could experience another boom.
The new PTC, which won't expire for another five years, allows an allocation of 1.8 cents/kWh to any
facility that generates electricity from geothermal resources. "Now that Congress has acted to support
renewable energy, we could see a return to the double-digit annual growth that occurred in the 1980s,"
Gawell predicts.
It is not only in the U.S. that the industry is feeling bullish. Worldwide, there are 8,402 MW of installed
geothermal energy-fueled capacity. According to Gawell, "Production has expanded more than 50%
over the past decade, and the potential exists to support 80,000 MW of capacity using current
technology--a tenfold increase in today's level."
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Geothermal will Increase in US (2/2)


New proposals for tech development will boost geothermal industry

Wicker 5 (Ken, Rocky Mountain Institute researcher, “Geothermal: Hotter than ever”, Power; Jan/Feb2005, Vol.
149 Issue 1, p40-44, 4p)
There's one more reason the geothermal industry is feeling bullish: The introduction of new technology
is in the works in the U.S. Recently, more than a dozen new proposals were received by the DOE's
Geothermal Program in response to its solicitation for cost-shared projects that either seek to improve
plant efficiency or allow for electricity generation from lower-temperature geothermal resources. According
to Gawell, "DOE staff were impressed both by the number and quality of the responses. There has been
a marked increase in industry interest in demonstrating new technology." By the time this issue goes to
press, the awards should have been made.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 73
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Geothermal down Now/Gov’t Incentives Key


Federal support for geothermal will be cut, the DOE only supports breakthrough tech

Washington Post 7 (March 13, http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=70882)


The Bush administration wants to eliminate federal support for geothermal power just as many U.S.
states are looking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and raise renewable power output.
The move has angered scientists who say there is enough hot water underground to meet all U.S. electricity
needs without greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Department of Energy has not requested funds for geothermal research in our fiscal-year 2008
budget," said Christina Kielich, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy. "Geothermal is a mature
technology. Our focus is on breakthrough energy research and development."
The administration of George W. Bush has made renewable energy a priority as it seeks to wean the United
States off foreign oil, but it emphasizes use of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel for vehicles and nuclear
research for electricity.
"In spite of its enormous potential, the geothermal option for the United States has been largely
ignored," a recent study led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.

Only government incentives will let the burgeoning geothermal industry increase

Bertani 6 (Ruggero, Enel, Generation and Energy Management , “World Geothermal Power Generation 2001 –
2005”, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/worldpower05.pdf)
The trend has not improved since 2000. Installed geothermal capacity has increased by approximately
960 MWe (Fig. 1 and Table 2), or only about 190 MWe per year added during the 2000-2005 period. World-
wide, the contribution of geothermal to total electricity generated is less than half of one percent.
World net electricity generation for 2003 was 15.8 million GWh/y (U.S. Department of Energy,
www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table63.xls), while geothermal generation was only 0.057 million
GWh per year.
Figure 2 is a world map showing countries that generate electricity using geothermal resources, and their
installed capacity in early 2005. Changes in installed capacity during the last 30 years, as well as changes in
electricity generation between 1995 and 2005, are reported in Table 4. Recent increases in oil prices and
predicted decline in oil reserves during the coming years could lead to a boost in the amount of
geothermal electricity produced. However, this will be affordable only with appropriate government
policies and regulations, and with some sort of incentives to attract investors. The acceptance of the
Kyoto Climate Change Protocol by many countries might also help the geothermal electricity market achieve
a one-percent share in world electricity production by 2010. This is still a long way from fulfilling the
world’s renewable energy target, but for the next five years it is a reasonable objective with geothermal
technologies currently available.

With investment, geothermal could power 80 million US homes by 2059

Washington Post 7 (March 13, http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=70882)


New geothermal power projects by 2050 could provide 100,000 megawatts of electricity -- enough to
power about 80 million U.S. homes, or as much as U.S. nuclear power plants make today, the MIT
study said.
But U.S. geothermal development will need $300 million to $400 million over 15 years to make this
type of power competitive versus other forms of power generation, the study said.
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Geothermal Down Now/Gov’t Incentives Key


Geothermal could provide over 100 GWe in the next 50 years, become commercial within
10 years

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Geothermal energy from EGS represents a large, indigenous resource that can provide base-load electric
power and heat at a level that can have a major impact on the United States, while incurring minimal
environmental impacts. With a reasonable investment in R&D, EGS could provide 100 GWe or more of cost-
competitive generating capacity in the next 50 years. Further, EGS provides a secure source of power for the
long term that would help protect America against economic instabilities resulting from fuel price
fluctuations or supply disruptions. Most of the key technical requirements to make EGS work economically
over a wide area of the country are in effect, with remaining goals easily within reach. This achievement could
provide performance verification at a commercial scale within a 10- to 15-year period nationwide.

Billion dollar investment would provide 100 GWe of new geothermal energy by 2050
MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf
Based on growing markets in the United States for clean, base-load capacity, the panel thinks that with
a combined public/private investment of about $800 million to $1 billion over a 15-year period, EGS
technology could be deployed commercially on a timescale that would produce more than 100,000
MWe or 100 GWe of new capacity by 2050. This amount is approximately equivalent to the total R&D
investment made in the past 30 years to EGS internationally, which is still less than the cost of a single,
new-generation, clean-coal power plant.
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Geothermal Potential – Cascades


Development of geothermal in the Cascades would produce the equivalent of 400 nuclear
plants
Hook 5 (John W., Registered Professional Geologist, US Geothermal Resources, Nov/Dev 2005)
The young volcanic areas of the Cascade Mountains offer the possibility of abundant clean electrical
power. Geologic studies to date indicate that the geothermal energy equivalent of 400 Trojan-size
nuclear plants probably exists in the Cascades—outside of Wilderness Areas and National Parks. (This
estimate was by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in 1983 in Special Paper 15.)
Many other similar estimates of a vast power reserve were made in the 1970s and 1980s, based on thermal
gradient drilling, geophysical and geological explorations. Yet for the past 10 years almost nothing has been
done to follow up this promising work with the deep drilling needed to prove this resource.
In California, Nevada and many other places around the globe, geothermal has proven to be an
economical source of energy, for both direct use and for the generation of electricity. It is the most
economical of the “green” energy resources such as solar or wind. Geothermal energy is a “baseload”
type of power, which is there full time—not just when the sun shines or the wind blows. In the long-run
the economics of geothermal power may even exceed those of the fossil fuels. It would likely prove to be
a sustainable low-cost source of power, such as the Northwest has been realizing for many years from the
hydropower it developed in the 1930s and 1940s.
Geothermal energy is one of our renewable resources—it is environmentally benign compared to
hydropower, nuclear energy or fossil fuels. It does not dam streams, produce nuclear wastes or pump
vast quantities of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) into the air. Geothermal energy from the Cascades
would be a reliable domestic resource. It would not be dependent on the foreign political regimes of
some of the most unstable areas in the world. It would not be subject to an OPEC embargo.
So, why are we not using it? That is a long story.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 76
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***Feasibility***
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Yes feasible
New study proves – geothermal could supply a substantially amount of US energy
MIT 7 (Jan 22, http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/geothermal.html)
A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has
found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock
crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future,
probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact.
An 18-member panel led by MIT prepared the 400-plus page study, titled "The Future of Geothermal
Energy" (PDF, 14.1 MB). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, it is the first study in some 30
years to take a new look at geothermal, an energy resource that has been largely ignored.
The goal of the study was to assess the feasibility, potential environmental impacts and economic
viability of using enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technology to greatly increase the fraction of the
U.S. geothermal resource that could be recovered commercially.

Government R&D for geothermal down now


MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
In spite of its enormous potential, the geothermal option for the United States has been largely ignored. In
the short term, R&D funding levels and government policies and incentives have not favored growth of
U.S. geothermal capacity from conventional, high-grade hydrothermal resources. Because of limited
R&D support of EGS in the United States, field testing and supporting applied geoscience and
engineering research has been lacking for more than a decade. Because of this lack of support, EGS
technology development and demonstration recently has advanced only outside the United States with
accompanying limited technology transfer. This has led to the perception that insurmountable technical
problems or limitations exist for EGS. However, in our detailed review of international field-testing data
so far, the panel did not uncover any major barriers or limitations to the technology. In fact, we found
that significant progress has been achieved in recent tests carried out at Soultz, France, under European Union (EU)
sponsorship; and in Australia, under largely private sponsorship. For example, at Soultz, a connected reservoir-well system with an
active volume of more than 2 km3 at depths from 4 to 5 km has been created and tested at fluid production rates within a factor of 2 to 3
of initial commercial goals. Such progress leads us to be optimistic about achieving commercial viability in the United States in a next
phase of testing, if a national-scale program is supported properly. Specific findings include:

Geothermal could become an effective base load power supply with proper incentive
MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)

1. EGS is one of the few renewable energy resources that can provide continuous base-load power with
minimal visual and other environmental impacts. Geothermal systems have a small footprint and
virtually no emissions, including carbon dioxide. Geothermal energy has significant base-load
potential, requires no storage, and, thus, it complements other renewables – solar (CSP and PV), wind,
hydropower – in a lower-carbon energy future. In the shorter term, having a significant portion of our base
load supplied by geothermal sources would provide a buffer against the instabilities of gas price
fluctuations and supply disruptions, as well as nuclear plant retirements.

R&D funding key to make geothermal cost-competitive


MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) in certain critical areas could greatly enhance the
overall competitiveness of geothermal in two ways. First, it would lead to generally lower development
costs for all grade systems, which would increase the attractiveness of EGS projects for private
investment. Second, it could substantially lower power plant, drilling, and stimulation costs, which
increases accessibility to lower-grade EGS areas at depths of 6 km or more. In a manner similar to the
technologies developed for oil and gas and mineral extraction, the investments made in research to
develop extractive technology for EGS would follow a natural learning curve that lowers development
costs and increases reserves along a continuum of geothermal resource grades.
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Not Feasible - Slow Return on Investment


Slow return on investment means oil will always beat geothermal

Hook 5 (John W., Registered Professional Geologist, US Geothermal Resources, Nov/Dev 2005)
Unfortunately the petroleum industry, which has the financial resources and the drilling expertise
needed to prospect for geothermal energy, has much better short-term risk factors in prospecting for
more petroleum. Their prospectors drill a well and if it is successful, they start pumping almost imm
ediately. They often get a full return on their investment in less than a year, then sit back and rake in
the gravy. The geothermal prospector has to drill a discovery hole, then prove a large reservoir with
multiple development holes, build a power plant, and string the wires before he can sell the first
kilowatt of electricity. This return on investment is seldom less than 10 years.
Utility companies with distribution systems to sell power are not risk oriented. They are often
prohibited by regulations from taking the kind of gamble that exploration requires. This is not totally true,
considering the Northwest Natural Gas and the Eugene Water and Electric Board on geothermal exploration projects in the 1970s. These
projects were heavily endowed with government funds and/or joint ventures with petroleum companies. I consulted on both.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 79
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***Geothermal Bad***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 80
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Geothermal No Solve – Few Locations


Geothermal can’t solve globally, few locations

Yourenergyalternatives.com 7 (http://www.yourenergyalternitives.com/2007/10/02/the-disadvantages-of-
geothermal-energy/, October 2)
The biggest disadvantage is that there are not many locations that are suitable for the geothermal energy
harvesting and an accompanying power plant. The best location for a geothermal energy plant is when the
rocks are hot and are at depth which is suitable for drilling. The rocks should also be soft enough to be
drilling properly.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 81
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Geothermal No Solve – Longevity


Geothermal fails – locations run out of steam

Yourenergyaltrnitives.com 7 (http://www.yourenergyalternitives.com/2007/10/02/the-disadvantages-of-
geothermal-energy/, October 2)
The problem with geothermal energy is that there are temporary times when the locations just run out
of steam, the problem may last for month sand for such times there is no production of energy as there
would be no steam and thus no energy.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 82
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Geothermal No Solve – Transportation


Geothermal fails – can only be used locally, difficult to transport

Yourenergyaltrnitives.com 7 (http://www.yourenergyalternitives.com/2007/10/02/the-disadvantages-of-
geothermal-energy/, October 2)
Geothermal energy is a difficult thing to transport. The medium of oil can be easily transported but
geothermal energy is very difficult to transport and thus can be used only for the purposes of energy
generation for the nearby areas. The energy generated is also minimal as compared to the regular
sources of energy. The substances released are also a cause for major concern for the environment.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 83
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Geothermal Bad – Water/Aquatic Life


Water for geothermal plants contaminates groundwater, kills aquatic life

Defenders.org no date (Defenders of Wildlife, searched July 11, 2008, http://www.defenders.org/programs_and


_policy/policy_and_legislation/energy/renewable_ energy/geothermal_energy/detailed_recommendations.php)
In addition to the potential for contamination of groundwater (or surface waters if re-injection is not
employed), a large amount of water is needed for cooling and other purposes in most geothermal
plants, which can create problems, especially in arid areas. Heated waters should not be disposed of
into naturally cooler streams due to the negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems, and withdrawals of
cooling water should not be allowed to de-water streams or otherwise disrupt the ecological functions
in aquatic environments. There is also the potential for conflict with other water users for water
resources where water is not plentiful, and these concerns need to be addressed.

Geothermal fails – kills aquatic life, arsenic pollution

Teara no date (The Encyclodpedia of new Zealand, searched july 7 2008,


http://www.teara.govt.nz/EarthSeaAndSky/HotSpringsAndGeothermalEnergy/GeothermalEnergy/5/en)
Geothermal fluids contain elevated levels of arsenic, mercury, lithium and boron because of the
underground contact between hot fluids and rocks. If waste is released into rivers or lakes instead of
being injected into the geothermal field, these pollutants can damage aquatic life and make the water
unsafe for drinking or irrigation.
A serious environmental effect of the geothermal industry is arsenic pollution. Levels of arsenic in the
Waikato River almost always exceed the World Health Organisation standard for drinking water of 0.01
parts per million. Most of the arsenic comes from geothermal waste water discharged from the Wairākei
power station. Natural features such as hot springs are also a source of arsenic, but it tends to be removed
from the water as colourful mineral precipitates like bright red realgar and yellowy green orpiment.
Geot bad – Slow return on investment

Geothermal plants create toxic industrial wastelands, pollute groundwater, threaten


wildlife

The Heartland Institute 4 (July 1, http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=15261)


According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of East California, two proposed
geothermal power plants in northeastern California will introduce "highly toxic acids" into
geothermal wells in the state's Medicine Lake Highlands, turning the lands into "an ugly, noisy,
stinking industrial wasteland."
The Medicine Lake Highlands are the remnant of an ancient volcano approximately 30 miles east of Mount
Shasta and 10 miles south of the Lava Beds National Monument.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, construction of the geothermal plants would include erecting 150-
foot high drilling rigs, nine-story power plants on 15-acre pads, and seven-story cooling towers capped by
steam plumes. Constructing and operating the plants would require crisscrossing the area with roads,
high-tension transmission lines, and pipelines.
According to the federal suit, operating the geothermal plants will require injecting "highly toxic acids"
into virgin geothermal wells to increase geothermal power production. That, the suit asserts, will create
groundwater pollution and pose a threat to trout and other wildlife in the regional watershed. The
geothermal plants themselves would require excavating 750,000-gallon toxic waste sumps. Moreover,
trucks and drilling equipment would break the normal solitude of the region, the environmentalist
groups say.
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Geothermal Bad – Water/Aquatic Life


Without careful monitoring, liquid waste can runoff, poison groundwater, kill vegetation

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Liquid streams from well drilling, stimulation, and production may contain a variety of dissolved
minerals, especially for high-temperature reservoirs (>230°C). The amount of dissolved solids increases
significantly with temperature. Some of these dissolved minerals (e.g., boron and arsenic) could poison
surface or ground waters and also harm local vegetation. Liquid streams may enter the environment
through surface runoff or through breaks in the well casing. Surface runoff is controlled by directing
fluids to impermeable holding ponds and by injection of all waste streams deep underground. To guard
against fluids leaking into shallow fresh-water aquifers, well casings are designed with multiple strings to
provide redundant barriers between the inside of the well and the adjacent formation. Nevertheless, it is
important to monitor wells during drilling and subsequent operation, so that any leakage through
casing failures can be rapidly detected and managed.
In principle, EGS operations are subject to the same possibility for subsurface contamination through
casing defects, but there is little chance for surface contamination during plant operation because all the
produced fluid is reinjected. Of course, a catastrophic failure of a surface pipeline could lead to
contamination of a limited area until isolation valves are activated and seal off the affected pipeline.

Without proper precautions, geothermal development requires damming of local streams,


take water from agriculture

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
It is expected that in most advanced EGS applications, surface water will be needed to both stimulate
and operate the reservoir (i.e., the underground heat exchanger) and produce the circulation patterns
needed. The quantity of hydrothermal fluids naturally contained in the formation is likely to be very limited,
particularly in formations with low natural permeability and porosity. In the western part of the United
States, where water resources are in high demand, water use for geothermal applications will require
careful management and conservation practice. The water may be taken from a nearby high-flow
stream or river, if available, or collected in a temporary surface reservoir during the rainy season.
Sometimes, local streams may be dammed and diverted. In some EGS resource areas, water treatment
will be needed to ensure sufficient quality for reinjection and reuse or to remove potentially hazardous
contaminants that might be dissolved or suspended in the circulating geofluid or cooling water. It is
necessary to coordinate water use during field development with other local water demands for
agricultural or other purposes.

Geofluid use lowers the water table, cause hydrothermal eruptions, saline intrusions,
subsistence

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Fluids produced from the reservoir. Production of geofluids from a hydrothermal reservoir for use in
power or thermal energy generation can lower the water table, adversely affect nearby geothermal
natural features (e.g., geysers, springs, and spas), create hydrothermal (phreatic) eruptions, increase the
steam zone, allow saline intrusions, or cause subsidence. EGS systems are designed to avoid these impacts
by balancing fluid production with recharge. In principle, EGS systems may be approximated as “closed-
loop” systems whereby energy is extracted from the hot fluid produced by production wells (namely, a heat
exchanger for binary plants) and cooled fluid is reinjected through injection wells. However, the circulation
system is not exactly closed because water is lost to the formation; this lost water must be made up
from surface water supplies.
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Geothermal Bad – Water/Aquatic Life


Geothermal plants damage water supplies, groundwater fluids

World Bank Group 7 (“Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Geothermal Power Generation”, April 30,
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:8AsxdJuS1x0J:www.gcgf.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_EHSGuidelines2007_Geothermal
PowerGen/%24FILE/Final%2B-%2BGeothermal%2BPower%2BGeneration.pdf+geothermal%2Baccidents&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us)
The extraction, reinjection, and discharge of geothermal fluids may affect the quality and quantity of
surface and groundwater resources. Examples of specific impacts include the inadvertent
introduction of geothermal fluids into shallower productive aquifers during extraction and reinjection
activities or a reduction in the flow of hot thermal springs due to withdrawal activities.
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Geothermal Bad – Aquatic Biodiversity Impacts


Pollution and damming of aquatic habitat threatens biodiversity, extinction

EPA 8 (updated March 10, http://www.epa.gov/bioiweb1/aquatic/)


Aquatic biodiversity has enormous economic and aesthetic value and is largely responsible for
maintaining and supporting overall environmental health. Humans have long depended on aquatic
resources for food, medicines, and materials as well as for recreational and commercial purposes such as
fishing and tourism. Aquatic organisms also rely upon the great diversity of aquatic habitats and
resources for food, materials, and breeding grounds.
Factors including overexploitation of species, the introduction of exotic species, pollution from urban,
industrial, and agricultural areas, as well as habitat loss and alteration through damming and water
diversion all contribute to the declining levels of aquatic biodiversity in both freshwaterand marine
environments. As a result, valuable aquatic resources are becoming increasingly susceptible to both
natural and artificial environmental changes. Thus, conservation strategies to protect and conserve
aquatic life is necessary to maintain the balance of nature and support the availability of resources for
future generations.
The Nature Conservancy recently published the document Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States that illustrates the concerns
with growing loss of aquatic biodiversity, as indicated by the two figures presented on this page.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) website has a document titled The Conservation of Biological
Diversity in the Great Lakes Ecosystem: Issues and Opportunities, prepared by The Nature Conservancy, which provides a good example of how loss of
biodiversity can affect an ecosystem.
"The health of the lakes and their biological diversity is directly related to the health of each
component of the ecosystem. Similarly, the lakes are adversely affected when disturbances occur in one of
the systems. For example, alterations in the upper watershed can impact the entire lake ecosystem.
When a forest is cleared, not only is the physical structure of the terrestrial ecosystem altered, the tributary
streams, coastal areas and the open lake can also be affected. When vegetation is removed near a
tributary, precipitation is allowed to run off directly into the river or stream, causing flows in these
streams to increase much more quickly (following rainfall). This run-off also picks up more soil than it
otherwise would, and the load of sediment in the tributary will be increased. The increased sediments can
destroy the habitat required by fish and insect species and can prevent the spawning of anadromous
fishes which spend most of their lives in the open lake. These sediments can also accelerate the formation
of sand bars and blockages at rivermouths, altering nearby coasts."

Key locations for geothermal exploitation also contain concentrations of imperiled


biodiversity

Stein et al 00 (Bruce A, Lynn S Kutner, Jonathan S. Adams, “Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the
United States”, March 2000, http://www.natureserve.org/publications/preciousHeritage.jsp)h
Important biodiversity is found across the United States, but an innovative analysis of the nation's rarest
species identifies several biological hot spots where conservation efforts will be particularly needed. Regions
harboring exceptional concentrations of imperiled biodiversity range from the Hawaiian Islands and
Florida Panhandle to California's central and southern coasts, and from the rivers of southern
Appalachia to the deserts and springs around Death Valley.
To avoid squandering the country's biological riches will require a far more concerted and systematic
effort than has characterized our nation's conservation efforts to date. Although a focus on individual
imperiled species will often be necessary to stave off impending extinctions, conservation increasingly must
be planned for and carried out at larger scales—from ecosystems and landscapes to entire regions. As a
nation we must move beyond protecting the scenic "rock and ice" parks that characterized early
conservation efforts, and turn our focus instead towards those often overlooked landscapes that are
perhaps not as visually stunning yet are biologically spectacular. Several efforts to identify and protect
such landscapes are already underway, and this volume offers a glimpse of these still-emerging blueprints for
conserving the full array of the nation's rich natural heritage.
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Geothermal Bad – Earthquakes


Geothermal plants cause massive earthquakes which explode into blowouts

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)

The geothermal plant is essentially tubular holes in the ground that are reinforced with steel and
concrete. Under lateral movements, or vertical movements of the land, the wells and casings are likely
to shear off, and perhaps leak. (See scenario B1)
It is possible that the island of Hawai'i could have a Richter 8.2 quake. To give an illustration of what
that means: If you were over the fault line in an 8.2 quake, the ground could move 18 feet at an acceleration
of 1 gravity (32 feet/second/second). So, roughly, the wall of your house, 18 feet away, could smack you
going 32 feet per second, in about 1/2 a second. This could certainly rupture both production and
injection wells.
It has been proven that earthquakes can be caused by water injection. This was tried at the San
Andreas fault to reduce the chances of the "big one" hitting Los Angeles. As I recall, there were a few
events of about magnitude 3. This showed that the process was a success. Yet this made the authorities
worry that they might trigger bigger events and that too little was known about the process and its
consequences, so the project was stopped.
Now we have the re-injection wells of the PGV geothermal plant routinely injecting thousands of
gallons of water into the acquifer, in a rift zone, near liquid lava. Suppose that the injected water
breaks though into a high temperature lava chamber and flashes to steam? There could be a steam
explosion. Surely this will move rock, perhaps precipitate a blowout (See B1.) or cause an earthquake
It is a fact that the number of "swarm" earthquakes (Richter <= 1.0) has increased in the area of the
geothermal plant. It is a reasonable conclusion that part, at least, of the increase is caused directly by
the underground injection of water.
As the geothermal resource cools, as it is doing at roughly the rate of 0.4 megawatts of electrical
capacity per day (Barber - personal communication), the amount of re injected brine increases. For
example, a gram of steam contains about 235 calories, whereas a gram of water has only about 80 calories/
gram at boiling temperature (STP). Obviously, one must pump a lot of brine, some 3 times as much, to
get the same heat output. This correspondingly triples, at least, the amount of water re-injected.
Therefore, in addition to the risks of earthquake in a rift zone, we now have the distinct possibility that
the plant can cause its own earthquakes..... which can lead to a leak and a blowout, which leads to
scenario B1, above.

Drilling for geothermal causes earthquakes

BTT 7 (BTT Bassfeld Technology Transfer, Jan 16, http://www.bassfeld.ch/News/files/36665ed9c129840a93c017cfecbac582-8.html)


Why does fracturing rock cause earthquakes? Fracturing (or "fraccing" in industry colloquial terms)
involves creating and enlarging small fractures in the rock from about 0.3 millimeter in size to about 1mm in
diameter by using high pressure water injection. The fraccing is done at the bottom of the borehole; in the
Basel project this is at 5000 meters depth. Although the fractures are relatively small, millions of tons of rock
are being moved in the process. This creates stress and can result in the accumulated pressure suddenly
being released in the form of an earthquake. The Soultz-sous-Forêts geothermal drillings in France
have also caused a series of 93 earthquakes in the summer of the year 2000 ranging from 1.0 to 2.9 in
magnitude on the Richter scale.
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Geothermal Bad – Earthquakes Impacts


5.5 billion people at risk of death by earthquake

Physorg.com 8 (May 19, http://www.physorg.com/news130431859.html)


Earthquake expert and geological sciences Professor Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado at Boulder
says unprecedented human fatalities from earthquakes will occur around the globe in the coming
century unless significant earthquake-resistant building codes are implemented.
Bilham, who has worked extensively in the Himalaya, anticipates that the death toll from the May 12
magnitude 7.9 Sichuan Province earthquake in China may exceed 50,000 based on previous similar
earthquakes in urban settings. According to May 16 reports by the Associated Press, the event damaged or
destroyed 4 million apartments and homes and thousands of schools.
Bilham said there were 43 "supercities" on Earth with populations from 2 million to more than 15
million in 1950, but there are nearly 200 today. Roughly 8 million people have died globally as a result
of building collapses during earthquakes in the past 1,000 years. A four-fold increase in the annual
death toll from earthquakes between the 17th and 20th centuries is linked to increased urbanization,
he said.
Half the world's supercities now are located near potential future magnitude 7.5 earthquakes, said
Bilham, who is also a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. By the
year 2025 more than 5.5 billion people will live in cities -- more than the entire 1990 combined rural
and urban population. While large earthquakes over magnitude 7.5 have for the most part spared the
world's major cities in the last century, this pattern will not persist indefinitely, he said.

Earthquakes kill over 6000 people

Live Science.com 7 (Jan 16, http://www.livescience.com/environment/070116_quake_deaths_2006.html)


Earthquakes killed 6,604 people worldwide in 2006, down significantly from the previous two years in a
stark shift that illustrates the capricious nature of these deadly events. Some 5,749 of the fatalities for 2006
were the result of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Java, Indonesia on May 26. The death toll in other recent
years: 2005: 89,354 2004: About 284,000 (largely due to the quake-induced Indonesian tsunami) 2003:
33,819 2002, 1,711 The figures come from the U.S. Geological Survey and and the United Nations
Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Nearly 70 earthquakes are

Indonesia proves, earthquakes kill thousands

Live Science.com 6 (May 27, http://www.livescience.com/environment/060527_indonesia_quake.html)


BANTUL, Indonesia (AP)—Exhausted and grieving survivors dug through their crumpled homes Sunday searching for clothes, food
and valuables after a powerful earthquake hit central Indonesia, killing more than 4,300 people.
The magnitude-6.3 quake struck early Saturday and injured thousands more in the heart of densely populated Java island, in the country's worst disaster
since the 2004 tsunami. It also triggered fears that a nearby rumbling volcano would erupt and caused serious damage to the world-famous 9th century
Prambanan temple.
The disaster zone stretched across hundreds of square kilometers (square miles) of mostly farming communities in Yogyakarta province. The worst
devastation was in the town of Bantul, which accounted for three-quarters of the deaths. Eighty percent of the homes were flattened.
"I have to start my life from zero again,'' said Poniran, whose 5-year-old daughter Ellie was killed in the quake.
Poniran dug up his still-breathing daughter from the rubble of her bedroom, but she died in a hospital awaiting treatment along with hundreds of others.
"Her last words were 'Daddy, Daddy,''' he said.
At least 4,332 people were killed in the quake, according to command post officials from the affected areas and local government official Idham Samawi.
around 4,600 died, but numbers in one of the hardest hit districts were disputed.
The social ministry said
Another 200,000 people were left homeless, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and
Red Crescent.
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Geothermal Bad – Blowouts/Accidents Impacts


A catastrophic blowout from a geothermal plant would be deadly, kill everyone within an 8
mile radius

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)
The PGV geothermal plant currently endangers the entire population of Puna with the chance of a
catastrophic leaking of toxins of many descriptions into the air in a lethal cloud that could kill
everyone within a radius of 4 1/2 to 81/2 miles.
Such ACUTE effects can occur from:
Catastrophic Blowouts, Lava Flow, Earthquake, Tsunami, or Hurricane ....... All have occurred in the
East Rift Lava zone where the plant is located. Such events can disrupt the seals of the plant, break it...
or cover it with a lava flow. Roads could be blocked, power lines knocked down and access to the
people in danger blocked and thus slow rescue efforts. These are worse-case scenarios.
B1. Blowout Scenario
Here is presented a low-wind scenario:
Should a catastrophic leak occur, the lethal cloud will reach the houses neighboring the plant within
seconds, with almost instant toxic effects, leaving residents dead or disabled and struggling to get into
gas masks. The cloud will then continue to spread and reach Pahoa in about 24 minutes. We will have
24 MINUTES to respond to the gas cloud before people in Pahoa begin to die. [Assuming a wind speed
of 10 miles per hour, and a distance to Pahoa of 4 miles, then, we have about 4/10 = 0.4 of an hour = 0.4 x 60
minutes = 24 MINUTES]
Assuming all available emergency gear is scrambled instantly, it would take about 20 minutes to get even a
helicopter here from Hilo and about an hour for any units to come from Oahu. In this scenario, many
people would simply die.

Lava flows in Hawaii would releases toxic waste from geothermal plants killing residents

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)
An earlier lava flow has covered a PGV plant site already. Surely, what has happened once can happen
again. A similar geothermal plant in Iceland was covered by lava. We are dealing with a live volcano in
a rift zone with lava nearby and only a few yards under the plant. I suggest careful study of the possible
failure modes and shut-down procedures that should be followed in the event of a lava flow.
If the flow of the lava disrupts the structure of the plant and allows it to leak, as in the blowout
scenario above, then we have a toxic cloud , with the complications of an ongoing lava flow. This could
easily stop efforts to close the wells. It is likely that roads and services and water supplies will be
disrupted by the flow.
One can hardly depend on a lava flow to properly close the leaks. A few years ago, during a major leak, it
took something like four attempts over four days with the use of thousands of gallons of cooling water to
close a leaking well. It leaked so much gas at such a high velocity that its scream sounded like a 747 jet
engine at a range of 9 miles. What are the chances of scramming the PGV wells in minutes? This
might be required to save the lives of the residents of Puna. Therefore, there must be emergency
scramming methods that close off the wells quickly.
Do these systems exist? If so, are they in place? Are these systems reliable? Tested? Maintained? What
is the warning time likely before a lava flow? How long might it take to bring the plant to a sealed
condition from a net output of 35 Megawatts? Will there be enough time to shut the plant down
properly before the lava hits? Perhaps there are answers to the above. It is beyond my current
knowledge to answer them with any certainty. Our safety depends on the answers and calls into serious
question the safety of the current PGV plant and the wisdom of allowing it to operate at all.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 90
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Geothermal Bad – Hydrogen Embrittlement


Hydrogen embrittlement threatens plant explosions

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)
The PGV geothermal resource, when it was hotter, had a temperature of some 900 degrees Fahrenheit
and a pressure of 2000 lbs. per square inch. This is a respectable pressure and chamber temperature
for a rocket. Yet, the PGV plant must operate in the presence of H2S, which can embrittle the crystal
structure of metals, leading to structural failure.
The mechanism is that the H2S molecule is a zwitter ion, which exists as large portions of the gas in the form
of H2S as well as the smaller fragments SH and H, ie, free hydrogen. The free hydrogen, present in small
quantities, diffuses into the crystal structure of metals and stays there. This causes a weakening of the
metal, called embrittlement. In a rocket engine, the presence of a small concentration of H2S in the fuel
can reduce chrome-nickel alloys to dust in less than a minute. Therefore, it seems to me that the PGV
plant is in constant danger of brittle fracture of the components that come in contact with H2S, which
is most of the structure.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 91
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Geothermal Bad – Landslides


Geothermal drilling, badly sited wells, shallow injection wells cause landslides

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
There have been instances of landslides at geothermal fields. The cause of the landslides is often
unclear. Many geothermal fields are in rugged terrain that is prone to natural landslides, and some
fields actually have been developed atop ancient landslides. Some landslides can be triggered by large
earthquakes, but it is highly unlikely that geothermal production and injection could lead to such a massive
event. Badly sited wells, particularly shallow injection wells, may interact with faults and cause
slippage similar to what has been described in the preceding section. Under these circumstances, it is
possible for a section of a slope to give way initiating a landslide. However, such events at hydrothermal
fields are rare, and proper geological characterization of the field should eliminate the possibility of such a
catastrophe. EGS reservoir development should avoid areas of high landslide risk even though the chance of
a catastrophic event is extremely low.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 92
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Geothermal bad – Toxic Waste, CO2


Geothermal fails – emits CO2, heavy metals, toxic waste

The Heartland Institute 4 (July 1, http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=15261)


"Geothermal sites often are located in protected wilderness areas that environmentalists do not want
disturbed," observed Robert Bradley, president of the Houston, Texas-based Institute for Energy Research.
"Geothermal is not only a scarce, depleting resource, it has negative environmental consequences
despite the absence of combustion.
"In some applications," explained Bradley, "there can be CO2 emissions, heavy requirements for cooling
water--as much as 100,000 gallons per MW per day--hydrogen sulfide emissions, waste disposal issues
with dissolved solids, and even toxic waste. Those problems and the location problem have caused some environmental
groups to withhold support for geothermal since the late 1980s."
"Geothermal power plants tend to emit hydrogen sulfide (H2S)--which is toxic at fairly low levels--and
mercury," said Tom Tanton, general manager for renewables and hydropower at the Electric Power Research Institute. "The level of
emissions from geothermal are quite varied and depend on both the geothermal resource as the technology used and the geography."
Added Tanton, "Whatever is not reinjected into the ground can cause local groundwater pollution.
Geothermal fluids are always foul smelling--they smell like very rotten eggs due to the H2S. The fluids
are highly brackish and contain high levels of heavy metals."
Tanton also noted geothermal power plants are linked to increased seismic activity.
"The folks in Anderson, California, and other areas surrounding Geysers steamfield, the world's largest
developed geothermal field, have fairly complained about induced seismicity brought about by geothermal
operations," said Tanton. The seismic activity results when reinjected materials replace extracted steam,
he explained.

Geothermal fails – large amounts of solid waste, toxic chemicals, sludge

Defenders.org no date (Defenders of Wildlife, searched July 11, 2008, http://www.defenders.org/programs_and


_policy/policy_and_legislation/energy/renewable_ energy/geothermal_energy/detailed_recommendations.php)
Open-loop systems can generate large amounts of solid waste and noxious fumes. Steam vented at the
surface can contain hydrogen sulfide, causing a "rotten-egg" smell, as well as ammonia, methane,
nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. Notably, the carbon dioxide emitted at geothermal plants is about
5 percent of that emitted by coal- or oil-fired power plants per kilowatt-hour of energy generated. Geothermal
plants emit no nitrogen oxides and low amounts of sulfur dioxide. Scrubbers can reduce air emissions but
they produce a sludge that is high in sulfur and the heavy metal vanadium. When steam is condensed,
additional sludge is created, which can contain silica compounds, chlorides, arsenic, mercury, nickel,
and other heavy metals. This sludge can create solid waste disposal problems that must be dealt with in
an environmentally acceptable way. One costly method involves drying the sludge and shipping it to
hazardous waste sites. Current research is looking into the possibility of treating the waste with microbes that
would recover commercially valuable metals, and render the waste nontoxic. Another approach is to re-
dissolve solids so that they can be reinjected.

Geothermal emits CO2 and H2S, both are hazardous for workers, deadly

Teara no date (The Encyclodpedia of new Zealand, searched july 7 2008,


http://www.teara.govt.nz/EarthSeaAndSky/HotSpringsAndGeothermalEnergy/GeothermalEnergy/5/en)
Geothermal fluids contain dissolved gases which are released into the atmosphere. The main toxic
gases are carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Both are denser than air and can collect in
pits, depressions or confined spaces. These gases are a recognised hazard for people working at
geothermal stations or bore fields, and can also be a problem in urban areas. In Rotorua a number of
deaths have been attributed to hydrogen sulfide poisoning, often in motel rooms or hot-pool enclosures.
Carbon dioxide is also a greenhouse gas, contributing to potential climate change. However, geothermal
extraction releases far fewer greenhouse gases per unit of electricity generated than burning fossil fuels such
as coal or gas to produce electricity.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 93
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Geothermal Bad – Toxic Waste


Geothermal releases toxic hydrogen sulfide, arsenic, mercury, ammonia

Yourenergyaltrnitives.com 7 (http://www.yourenergyalternitives.com/2007/10/02/the-disadvantages-of-
geothermal-energy/, October 2)
The biggest concern for environmentalists is the gases and materials released from deep within the
earth’s centre. The gases and minerals released are more often than not hazardous. The biggest
concern is for hydrogen sulfide. It is a very corrosive gas and is very difficult to dispose off properly.
The minerals which cause concern are: - arsenic, mercury, and ammonia. The danger or earthquakes
is also increased when drilling for geothermal energy.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 94
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Geothermal Bad – Toxic Waste Impacts


Hawaii proves, geothermal plants cause a litany of health effects, release deadly chemicals
killing everyone within and 8 mile radius, there’s no threshold for safe exposure

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)
The chronic, synergetic effects of numerous toxins from the PGV plant are now causing poor health,
respiratory disease, miscarriages, disrupted menstrual cycles, memory loss, tintinitis, and numerous
other health problems in at least 68% of those surveyed. This is similar to results seen in other
communities subjected to chronic H2S exposure. The other toxins also present likely add to the
problems in a synergetic or multiplicative way.
Below is a brief summary of some of the known toxins in the geothermal resource that the residents of Puna
are being poisoned by.
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a known neurotoxin roughly as toxic at cyanide that causes birth defects at
0.5 parts per BILLION, in vitro, and causes increasing effects as a result of accumulation of damage to
the body and attacking all organ systems starting with the nervous system and the brain, and
proceeding to other organ systems where it blocks enzymes throughout our metabolism, and is
considered by Dr. Marvin Legator, Chief of Epidemiological Toxicology, University of Texas, Galveston, Texas, as at least as toxic,
and perhaps more toxic, than cyanide. Some 68% of those surveyed by Dr. Legator had major problems with 6-7 organ systems.
The radius of lethality from a major blowout of the plant from H2S alone could extend some 4 1/2 to 8
1/2 miles! Traveling downslope with the wind and being heavier than air, this toxic cocktail might hit
Puna (and/or Pahoa) with a LETHAL DOSE OF H2S and other toxins such as:
Arsenic a heavy metal poison - causes the blocking of inhibitory motor paths, leading to severe
twitching followed by death,
Mercury a metal toxin which lead to the so-called Miamata disease in Japan, and is the cause of "Mad
Hatter's" dementia as described in Alice in Wonderland] and
Lead is well known to cause severe problems such as mental retardation, blocking of enzyme pathways
that intra-convert amino acids, etc.,
Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) is used to partially neutralize the acids in the fluids in the plant. In the process, there is excess
scattered across the land that coats cars, houses and plants. Much of it is injected into the ground, adding to the ground water
contamination. It should be determined what are the consequences of this to our water, air and ecology.
Iso-pentane is used in heat exchangers and in the secondary turbines. At times it is leaked at high
concentrations. I wonder about its toxicity, and it should be checked.
Radon is a widely known radioactive carcinogen. It is mixed with radon with radiation levels at the source of some 200,000 picocuries
per liter. I have yet to learn what concentrations of Radon we are exposed to, however, if the exposure exceed 3 picocuries, then one
must, by current rules, fix the problem, or leave the area.
Living things are damaged by radiation at any dose. The larger the dose, the more damage. The basic
rule is: Zero Threshold, Linear Response. The idea that there is a minimum "safe" dose of radiation is
false.
Chronic exposure, even at low doses, to radon or other ionizing radiation can lead to cancer or other
problems because at any dose, there can be some damage. And it is possible that one hit can transform
one DNA pair and lead to a cancerous cell that divides and becomes a tumor.
Note: If the energy of a single particle is, say, 200 million electron volts, then this particle hits things with the energy it would have if it
were accelerated through a 200 million volt potential. This is sufficient to break covalent chemical bonds.
At extreme low doses, the mean free path of the ionizing radiation particles becomes longer, greatly increasing the chances that they will
hit cellular structures, such as DNA. At somewhat higher doses, the mean free path of the products of radioactive disintegration decrease
because they bump into each other. We eventually reach a dosage that activates the immune system and the DNA repair mechanisms.
The radiation is still dangerous, yet somewhat less harmful. Above this dosage, of course, there are large dosages, such as 200,000
picocuries per liter that are extremely dangerous.
The truth is that as the concentration of radon or other source goes down, and the mean free path of
the individual particles goes up, the particles become 1000's of times more likely to cause biological
harm like causing cancer.
Therefore, the slow, chronic exposure to toxins can be more harmful than even higher dosages, as in
the current instance of Puna.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 95
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Geothermal Bad – Toxic Waste Impacts, Genocidal Poisoning


Multiple toxins released by geothermal plants is akin to genocidal poisoning

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)
It is well known in biology and studies of toxins in the environment that one must include the possibility of
synergistic effects to properly understand toxicity. Basically the case is that while organisms like humans
may be able to tolerate or compensate in some degree to one toxin, the response to additional toxins is
multiplied over what one might expect from data on only one toxin. A well known illustration is the
synergy between alcohol and valium where combining two safe doses can be lethal.
In just the same way, the cocktail of toxins served up by the PGV plant in our air is causing chronic
and synergetic problems in Puna. We have many health complaints at a higher rate than the rest of the
Islands, and I know that this is in large part from this leaking plant. Comparable leaks from the mountain
itself typically, are oxidized, removing the H2S by converting it to SO2, SO3, SO4, before anyone
breathes it.
Thus the PGV plant leaks dangerous toxins as it operates leading to Chronic, Synergetic Toxin
Exposures of the people of Puna
One can easily conclude that the effect of the PGV plant is the genocidal poisoning of the people of
Puna and that such criminal negligence is actionable in the courts and violates international accords on
the rights of human beings and violates the Geneva Convention on the use of nerve gas. This must be
stopped.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 96
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Geothermal Bad – Noise pollution


Cooling towers and fans from geothermal plants cause noise pollution

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
During normal operations, there are three main sources of noise: the transformer, the power house,
and the cooling tower. Because the latter is a relatively tall structure and the noise emanates from the
fans that are located at the top, these can be the primary source of noise during routine operation.
Aircooled condensers employ numerous cells, each fitted with a fan, and are worse from a noise
perspective than water cooling towers, which are smaller and use far fewer cells for a given plant rating.
Because EGS plants will likely be located in regions where water may be in short supply, they may
require air-cooling, and proper attention may be needed to muffle the sound from their air-cooled
condensers.

Noise released by geothermal plants cause stress, prevent sleep

Hyson 00 (Michael T. Hyson, Co-Founder and Research Director, Sirius Institute, Puna, Hawai'I,
http://www.planetpuna.com/geothermal/geothermal%20critique.htm)
Along with the other toxins, we should include noise. Noise is a stress that raises adrenaline levels,
blood pressure and prevents sleep, which is when the body repairs itself. Residents have testified that
the noise of the plant is enough to prevent sleep and cause great stress.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 97
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Geothermal Bad – Noise Pollution Impacts


Noise pollution results in mental illness, it’s not currently controlled

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 7 (6th ed. Columbia University Press, http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0835810.html)
Subjected to 45 decibels of noise, the average person cannot sleep. At 120 decibels the ear registers
pain, but hearing damage begins at a much lower level, about 85 decibels. The duration of the exposure
is also important. There is evidence that among young Americans hearing sensitivity is decreasing year by
year because of exposure to noise, including excessively amplified music. Apart from hearing loss, such
noise can cause lack of sleep, irritability, heartburn, indigestion, ulcers, high blood pressure, and
possibly heart disease. One burst of noise, as from a passing truck, is known to alter endocrine,
neurological, and cardiovascular functions in many individuals; prolonged or frequent exposure to
such noise tends to make the physiological disturbances chronic. In addition, noise-induced stress
creates severe tension in daily living and contributes to mental illness.
Noise is recognized as a controllable pollutant that can yield to abatement technology. In the United States
the Noise Control Act of 1972 empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the limits of
noise required to protect public health and welfare; to set noise emission standards for major sources of
noise in the environment, including transportation equipment and facilities, construction equipment,
and electrical machinery; and to recommend regulations for controlling aircraft noise and sonic booms.
Also in the 1970s, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began to try to reduce workplace
noise. Funding for these efforts and similar local efforts was severely cut in the early 1980s, and
enforcement became negligible.

Millions at risk for mental illness death in the US

Thebatt.com 3 (August 7, Jenelle Wilson, http://www.voiceoffreedom.com/archives/health/mentalhealth.html)


Between 5 and 7 percent of American adults suffer from serious mental illness each year, and between 5 and
9 percent of children suffer from emotional disturbances. Mental illness is at the top of a list of illnesses
that cause disabilities in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. According to the World Health
Organization, mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, accounts for nearly
one-fourth of all disability across major industrialized countries. As the report states, "No community is
unaffected by mental illness; no school or workplace is untouched."
The costs of mental illness are enormous; it indirectly costs the United States $73 billion a year,
according to the New Freedom report. Most of this -- $63 billion -- is in lost productivity. The best way to
reduce these figures is to catch mental illness before it gets out of hand, not just to suppress symptoms, which,
obviously, has not been working so far.
Currently, only one-third of adults with a mental illness are working and, of those, most are underpaid. As a result, many have to rely on public assistance
such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Social Security Income and Social Security and Disability Income. In fact, 35 percent of SSI recipients
and 28 percent of SSDI recipients have mental illnesses, and millions of the mentally ill are homeless.
Suicide is the leading cause of violent deaths worldwide; it's
One of the worst consequences of mental illness is suicide.
greater than homicide and war-related deaths combined. In the United States, 30,000 people die a year
from suicide, and 90 percent of them have a mental illness.
The most disturbing aspect of these numbers is that 40 percent had visited their primary care physicians within a month of their death, but their illnesses
were not caught.
The commission's biggest concern is the lack of integration between systems; it is far too fragmented, which leads to confusion and disparate treatments.
The systems providing access to care, including Medicare, Medicaid, TANF and juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, have to be coordinated.
However, to coordinate the various programs is going to take money.
Unfortunately, the commission did not address this issue and funding for mental illness is being cut across the nation as states face budgetary crises. Even
before budget cuts, mental illness funding never reached parity with its prevalence in society. The burden of mental illness in the United States is 20 percent,
yet only 5 to 7 percent of health expenditures are directed toward disorders, according to the APA.
Millions of people with mental illnesses are already failing to receive the care they need. Health
insurance companies and even Medicare treat mental illness with disdain. The Medicare co-pay for mental
illness is 50 percent, compared to 20 percent for physical illnesses.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 98
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Geothermal Bad – Thermal Pollution


Thermal pollution for geothermal plants much larger than other types of power production

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Although thermal pollution is currently not a specifically regulated quantity, it does represent an
environmental impact for all power plants that rely on a heat source for their motive force. Heat
rejection from geothermal plants is higher per unit of electricity production than for fossil fuel plants
or nuclear plants, because the temperature of the geothermal stream that supplies the input thermal energy is
much lower for geothermal power plants. Considering only thermal discharges at the plant site, a geothermal
plant is two to three times worse than a nuclear power plant with respect to thermal Chapter 8
Environmental Impacts, Attributes, and Feasibility Criteria 8-15 pollution, and the size of the waste heat
rejection system for a 100 MW geothermal plant will be about the same as for a 500 MW gas turbine
combined cycle (DiPippo, 1991a). Therefore, cooling towers or air-cooled condensers are much larger
than those in conventional power plants of the same electric power rating. The power conversion
systems for EGS plants will be subject to the same laws of thermodynamics as other geothermal plants, but if
higher temperature fluids can be generated, this waste heat problem will be proportionally mitigated.

Thermal pollution kills fish species, increases warming

Waterontheweb.org no date (Accessed Juloy 16, 2008, http://waterontheweb.org/under/waterquality/temperature.html


Thermal pollution (i.e., artificially high temperatures) almost always occurs as a result of discharge of
municipal or industrial effluents. Except in very large lakes, it is rare to have an effluent discharge. In
urban areas, runoff that flows over hot asphalt and concrete pavement before entering a lake will be
artificially heated and could cause lake warming, although in most cases this impact is too small to be
measured. Consequently, direct, measurable thermal pollution is not common. In running waters,
particularly small urban streams, elevated temperatures from road and parking lot runoff can be a
serious problem for populations of cool or cold-water fish already stressed from the other
contaminants in urban runoff. During summer, temperatures may approach their upper tolerance
limit. Higher temperatures also decrease the maximum amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in the
water, leading to oxygen stress if the water is receiving high loads of organic matter. Water
temperature fluctuations in streams may be further worsened by cutting down trees which provide
shade and by absorbing more heat from sunlight due to increased water turbidity.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 99
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Native American Turn


( ) US ignores tribal values in geothermal development, California proves

Indian Country Today 7 (Shadi Rahimi., April 25, Apr 25, 2007. Vol. 26, Iss. 46; pg. A1, 2 pgs, proquest)
For local tribes, the Medicine Lake Highlands just below California's border with Oregon is sacred,
where the Pit River Nation believes the Creator rested while creating the world.
But for the federal government and a major U.S. power company, the federally owned region is a rare and untapped source of
geothermal energy, abundant with steam and potential profit.
Over the past decade, about 41,500 acres of the Highlands have been caught in a legal battle between the Pit River Nation and the San
Jose-based Calpine Corp., which wants to erect on the site a 49.5-megawatt geothermal energy facility.
Although Calpine's plan was approved by the Bush administration and has won the support of a splinter group of the Shasta Nation, the
Pit River Nation and environmental groups have held off efforts in court. Now, Calpine is appealing a 2006 ruling by the U.S. Courts for
the Ninth Circuit that invalidated its two geothermal leases.
Meanwhile, opponents are holding protests in the San Francisco Bay area.
"All parts of the land are sacred; there really is no compromising," said Pit River member Mark
LeBeau, 36.
For the 2,500-member Pit River Nation, the region is where they believe the Creator imparted his
spirit in Medicine Lake, two miles from one proposed site.
Tribal members bathe in its waters for healing and coming-of-age ceremonies, and medicine men train
on its bank, said Pit River member Radley Davis, 45. The area's spiritual energy should not be tapped,
he said, in this case to utilize 300-degree rocks.
"We have been taught by our elders that this is a special place," Davis said.

( ) All Americans have a duty to protect Native lands from geothermal development – it’s
our first priority

Indian Country Today 3 (Mark LeBeau, Jun 4, 2003. Vol. 22, Iss. 51; pg. A5, proquest)
At different points in history, American Indian peoples sacrificed their lives at the hands and legislative
actions of colonizing forces so that their nations and coming generations might survive and again
prosper using methods of sustainability. Those Indian people living today who are the descendents and
benefactors of such honorable and noteworthy ancestors, as well as all other citizens of the U.S., have a
duty and responsibility to help bring the earth and its Indian nations back to healthier states. One
major way to accomplish this is to help protect sacred places. For those Indians who have accepted
financial "gifts" from Calpine to support or be silent about their geothermal mining exploitation
efforts - give back the money and stand up for indigenous cultural and tribal sovereign rights.
Though many humans continue to sell, transform and extract resources from the natural environment in the
name of "progress," our earth maintains the ability to revitalize itself. In spite of this revitalization process,
numerous species, sacred places, natural environments and cultures have been destroyed, negatively
impacted or threatened because of inappropriate decisions. The time for sitting on the fence or behind
an office desk and making the wrong decisions to not help Indian nations, peoples and the natural
environments to be healthier and protect sacred places is over. Sacred places and American Indian
cultures are worth more than gold or geothermal energy and must be protected.

Lack of resources means tribes are vulnerable to geothermal company exploitation

Farhar and Dunlevy 7 (Barbara C and Paul, senior policy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and BLM, Jan 9,
“Native American Issues in Geothermal Energy”, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/tribalenergy/guide/pdfs/grc030707.pdf)
Human and institutional resources: If tribes do not understand the technical and economic aspects of
geothermal development, they feel vulnerable to the companies. Tribes say they need to develop codes
and tribal utility commissions, and they need trained American Indian staff for these positions. Each
tribe needs at least one full-time professional, as well as consultants, to take on energy projects. The
lack of tribal human and institutional capacity has been a barrier that is just beginning to be
addressed by tribes and the federal government.
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Native American Turn

Geothermal development on Native American lands is genocide

Indian Country Today 3 (Mark LeBeau, Jun 4, 2003. Vol. 22, Iss. 51; pg. A5, proquest)
A sacred movement is underway to protect American Indian sacred places and cultures in California
from further threats and destruction. While many Indian sacred places in California have been
destroyed or altered from their natural states for corporate or research interests, such as mining gold
and geothermal energy or archaeological excavation, a number remain in pristine form. Many Indian
nations, organizations and people, as well as non-Indians in California and abroad, are vocalizing that these
natural places must be protected in order to ensure a healthier future for all communities of life on and
in the earth.
American Indian elders teach that the practice of Indian spirituality requires undisturbed access to
culturally significant places and their resources. These specific places derive their power and
sacredness from their natural state that is provided by "Hewesis" or Creator. Indian cultures hold the
earth sacred, whereas secular culture considers the earth to be real estate. Sacred places, and the
ceremonies associated with such areas, are a necessary expression of Indian spirituality, and often are
key to wellness. Sacred places are part of the history of Indian nations, and are a significant aspect of
the traditions handed from one generation to another.

Geothermal development on Native land emblematic of government corruption,


exploitation

LA Times 2 (Nov 27, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/nov/27/local/me-geotherm27)


Nonetheless, spokesmen for local Native American tribes and environmentalists said federal officials
were selling out to big energy. The project, they said, would produce a meager amount of electricity
while wounding a rugged landscape of conifers and sparkling hills of obsidian 30 miles east of
Mt. Shasta.
Vernon Johnson, a member of the Pit River Tribe and executive director of the California Council of
Tribal Governments, said he was disappointed that tribal concerns were brushed aside. But he was
hardly surprised.
“They’ve been doing that all along through history,” said Johnson, 73. “This whole system is corrupt.”
Calpine is already drilling exploratory wells on a geothermal site several miles north of Medicine Lake. But foes had hoped geothermal
development was permanently blocked at Telephone Flat, which is even closer to the lake.
Kent Robertson, a Calpine spokesman, said test wells started over the summer produced “promising results.” The firm plans further
exploration to determine whether underground pockets of water beneath the area are hot enough to fuel a $120-million power plant.
If so, it could trigger extensive geothermal development in the area. Calpine owns 43 federal leases covering 47,800 acres in the
Medicine Lake Highlands.
Native Americans say they worry that the drilling will drain spiritual energy from a land they’ve used
for hundreds of generations as a sacred healing place. Many elderly tribal leaders say native people
who dunk themselves in the lake have witnessed miraculous recoveries from serious illnesses.
The government reversal “flies in the face of all efforts to protect sacred sites over the years,” said
Gene Preston, Pit River Tribe chairman.
Michelle Berditschevsky, the tribe’s environmental coordinator, said the project wouldn’t even help California meet its renewable energy
obligations. Calpine has already sold any electricity from the site to the Bonneville Power Administration, which does
not serve California. Owners of lakefront vacation homes likewise expressed dismay and vowed to sue. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
also weighed in against the project. “If the project were to proceed,” Boxer wrote Bush regulators, “the unique and sacred character of
the Medicine Lake Caldera will forever be lost.”
The decision comes two years after Clinton administration regulators declared that no geothermal
development would be allowed at Telephone Flat. They said a power plant close to the lake could
trample tribes’ cultural values and harm the scenic charm for recreational visitors.
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Native American Turn


Struggle to reclaim geothermal land key to Native American sovereignty, Hawaii proves

Native Americas 96 (“Land and Sovereignty in Hawai'i: A Native Nation Re-emerges” Weinberg, Bill.,Jun 30, Vol. XIII, Iss. 2; pg.
30, proquest)
Native Hawai'ians have also fought the state's plans for such mega-projects as a spaceport and multi-
megawatt geothermal plant on the Big Island.
The spaceport was planned for Hawai'ian Home Lands at South Point, where ancient canoe mooring
holes carved in the rock speak to a profound historic significance: South Point is believed to be where the
first Natives arrived in the great migrations across the Pacific over a millennium ago.
South Point was taken by the military in World War II, and became Kalae National Historic Landmark in 1963. But the military
continued to train there. Turning South Point into a private spaceport was proposed in the '80s, but the scheme languished as local
Natives challenged military operations, erecting roadblocks to stop Marine maneuvers in 1984. The military hasn't been back since.
The geothermal project sought to exploit Puna's volcanic activity to power the entire state in a single
miracle of engineering. The federal Energy Department put up $1.4 million for development of a cable linking the Puna plant to
the Maui and Oahu grids -- with the money going directly to out-of-state engineering firms. One thousand 90-foot pylon towers were
proposed to span the island.
In 1982, forested Natural Area Reserve land was swapped with adjacent Campbell Estate land and leased to True Geothermal of
Wyoming. Despite misgivings over the unpredictability of volcano Kilauea -- associated with the
Hawai'ian fire goddess Pele -- the forest was cleared and ground broken on the 6000-megawatt scheme.
Several hundred were arrested protesting at the site in '89 and '90. No energy was ever generated.
The fiasco did produce the significant court decision in 1992's Pele Defense Fund vs. Campbell Estate, when the state Supreme Court
upheld Native Hawai'ian access to forest lands for ahupua'a gathering rights.
The scaled-down 30-megawatt plant now operating on old papaya lands by Puna Geothermal Venture is a disaster. Deadly
hydrogen sulfide leaks have killed people and sparked evacuations. PGV has paid millions to local
residents in damages, and is negotiating a relocation program.
Palikapu Dedman is a veteran of both the spaceport and geothermal campaigns. He blockaded the military at
South Point in '84. He is now curator of the park there.
Palikapu says that the struggle for the land is the real issue of sovereignty. "We aren't going to wait for a
piece of paper to start to be Hawai'ian again. Just go out and do it today. Start practicing the
traditional ways and do what you have to to protect the resources. We have sacred geography; Pele is
my belief. Enough about golf courses and let's talk about cultural needs."
"With land, we don't have to be Third World people," he says. "Let the oil ships pass -- we know how
to make our own food and generate our own energy. We can be the leaders in developing an island
economy."
Ka Lahui calls for establishment of a National Land Trust to take control of all Hawai'ian Homelands, Ceded
Lands, federal lands and trusts.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 102
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***Geothermal Good***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 103
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Geothermal Better Other Alt. Energies


Geothermal uniquely better than all other forms of power-always there, solves oil
independence, no emissions

Hook 5 (John W., Registered Professional Geologist, US Geothermal Resources, Nov/Dev 2005)
The young volcanic areas of the Cascade Mountains offer the possibility of abundant clean electrical
power. Geologic studies to date indicate that the geothermal energy equivalent of 400 Trojan-size
nuclear plants probably exists in the Cascades—outside of Wilderness Areas and National Parks. (This
estimate was by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in 1983 in Special Paper 15.)
Many other similar estimates of a vast power reserve were made in the 1970s and 1980s, based on thermal
gradient drilling, geophysical and geological explorations. Yet for the past 10 years almost nothing has been
done to follow up this promising work with the deep drilling needed to prove this resource.
In California, Nevada and many other places around the globe, geothermal has proven to be an
economical source of energy, for both direct use and for the generation of electricity. It is the most
economical of the “green” energy resources such as solar or wind. Geothermal energy is a “baseload”
type of power, which is there full time—not just when the sun shines or the wind blows. In the long-run
the economics of geothermal power may even exceed those of the fossil fuels. It would likely prove to be
a sustainable low-cost source of power, such as the Northwest has been realizing for many years from the
hydropower it developed in the 1930s and 1940s.
Geothermal energy is one of our renewable resources—it is environmentally benign compared to
hydropower, nuclear energy or fossil fuels. It does not dam streams, produce nuclear wastes or pump
vast quantities of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) into the air. Geothermal energy from the Cascades
would be a reliable domestic resource. It would not be dependent on the foreign political regimes of
some of the most unstable areas in the world. It would not be subject to an OPEC embargo.
So, why are we not using it? That is a long story.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 104
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AT: Few Locations


New drilling tech means many more locations will be available for geothermal

Wicker 5 (Ken, Rocky Mountain Institute researcher, “Geothermal: Hotter than ever”, Power; Jan/Feb2005, Vol.
149 Issue 1, p40-44, 4p
According to Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), a Washington-
based trade association of U.S. companies involved in the development and production of geothermal power,
"The future is bright. Drilling technologies are on the horizon that will allow us to drill deeper than
ever before to tap into the deep, hot, dry rock formations of the Earth's crust."
The ability to drill deeper means that previously unthinkable locations may, in the not-too-distant
future, host geothermal power production. Because current technology allows for electricity production at
temperatures as low as 195F, deeper wells could turn much of the U.S.--and indeed, the world--into
potential resource sites, according to Gawell. "With new mapping and drilling technologies, it is
possible to drill as deep as 15,000 feet."
As a matter of fact, they are doing just that down in Australia. Queensland-based Geodynamics Ltd.
recently finished drilling 15,000 feet into the hot granite of the Cooper Basin in South Australia to tap into
rock as hot as 480F. If the test wells are a success and the company is able to generate steam by pumping
fluid down into a heat exchanger far below Earth's surface, it will be the first power plant of its kind to
generate electricity from a closed-loop process, part of which is so far underground.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., geothermal researchers point to a recently published DOE/Southern Methodist
University map (Figure 2) that indicates where underground temperatures are high enough to warrant energy
extraction. Some of the potential resources are as much as 19,000 feet below the surface. But because
deeper drilling now makes those resources recoverable, we could eventually see geothermal power
plants popping up like daisies across western states--not just in California, long the capital of U.S.
geothermal production with 13,800 GWh of annual output.

Geothermal resources found nationwide, only the cost increases

MIT 7 (Jan 22, http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/geothermal.html)


Prof. Tester and panel member David Blackwell, professor of geophysics at Southern Methodist University
in Texas, also point out that geothermal resources are available nationwide, although the highest-grade
sites are in western states, where hot rocks are closer to the surface, requiring less drilling and thus
lowering costs.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 105
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AT: General Environment – Regulations Prevent


Multiple laws and regulations prevent geothermal from harming the environment

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
In the United States, the environmental impact of any type of power project is subject to many forms of
regulation. All of the following laws and regulations play a role before any geothermal development
project can be brought to fruition (Kagel et al., 2005): • Clean Air Act • National Environmental Policy
Act • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permitting Program • Safe Drinking Water Act
• Resource Conservation and Recovery Act • Toxic Substance Control Act • Noise Control Act •
Endangered Species Act • Archaeological Resources Protection Act • Hazardous Waste and Materials
Regulations • Occupational Health and Safety Act • Indian Religious Freedom Act. Thus, it is highly
unlikely that any geothermal power plant will be a threat to the environment anywhere in the United
States, given the comprehensive spectrum of regulations that must be satisfied.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 106
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AT: Water/streams
Air-cooling system solves water-use problems

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
An alternative to water-cooling is the technique of air-cooling using electric motor-driven fans and heat
exchangers. This approach is particularly useful where the supply of fresh water is limited, and is
currently used mainly for binary power plants (see Chapter 7). While air-cooled condensers eliminate
the need for fresh makeup water that would be required for wet cooling towers, they occupy large tracts of
land owing to the poor heat transfer properties of air vs. water. This greatly increases the land area needed for heat rejection compared to
a plant of the same power rating that uses a wet cooling tower. For example, in the case of the 15.5 MW bottoming binary plant at the
Miravalles field in Costa Rica, a design comparison between a water-cooling tower and an air-cooled condenser showed that the air-
cooled condenser would cost more than three times as much, weigh more than two-and-a-half times as much, cover about three times as
much surface area, and consume about three times more fan power than a water-cooling tower (Moya and DiPippo, 2006)
The environmental impacts of waste heat rejection into the atmosphere or water bodies can be
minimized through intelligent design and the use of well-developed technologies; but the amount of
heat that must be dissipated is controlled by the laws of thermodynamics.

Re-injection solves waste-water disposal

Defenders.org no date (Defenders of Wildlife, searched July 11, 2008, http://www.defenders.org/programs_and


_policy/policy_and_legislation/energy/renewable_ energy/geothermal_energy/detailed_recommendations.php)
An important concern relative to the potential environmental impact of geothermal energy development
relates to water. Environmental impacts can result from the hot waters and steam used to generate electricity,
which often contain many dissolved toxic compounds (see below). Groundwater contamination is an
important concern. Generally groundwater pollution can be prevented if the wastewater is disposed of
by re-injection, and this approach is usually employed because the water can then potentially be reused
once it has been reheated by the earth. It is critical that waste waters be re-injected in a way that
ensures groundwater aquifiers are not polluted, including ensuring well casings do not have leaks.

Geothermal plants don’t affect water quality, monitoring flow and temperature solve

World Bank Group 7 (“Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Geothermal Power Generation”, April 30,
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:8AsxdJuS1x0J:www.gcgf.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_EHSGuidelines2007_Geothermal
PowerGen/%24FILE/Final%2B-%2BGeothermal%2BPower%2BGeneration.pdf+geothermal%2Baccidents&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us)
Surface water extraction is necessary for a variety of geothermal power generation activities, including well
drilling, injectivity testing of subsurface formations and for use in cooling systems. Surface water used for
non-contact single pass cooling is typically returned to the source with some increase in heat content,
but no overall change in water quality. The following management measures are recommended to
conserve water sources used to support geothermal power generation activities Assessing hydrological
records for short and long-term variability of streams serving as source water, and ensuring critical
flows are maintained during low flow periods so as to not obstruct passage of fish or negatively impact
aquatic biota; Monitoring temperature differential of effluent and receiving water bodies to comply
with local regulations respecting thermal discharge or, in the absence of such regulations, as
previously noted in this document.
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AT: Habitat/land-use
Small land-use, reforestation solve habitat issues

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Problems related to loss of habitat or disturbance of vegetation are relatively minor or nonexistent at
hydrothermal projects in the United States. Given the relatively small area taken out of the
environment for geothermal operations, these potential impacts can be minimized with proper
planning and engineering. It is difficult to imagine an EGS development causing more of an impact on
wildlife and vegetation than a hydrothermal project. Furthermore, an Environmental Impact Statement
must be filed before any permits can be granted for a geothermal project, and any potential impact in
this area would have to be addressed.
It is undeniable that any power generation facility constructed where none previously existed will alter the
view of the landscape. Urban plants, while objectionable to many for other reasons, do not stand out as
abruptly as a plant in a flat agricultural region or one on the flank of a volcano. Many geothermal plants are
in these types of areas, but with care and creativity can be designed to blend into the surroundings. Avoiding
locations of particular natural beauty is also important, whether or not the land is nationally or locally
protected. EGS developments will be no different than conventional hydrothermal plant developments,
in that the design of the facility must comply with all local siting requirements.
The development of a geothermal field can involve the removal of trees and brush to facilitate the
installation of the power house, substation, well pads, piping, emergency holding ponds, etc. However,
once a geothermal plant is built, reforestation and plantings can restore the area to a semblance of its
original natural appearance, and can serve to mask the presence of buildings and other structures. For
example, Figures 8.2 and 8.3 show the Ahuachapán geothermal facility in El Salvador, soon after
commissioning around 1977 (DiPippo, 1978), and then after regrowth of trees and vegetation in 2005
(LaGeo, 2005).
Geothermal plants generally have a low profile and are much less conspicuous than, for example, wind
turbines, solar power towers, or coal plants with chimneys as tall as 150-200 m. Buildings and pipelines
can be painted appropriate colors to help conceal them from a distance. While it is impossible to conceal
steam being vented from flash plants – a periodic occurrence during normal operation – most people do not
object to the sight of white steam clouds in the distance. Binary plants during normal operation have
no emissions whatsoever.

Geothermal plants are land-use efficient, environmentally acceptable

Defenders.org no date (Defenders of Wildlife, searched July 11, 2008, http://www.defenders.org/programs_and


_policy/policy_and_legislation/energy/renewable_ energy/geothermal_energy/detailed_recommendations.php)
Fortunately geothermal power plants themselves require relatively little land compared to fossil fuel
and nuclear power plants: "Ronald DiPippo, a geothermal energy researcher at the University of
Massachusetts, has calculated that a typical geothermal power plant requires about 3 acres for every 10
Megawatts of generating capacity, compared to about 100 acres for a coal-fired plant, including the
land mined to fuel the plant during a thirty-year operating life." (Richard Golob & Eric Brus, The
Almanac of Renewable Energy, p. 78).Moreover, directional drilling can be utilized, and several wells can
be drilled from one pad, which minimizes the need for access roads. With careful attention to siting,
Defenders believes geothermal energy can often be developed in an environmentally acceptable way;
however, there will be places where geothermal energy development should not be permitted. For example,
geothermal energy development adjacent to Yellowstone National Park could adversely affect the park’s
world-renowned geothermal features. In some areas, development of geothermal energy could affect unique
species of wildlife adapted to thermal pools, so again geothermal energy development could be inappropriate
in these areas.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 108
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AT: Habitat/land-use
Pipes for geothermal plants are mounted, allowing land to be used for other purposes,
footprint modest

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Gathering pipelines are usually mounted on stanchions, so that most of the area could be used for
farming, pasture, or other compatible use (see Figure 8.1). The footprint of the power plant, cooling
towers, and auxiliary buildings and substation is relatively modest. Holding ponds for temporary
discharges (during drilling or well stimulation) can be sizeable but represent only a small fraction of
the total well field.

Geothermal uses very little land comparatively, EGS allows plants to be located in
industrial districts

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
In comparison with fossil-fueled, nuclear, or solar-electric power plants, EGS plants require much less
land area per MW installed or per MWh delivered. In fact, the land required is not completely
occupied by the plant and the wells, and can be used, for example, for farming and cattle-raising. The
practice of directionally drilling multiple wells from a few well pads will keep the land use to a
minimum. Furthermore, because EGS plants are not necessarily tied to hydrothermal areas, it may be
possible to site them within populated and industrial districts, a clear advantage over fossil or nuclear
plants.
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AT: Earthquakes (1/2)


New GEOHIL method solves earthquakes by letting heat flow

BTT 7 (BTT Bassfeld Technology Transfer, Jan 16, http://www.bassfeld.ch/News/files/36665ed9c129840a93c017cfecbac582-8.html)


The GEOHIL method of extracting geothermal energy lets heat flow, as opposed to pressurized water.
It does not involve fracturing rock with high pressure as in the Hot-Dry-Rock method. Therefore there is
absolutely no risk of creating earthquakes in using the GEOHIL system. The main difference to HDR
is that existing fractures in the rock are sufficient to let the heat exchange between hot and warm water
occur locally.

Monitoring of acoustic noise during drilling and normal operations prevents earthquakes

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
The process of opening fractures can occur in a sliding manner by shear failure or in extensional
manner by tensile failure. In either case, acoustic noise is generated during this process. This acoustic
noise is referred to as microseismic noise or events. The acoustic noise is monitored during the stimulation
process as an EGS reservoir management tool to see how far the stimulation has opened the reservoir in three
dimensions (Batchelor et al., 1983; Baria et al., 1985; Baria and Green, 1989; Baria et al., 1995; Baria, 1990;
Baria et al., 2005; Baria et al., 2006). This is analogous to tracking a submarine through acoustic noise
patterns. The microseismic monitoring pinpoints how the pressure waves are migrating in the rock
mass during the reservoir creation process. In the EGS systems studied to date (see Chapter 4) shear
failure has been the dominant mechanism. Chapter 8 Environmental Impacts, Attributes, and Feasibility
Criteria 8-9
Signatures of the microseismic events also can be used to quantify the energy radiated from the
shearing of fractures, the size of the fractures, the orientation of fractures, dilation and slip of
fractures, etc. This is a unique method and serves as a remote sensing technique to observe changes in
the reservoir properties (stress), not just during the development of the reservoir but also during the
long-term energy-extraction phase.

Closed-loop circulation, warning systems solves earthquakes

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
In all aspects, with the exception of possible effects caused by induced seismicity, geothermal plants are the
most environmentally benign means of generating base-load electricity. Overall, EGS plants would have
comparable impact to hydrothermal binary plants operating with closed-loop circulation. The only
potential area of concern, induced seismicity (which is somewhat unique to EGS), can be mitigated, if not
overcome, using modern geoscientific methods to thoroughly characterize potential reservoir target
areas before drilling and stimulation begin. Continuous monitoring of microseismic noise will serve not
only as a vital tool for estimating the extent of the reservoir, but also as a warning system to alert scientists
and engineers of the possible onset of a significant seismic event. On balance, considering all the
technologies available for generating large amounts of electric power and their associated
environmental impacts, EGS is clearly the best choice.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 110
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AT: Earthquakes (2/2)


Warming systems, pre-drilling tests prevent earthquake impacts

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Experience to-date suggests that an appropriate infrastructure needs to be set up to inform local
residents about the program prior to the implementation of an EGS project. Planning needs to include
a system where local residents are briefed on the project and are encouraged to contact a specified
person on the program whose duties include answering questions and dealing responsively and
sympathetically to any concerns of the local residents. Regular public meetings and arranged visits to the site
from schools and interested parties are a way of enhancing acceptance of the program by local residents. The
collection of baseline data at the selected site prior to the onset of drilling is useful in separating
natural from induced events. Additionally, it is prudent to instrument the site for any unexpected
natural or induced felt microseismic events. A procedure also needs to be in effect to assess any effects on
the public and local infrastructure. Lastly, sound geological and tectonic investigations must be carried
out prior to the selection of the site to avoid the inadvertent lubrication of a major fault that could
cause a significant seismic event.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 111
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AT: Accidents
New tech and adherence to standards prevent blowouts, mechanical failures

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Accidents can occur during various phases of geothermal activity including well blowouts, ruptured steam
pipes, turbine failures, fires, etc. This is no different from any other power generation facility where
industrial accidents unfortunately can and do happen. The ones that are unique to geothermal power
plants involve well drilling and testing. In the early days of geothermal energy exploitation, well
blowouts were a fairly common occurrence; but, nowadays, the use of sophisticated and fast-acting
blowout preventers have practically eliminated this potentially lifethreatening problem. Furthermore,
geothermal prospects are now more carefully studied using modern geoscientific methods before well
drilling commences. In the case of EGS projects, it will be critical to study and characterize the nature of
any potential site before any development begins. This will minimize the chances for a catastrophic event
related to the drilling phase. Proper engineering and adherence to standard design codes should also
minimize, if not completely eliminate, any chance of a mechanical or electrical failure that could cause
serious injury to plant personnel or local inhabitants.

Multiple control mechanisms prevent blowouts

World Bank Group 7 (“Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Geothermal Power Generation”, April 30,
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:8AsxdJuS1x0J:www.gcgf.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_EHS
Guidelines2007_GeothermalPowerGen/%24FILE/Final%2B-
%2BGeothermal%2BPower%2BGeneration.pdf+geothermal%2Baccidents&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us)
Although very rare, well blowouts and pipeline failures may occur during well drilling or facility
operations. Such failures can result in the release of toxic drilling additives and fluids, as well as hydrogen
sulfide gases from underground formations. Pipeline ruptures may also result in the surface release of
geothermal fluids and steam containing heavy metals, acids, mineral deposits, and other pollutants.
Recommended pollution prevention and control methods to address well blowouts and pipeline
ruptures include: • Regular maintenance of wellheads and geothermal fluid pipelines, including
corrosion control and inspection; pressure monitoring; and use of blowout prevention equipment
such as shutoff valves; and • Design of emergency response for well blowout and pipeline rupture,
including measures for containment of geothermal fluid spills.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 112
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AT: Land Subsistence/Landslides


EGS doesn’t cause land subsistence

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Most of EGS geothermal developments are likely to be in granitic-type rock formations at great depth,
which may contain some water-filled fractures within the local stress regime at this depth. After a
geothermal well is drilled, the reservoir is stimulated by pumping high-pressure water down the well to open
up existing fractures (joints) and keep them open by relying on the rough surface of the fractures. Because
the reservoir is kept under pressure continuously, and the amount of fluid in the formation is
maintained essentially constant during the operation of the plant, the usual mechanism causing
subsidence in hydrothermal systems is absent and, therefore, subsidence impacts are not expected for
EGS systems.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 113
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AT: Solid waste emissions


No chance of contamination from solid waste

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
There is practically no chance for contamination of surface facilities or the surrounding area by the
discharge of solids per se from the geofluid. The only conceivable situation would be an accident
associated with a fluid treatment or minerals recovery system that somehow failed in a catastrophic
manner and spewed removed solids onto the area. There are no functioning mineral recovery facilities of
this type at any geothermal plant – although one was piloted for a short time near the Salton Sea in
southern California – and it is not envisioned that any such facility would be associated with an EGS
plant. Precautions, however, would need to be in place should the EGS circulating fluid require
chemical treatment to remove dissolved solids, which could be toxic and subject to regulated disposal
and could plug pathways in the reservoir.

Multiple ways to dispose of the insubstantial solid waste from geothermal plants

World Bank Group 7 (“Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Geothermal Power Generation”, April 30,
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:8AsxdJuS1x0J:www.gcgf.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_EHSGuidelines2007_Geothermal
PowerGen/%24FILE/Final%2B-%2BGeothermal%2BPower%2BGeneration.pdf+geothermal%2Baccidents&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us)
Geothermal technologies do not produce a substantial amount of solid waste. Sulfur, silica, and
carbonate precipitates are typically collected from cooling towers, air scrubber systems, turbines, and
steam separators. This sludge may be classified as hazardous depending on the concentration and potential
for leaching of silica compounds, chlorides, arsenic, mercury, vanadium, nickel, and other heavy metals.
Recommended management of hazardous waste is described in the General EHS Guidelines and involves
proper on-site storage and containment before final treatment and disposal at an appropriate waste facility.
If the sludge is of acceptable quality without significant leachable metals content (i.e. is a non-
hazardous waste), on-site or off-site reuse as backfill may be considered as a potential disposal option.
Recoverable solids such as sulfur cake should be recycled by third parties to the extent feasible 6 . The
disposal pathways will have to be determined initially by appropriate chemical analyses of the precipitates,
which should be periodically (e. g. annually) repeated to accommodate for potential geochemical variations
and resulting impacts on waste quality. 6 An example of a beneficial use is in the manufacture of
agricultural fertilizers.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 114
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AT: Emissions
Geothermal risks much smaller than any other energy source, emissions minor

Hook 5 (John W., Registered Professional Geologist, US Geothermal Resources, Nov/Dev 2005)
Any source of energy we look at, including wind and solar, will have some environmental impacts.
Geothermal is no exception. However, compared to other viable energy resources, the environmental
impacts of geothermal development are small indeed. The volatile volcanic gases such as carbon
dioxide and hydrogen sulfide often associated with the production of geothermal fluids are very minor
in comparison to those produced by the combustion of fossil fuels.
Current geothermal technologies widely in use in California, Nevada, and elsewhere in the world have
greatly reduced objectionable gases and steam plumes from geothermal operations. With some of the
systems in use today, practically all of the fluids and volatile that comes out of the production wells are
returned to the geothermal reservoir through injection wells. Other systems that use flashed steam technology
vent it to the atmosphere and produce highly visible plumes when the air is cold. In these systems, scrubbers
are used to eliminate sulfur and other objectionable emissions.
The point to be considered here is that we need to assess the adverse impacts of geothermal energy in
relation to other viable sources of energy. While geothermal may produce some visible plumes of steam
in the mountains, would it not be better to be able to see the mountains, steam plumes and all, than to
have them shut off from view by industrial haze from fossil-fuel systems?
We need to weigh our priorities, not give in to the knee-jerk reaction that there can be no energy
development in the Cascades. In the same vein, we need to weigh the various risk factors involved with
geothermal development compared to other energy resources. Whichever way we turn (or continue to drift)
in energy production involves risk. Many prominent scientists now believe that we are at serious risk as
we continue to pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from fossil fuels.

Geothermal is emissions-free

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


One of the most significant benefits of geothermal energy, besides a high capacity factor, is its near-
zero air emissions. While variations in geothermal power plant technology and cooling systems can
influence emission levels, geothermal energy facilities across the United States comply with all federal
standards for air quality, including the more stringent California standards. Consider the following
example. In 2003, Denver’s Cherokee coal-fired power plant, which has been retrofitted with scrubbers and
other pollution control mechanisms, emitted 23 times more carbon dioxide, 10,837 times more sulfur
dioxide, and 3,865 times more nitrous oxides per megawatt hour than the average of eleven geothermal steam
plants at The Geysers (2). Air quality statistics for Lake County, downwind of the world’s largest geothermal
field, The Geysers, highlights the potential benefits of geothermal electricity production. It is the only
air district in California that has been in compliance with all state and federal air quality standards for
the past 17 years. The following sections compare and contrast geothermal and fossil-fuel power plants in
terms of nitrogen oxides, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide emissions.
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AT: Emissions
Emission levels of CO2, SO2 and H2S are all relatively minute, controllable

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
So far in the United States, there are no standards to be met for the emission of CO2 because the United
States has not signed the Kyoto agreement. Nevertheless, geothermal steam and flash plants emit much
less CO2 on an electrical generation basis (per megawatt-hour) than fossil-fueled power plants, and
binary plants emit essentially none. The concentrations of regulated pollutants – nitrogen oxide (NOx)
and sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) – in the gaseous discharge streams from geothermal steam and flash plants are
extremely minute. Table 8.1 shows a comparison of typical geothermal plants with other types of power
plants (Kagel et al., 2005). The data indicate that geothermal plants are far more environmentally benign
than the other conventional plants. It should be noted that the NOx at The Geysers comes from the
combustion process used to abate H2S in some of the plants; most geothermal steam plants do not rely
on combustion for H2S abatement and therefore emit no NOx at all.

EGS installations mean very low amounts of dissolved gases, doesn’t need to be treated

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Gaseous emissions result from the discharge of noncondensable gases (NCGs) that are carried in the
source stream to the power plant. For hydrothermal installations, the most common NCGs are carbon
dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), although species such as methane, hydrogen, sulfur dioxide,
and ammonia are often encountered in low concentrations. In the United States, emissions of H2S –
distinguished by its “rotten egg” odor and detectable at 30 parts per billion – are strictly regulated by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid adverse impacts on plant and human life. We expect that
for most EGS installations, there will be lower amounts of dissolved gases than are commonly found in
hydrothermal fluids. Consequently, impacts would be lower and may not even require active treatment
and control. Nonetheless, for completeness, we review here the situation encountered today for managing
gaseous emissions from hydrothermal plants.
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AT: NO2
H2S capturing systems solve any risk of NO2 emissions

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


Because geothermal power plants do not burn fuel, they emit very low levels of NOx. The small
amounts of NOx released result from the combustion of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Geothermal facilities
are generally required by law to maintain H2S abatement systems that capture these emissions, and
either burn the gas or convert it to elemental sulfur. During combustion, small amounts of NOx are
sometimes formed, but these are miniscule. Average NOx emissions are zero (Fig. 1) (3). When
comparing geothermal energy to coal, current U.S. geothermal power generation of about 15 billion kilowatt-
hours (kWh) reduces NOx emissions by around 32,000 tons.
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AT: Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)/SO2


H2S vent systems remove 99.9 percent of emissions, binary plants solve

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S). Identifiable by its distinctive “rotten-egg” smell, H2S is the pollutant generally
considered of greatest concern for geothermal power operations. Since 1976, H2S emissions from
geothermal power plants have declined from 1,900 lbs./hr. to 200 lbs./hr. or less, even though geothermal
power production has increased from 500 megawatts (MW) to over 2,000 MW (4). The two most
commonly used vent gas H2S abatement systems are the Stretford system and the LO-CAT. Both systems
remove over 99.9 percent of H2S from non-condensable gases (5), and convert it to elemental sulfur for
use as a soil amendment and fertilizer feedstock. Today, geothermal steam and flash power plants
produce only minimal H2S emissions. Binary geothermal power plants release no H2S emissions at all.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). Geothermal power plants do not directly emit SO2. Once H2S is released, it
spreads into the air and eventually changes into SO2 and sulfuric acid (6). When comparing
geothermal energy to coal, current geothermal generation of about 15 billion kWh avoids the potential
release of 78,000 tons of SO2 (7). Geothermal power plant H2S emissions have been converted for
comparison purposes to SO2 in Figure 2 (8).

Monitoring, precautions solve H2S emission threat

World Bank Group 7 (“Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Geothermal Power Generation”, April 30,
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:8AsxdJuS1x0J:www.gcgf.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_EHSGuidelines2007_Geothermal
PowerGen/%24FILE/Final%2B-%2BGeothermal%2BPower%2BGeneration.pdf+geothermal%2Baccidents&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us)
In addition to the prevention and control of emissions and exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas described in the
environmental and occupational health and safety sections above, the potential for exposures to members of
the community should be carefully considered during the planning process and the necessary precautions
implemented. Where the potential for community exposure is significant, examples of mitigation
measures include: • Siting of potential significant emissions sources with consideration of hydrogen
sulfide gas exposure to nearby communities (considering key environmental factors such as proximity,
morphology and prevailing wind directions); • Installation of a hydrogen sulfide gas monitoring network
with the number and location of monitoring stations determined through air dispersion modeling, taking into
account the location of emissions sources and areas of community use and habitation; • Continuous
operation of the hydrogen sulfide gas monitoring systems to facilitate early detection and warning; •
Emergency planning involving community input to allow for effective response to monitoring system
warnings.
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AT: Particulates
Geothermal plants emit almost no particulates

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


Particulate Matter. While coal- and oilfired power plants produce hundreds of tons of particulate matter
annually, geothermal power plants emit almost none, as shown in Figure 3 (9). Water-cooled geothermal
power plants give off small amounts of particulate matter from cooling towers when steam condensate
is evaporated, but the amount is quite small when compared to coal- or oil-fired power plants. In a
study of California geothermal power plants, PM10 is reported as zero (10). It is estimated that
geothermal energy produced in the United States prevents the emissions of over 17,000 tons of particulate
matter each year when compared to the same amount of power produced by coal-fired power plants (11).
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AT: Carbon Dioxide (CO2)


Binary plants solve CO2 emissions, even “dirtiest” plants emit much less than traditional
fuels

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


Carbon Dioxide (CO2). A colorless, odorless gas, CO2 is released into the atmosphere primarily as a
byproduct of burning various fuels. Geothermal steam is generally condensed after passing through the
turbine, but CO2 does not condense, and instead passes through the turbine to the exhaust system where it is
released into the atmosphere through cooling towers. Amounts of CO2 in geothermal fluids can vary
depending on location, and the amount of CO2 actually released into the atmosphere can vary
depending on power plant design. This makes it difficult to generalize about the amount of CO2 emitted by
an “average” geothermal power plant. For example, binary plants with air cooling are closedloop systems
and emit no CO2, because geothermal fluids are not exposed to the atmosphere. Despite these
disparities, even the “dirtiest” geothermal power plant will emit only a fraction of the CO2 emitted by
thermal power plants on a per-MW basis. CO2 emissions from an average geothermal power plant are
compared with fossil-fuel power plants in Figure 4 (12). Noncondensable gases such as CO2 make up less
than 5 percent by weight of the steam phase of most geothermal systems (13). Of that 5 percent, CO2
typically accounts for 75 percent or more of noncondensable gas by volume. Geothermal power production
currently prevents the emission of 17 million tons of carbon annually when compared to the same
amount of power produced by coal-fired power plants (14).

Because geothermal plants emit no CO2 a carbon tax or carbon credit would give it an
economic advantage

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Geothermal power plants built on EGS reservoirs and using “closed-loop” cycles will emit no carbon
dioxide (CO2), one of the principal greenhouse gases (GHGs) implicated in global warming. Although
not currently a signatory to the Kyoto agreement, the United States may find itself forced to address this
problem soon. A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is expected by June 2007, which could lead to a new
posture by the government on CO2 emissions. If a “carbon tax” were to be implemented, the cost to
generate a kilowatt-hour of electricity from fossil-fueled plants would increase relative to other less-
polluting technologies. EGS plants would not be penalized and could gain an economic advantage over
all plants using carbon-based fuels. If a program of “carbon credits” were to be established, EGS
plants would gain an additional revenue stream by selling such credits on the carbon-credit trading
market.
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AT: Mercury
Even the worst mercury emissions from geothermal sources are below regulations, binary
plants solve

GEA 5 (Geothermal Energy Association, May/June, http://www.geothermal.org/articles/air.pdf)


Mercury. Mercury is not present in every geothermal resource. However, if mercury is present in a
geothermal resource, using that resource for power production could result in mercury emissions, depending
upon the technology used. In the United States, The Geysers is the main geothermal field known to emit
small quantities of mercury, with 80 percent of mercury emissions concentrated at a few facilities where the
installation of abatement equipment has been scheduled (15). The Geysers area was mined for mercury from
1850 to 1950, so it is likely that some degree of mercury emissions would exist independently of geothermal
development. Furthermore, mercury emissions from The Geysers are below the amount required to
trigger a health risk analysis under existing California regulations. Because binary power plants pass
geothermal fluid through a heat exchanger, then return all of it to the reservoir, they do not emit
mercury. While federal proposals related to mercury risk have focused on coal, state and local governments
have also introduced measures to reduce mercury emissions from other sources. As a result, mercury
abatement measures are already in place at most geothermal facilities. The abatement measures that
reduce mercury also reduce sulfur emissions generated as a byproduct of H2S abatement (after H2S is
removed from geothermal steam, the gas is run through a mercury filter that absorbs mercury from the gas).
The rate of mercury abatement within a geothermal power facility, which varies according to the efficiency
of its activated carbon mercury absorber, is typically near 90 percent, and is always efficient enough to
ensure that the sulfur byproduct is not hazardous. The activated carbon media is changed out periodically
and disposed of as a hazardous waste. The amount of hazardous waste reduction is thousands of tons/year.
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AT: Noise Pollution


Noise pollutions level negligible, very little boundary noises

MIT 6 (“The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States
in the 21st Century”, http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf)
Noise from geothermal operations is typical of many industrial activities (DiPippo, 1991a). The highest
noise levels are usually produced during the well drilling, stimulation, and testing phases when noise
levels ranging from about 80 to 115 decibels A-weighted (dBA) may occur at the plant fence boundary.
During normal operations of a geothermal power plant, noise levels are in the 71 to 83 decibel range at
a distance of 900 m (DiPippo, 2005). Noise levels drop rapidly with distance from the source, so that if a
plant is sited within a large geothermal reservoir area, boundary noise should not be objectionable. If
necessary, noise levels could be reduced further by the addition of mufflers or other soundproofing
means but at added cost. For comparison, congested urban areas typically have noise levels of about 70
to 85 decibels, and noise levels next to a major freeway are around 90 decibels. A jet plane just after
takeoff produces noise levels of about 120 to 130 decibels.

After construction, noise pollution is negligible, can be muffled

Geothermal Industry Development Framework 7 (Workshop 1 Issues Paper, November,


http://www.geothermalframework.net.au/pdf/Workshop%201%20Issues%20Paper.pdf)
During field development, drilling operations, and plant construction, noise and disruption of normal
activities can be of concern, but noise levels are usual within those typically permitted for construction
activities. Unconfined well discharge testing can cause extremely high noise level for short periods of time
but are not usually allowed in inhabited areas. There are methods available to muffle discharges if
required. After the plant begins operation, noise abatement measures are usually implemented to
control noise and allowable limits can be achieved at the site boundaries.
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AT: Thermal Pollution


Releasing trapped earth heat key to stop global warming

Nordell 3 (Bo, Division of Water Resources Engineering, Luleå University of


Sept 3, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_
ob=ArticleURL& _udi=B6VF0-49FGSB1- 1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_
version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=d166717c8306f200109efd49c9becb8f) .
Over longer time-scales there is no net heat inflow to Earth since incoming solar energy is re-emitted at
exactly the same rate. To maintain Earth's thermal equilibrium, however, there must be a net outflow
equal to the geothermal heat flow. Performed calculations show that the net heat outflow in 1880 was equal
to the geothermal heat flow, which is the only natural net heat source on Earth. Since then, heat dissipation
from the global use of nonrenewable energy sources has resulted in additional net heating. In, e.g. Sweden,
which is a sparsely populated country, this net heating is about three times greater than the geothermal
heat flow. Such thermal pollution contributes to global warming until the global temperature has
reached a level where this heat is also emitted to space. Heat dissipation from the global use of fossil
fuels and nuclear power is the main source of thermal pollution. Here, it was found that one third of
current thermal pollution is emitted to space and that a further global temperature increase of 1.8 °C is
required until Earth is again in thermal equilibrium.
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AT: Worker Safety – Hydrogen sulfide exposure


Precautions, monitoring solve worker exposure to hydrogen sulfide

World Bank Group 7 (“Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Geothermal Power Generation”, April 30,
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:8AsxdJuS1x0J:www.gcgf.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/gui_EHSGuidelines2007_Geothermal
PowerGen/%24FILE/Final%2B-%2BGeothermal%2BPower%2BGeneration.pdf+geothermal%2Baccidents&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us)
Where there is a potential for exposure to hazardous levels of hydrogen sulfide, geothermal power
facilities should consider the following management measures: • Installation of hydrogen sulfide
monitoring and warning systems. The number and location of monitors should be determined based on an
assessment of plant locations prone to hydrogen sulfide emission and occupational exposure; 8 •
Development of a contingency plan for hydrogen sulfide release events, including all necessary aspects
from evacuation to resumption of normal operations; • Provision of facility emergency response teams,
and workers in locations with high risk of exposure, with personal hydrogen sulfide monitors, self-
contained breathing apparatus and emergency oxygen supplies, and training in their safe and
effective use; • Provision of adequate ventilation of occupied buildings to avoid accumulation of
hydrogen sulfide gas; • Development and implementation ofa confined space entry program for areas
designated as ‘Confined Spaces’ (see below); • Providing workers with a fact sheet or other readily
available information about the chemical composition of liquid and gaseous phases with an explanation
of potential implications for human health and safety.
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AT: Native Turn – Won’t be Built on Native Land


Native authority prevents geothermal development if it’s not wanted

Fleischmann 6 (Daniel J., Geothermal Energy Association ,Sept. http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:LNkNRBNic1AJ:www.geo-


energy.org/publications/reports/Arizona%2520Geothermal%2520Report%2520Sept%252025%25202006.pdf+geothermal%2Bnative+american+l
and&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us)
On Native American land, tribes have sole authority to develop direct-use projects. Those who work
with tribes in Arizona assert that tribes tend to prefer solar and wind projects, in part because the technology
is more familiar. In addition, because many tribes are limited financially, tribes tend to prefer projects
with lowest upfront costs. Geothermal drilling costs, which constitute the bulk of geothermal’s upfront
costs, may be higher than the upfront costs associated with installing solar panels or small wind
turbines. Solar panels in Native American communities have been installed in the past. Many who have
worked with tribes on other renewable energy projects contend that continued education and public
involvement are essential (particularly to ensure regular maintenance of the facility). Without an outreach
effort that highlights the viability and benefits of a community-scale direct-use project, these experts believe
that development on Native American land would not be achieved.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 125
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AT: Native American Turn – Geothermal Good for NA


Geothermal on Native American land provides economic opportunities, empowerment

Farhar and Dunlevy 7 (Barbara C and Paul, senior policy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and BLM, Jan 9,
“Native American Issues in Geothermal Energy”, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/tribalenergy/guide/pdfs/grc030707.pdf)
The geothermal community has recently paid increased attention to Native American tribes because
geothermal energy may offer these tribes economic opportunities, empowerment, and more energy
choices. Tribal development of geothermal resources could also contribute to the nation’s domestic
power supplies. Geothermal resources provide a significant opportunity for rural economic
development through direct-use applications. American Indian land comprises 5% of U.S. land, but
contains an estimated 10% of all energy resources.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 126
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***Hydrogen Bad***
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Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss

Hydrogen power fails – takes more energy to produce than it supplies and can’t be
transported

Kunstler 3/27 (James H, alt. energy lecturer and reporter, 08, http://globalpublicmedia.com/transcripts/3059)
The caller suggested that I thought the big problem was merely the storage problem. I mentioned it in the
chapter I wrote (in The Long Emergency). But that wasn’t my main beef with the hydrogen car. My main
beef with the hydrogen car is that it basically takes more energy to produce the hydrogen than you get
from the hydrogen that you’re producing. So it’s kind of like the old Polish blanket trick, as we used to
say, where the guy wants to make his blanket longer so he cuts 12 inches from the top and sews it on to the
bottom. Only in this case, you’re cutting 12 inches off the top and you’re hemming it and you’re only
getting nine inches on the bottom. Right? So there’s that issue. There’s a lot of issues with hydrogen. It’s
expensive and uneconomical to produce. It’s very hard to transport. You can’t run it through the same kind of
pipes that were designed for the natural gas network because it has strange physical properties. It’s the
lightest of all the elements. It leaks out of almost anything that you contain it in because it can get out of
the tiniest little aperture. It tends to eat through the seals that are designed for the valves and for the
connectors because it’s an element that wants so much to combine with other elements that it corrodes
the things around it very easily. You can’t transport it by the kind of trucks that we take gasoline on
because, being the kind of element that it is, when you compress it, it still takes up so much room that you
can only get the equivalent of, like, 800 kilograms of hydrogen on a truck that’s designed to carry 44
tons of gasoline. So the actual, flammable, hazard part of this story is, for me, the smallest part of this story. I
don’t think that the hydrogen car is ever going to really happen. Now, look: you can’t stop the big car
companies from producing these stunts and PR shows that they’re putting on. But just because they
can produce one—or maybe 20—hydrogen cars doesn’t mean that a system is going to be in place for us
to run 100 or 200 million of them. So it’s really very, very unlikely. I think that people who have invested
their wishes and hopes in the hydrogen car are going to be very disappointed.

Hydrogen power requires a net increase of fossil fuel use

Energy Bulletin 2/18 (peak oil news org., “There is no ‘green’ silver bullet, 2/18, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/40571)
It's been 15 years since Ballard Power listed on the TSE. The company's vision of hydrogen-fuelled
automobiles, powered by fuel cells emitting nothing but water, was enthusiastically embraced by policy
makers and investors. Within a few years, Ballard's stock market capitalization soared to tens of billions of
dollars. As then chief executive officer of one of North America's largest natural gas producers, I should have
been a big booster of a hydrogen-fuelled future. Why? ... Because hydrogen is manufactured mainly out of
natural gas. But it was clear to me that there simply weren't enough natural gas resources to supply
existing users, plus fuelling a significant percentage of North America's auto fleet. That remains true
today. The alternative method of producing hydrogen is the electrolysis of water. There's enough water,
but the electrolysis process takes a lot of electricity. Producing hydrogen in large quantities would
require many new power plants, and most power plants burn hydrocarbons. The long-term zero
emissions answer would be a massive nuclear power program, but don't count on that happening any time
soon.

Hydrogen is an energy sink – no technology can solve

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
The laws of physics mean the hydrogen economy will always be an energy sink. Hydrogen’s properties
require you to spend more energy to do the following than you get out of it later: overcome waters’
hydrogen-oxygen bond, to move heavy cars, to prevent leaks and brittle metals, to transport hydrogen
to the destination. It doesn’t matter if all of the problems are solved, or how much money is spent. You
will use more energy to create, store, and transport hydrogen than you will ever get out of it.
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Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss


Hydrogen power requires a net energy loss in production, increasing fossil fuel use and
preventing cost-competitiveness

Energy Bulletin 5 (peak oil news and analysis organization, 12/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/11963)
There are a number of problems with hydrogen fuel cells. Many of these are engineering problems which
could probably be worked out in time. But there is one basic flaw which will never be overcome. Free
hydrogen is not an energy source; it is rather an energy carrier. Free hydrogen does not exist on this
planet, so to derive free hydrogen we must break the hydrogen bond in molecules. Basic chemistry tells
us that it requires more energy to break a hydrogen bond than to form one. This is due to the Second
Law of Thermodynamics, and there is no getting around it. We are working on catalysts which will help to
lower the energy necessary to generate free hydrogen, but there will always be an energy loss, and the
catalysts themselves will become terribly expensive if manufactured on a scale to match current
transportation energy requirements. All free hydrogen generated today is derived from natural gas. So
right off the bat we have not managed to escape our dependency on nonrenewable hydrocarbons. This
feedstock is steam-treated to strip the hydrogen from the methane molecules. And the steam is
produced by boiling water with natural gas. Overall, there is about a 60% energy loss in this process.
And, as it is dependent on the availability of natural gas, the price of hydrogen generated in this method
will always be a multiple of the price of natural gas. Ah, but there is an inexhaustible supply of water from
which we could derive our hydrogen. However, splitting hydrogen from water requires an even higher
energy investment per unit of water (286kJ per mole). All processes of splitting water molecules, including
foremost electrolysis and thermal decomposition, require major energy investments, rendering them
unprofitable. Hydrogen advocates like to point out that the development of solar cells or wind farms
would provide renewable energy that could be used to derive hydrogen. The energy required to produce
1 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) of hydrogen is 1.3 billion kWh of electricity. Even with recent advances in
photovoltaic technology, the solar cell arrays would be enormous, and would have to be placed in areas
with adequate sunlight. We must also consider the water from which we derive this hydrogen. To meet our
present transportation needs, we would have to divert 5% of the flow of the Mississippi River. This
would require yet more energy, further reducing the profits of hydrogen. This water would then have to
be delivered to a photovoltaic array the size of the Great Plains. So much for agriculture. The only way
that hydrogen production even approaches practicality is through the use of nuclear plants. To generate
the amount of energy used presently by the United States, we would require an additional 900 nuclear
reactors, at a cost of roughly $1 billion per reactor. Currently, there are only 440 nuclear reactors operating
worldwide. Unless we perfect fast breeder reactors very quickly, we will have a shortage of uranium long
before we have finished our reactor building program. Even hydrogen fuel derived from nuclear power
would be expensive. To fill a car up with enough hydrogen to be equivalent to a 15 gallon gas tank
could cost as much as $400. If the hydrogen was in gaseous form, this tank would have to be big
enough to accommodate 178,500 liters. Compressed hydrogen would reduce the storage tank to one
tenth of this size. And liquefied hydrogen would require a fuel tank of only four times the size of a gasoline
tank. In other words, a 15 gallon tank of gasoline would be equivalent to a 60 gallon tank of hydrogen.
And, oh yes, to transport an equivalent energy amount of hydrogen to the fueling station would require
21 times more trucks than for gasoline
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Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss

Hydrogen production is an energy sink and a hydrogen economy would exacerbate


warming or be possible

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
Hydrogen isn’t an energy source – it’s an energy carrier, like a battery. You have to make it and put
energy into it, both of which take energy. Hydrogen has been used commercially for decades, so at least we
don't have to figure out how to do this, or what the cheapest, most efficient method is. Ninety-six percent of
hydrogen is made from fossil fuels, mainly to refine oil and hydrogenate vegetable oil--the kind that gives
you heart attacks (1). In the United States, ninety percent of hydrogen is made from natural gas, with an
efficiency of 72% (2). Efficiency is how much energy you get back compared with how much energy you
started out with. So an efficiency of seventy-two percent means you've lost 28% of the energy contained in
the natural gas to make hydrogen. And that doesn’t count the energy it took to extract and deliver the
natural gas to the hydrogen plant. Only four percent of hydrogen is made from water. This is done with
electricity, in a process called electrolysis. Hydrogen is only made from water when the hydrogen must be
extremely pure. Most electricity is generated from fossil fuel driven plants that are, on average, 30%
efficient. Where does the other seventy percent of the energy go? Most is lost as heat, and some as it
travels through the power grid. Electrolysis is 70% efficient. To calculate the overall efficiency of making
hydrogen from water, the standard equation is to multiply the efficiency of each step. In this case you would
multiply the 30% efficient power plant times the 70% efficient electrolysis to get an overall efficiency of
20%. This means you have used four units of energy to create one unit of hydrogen energy (3). Obtaining
hydrogen from fossil fuels as a feedstock or an energy source is a bit perverse, since the whole point is to
avoid using fossil fuels. The goal is to use renewable energy to make hydrogen from water via electrolysis.
Current wind turbines can generate electricity at 30-40% efficiency, producing hydrogen at an overall 25%
efficiency (.35 wind electricity * .70 electrolysis of water), or 3 units of wind energy to get 1 unit of
hydrogen energy. When the wind is blowing, that is. The best solar cells available on a large scale have an
efficiency of ten percent when the sun is shining, or nine units of energy to get 1 hydrogen unit of energy (.10
* .70). But that’s not bad compared to biological hydrogen. If you use algae that make hydrogen as a
byproduct, the efficiency is about .1%, or more than 99 units of energy to get one hydrogen unit of energy
(4). No matter how you look at it, producing hydrogen from water is an energy sink. If you don't
understand this concept, please mail me ten dollars and I'll send you back a dollar. Hydrogen can be made
from biomass, but then these problems arise (5): * Biomass is very seasonal * Contains a lot of moisture,
requiring energy to store and then dry it before gasification * There are limited supplies * The quantities
are not large or consistent enough for large-scale hydrogen production. * A huge amount of land would be
required, since even cultivated biomass in good soil has a low yield -- 10 tons of biomass per 2.4 acres *
The soil will be degraded from erosion and loss of fertility if stripped of biomass * Any energy put into the
land to grow the biomass, such as fertilizers, planting, and harvesting will add to the energy costs * Energy
and costs to deliver biomass to the central power plant * It’s not suitable for pure hydrogen production One
of the main reasons for switching to hydrogen is to prevent the global warming caused by fossil fuels. When
hydrogen is made from natural gas, nitrogen oxides are released, which are 58 times more effective in
trapping heat than carbon dioxide (6). Coal releases large amounts of CO2 and mercury. Oil is too
powerful and useful to waste on hydrogen–it’s concentrated sunshine brewed over hundreds of millions of
years. A gallon of gas represents about 196,000 pounds of fossil plants, the amount in 40 acres of wheat (7).
Natural gas is too valuable to make hydrogen with. One use of natural gas is to create fertilizer (as both
feedstock and energy source). This has led to a many-fold increase in crop production, allowing an additional
4 billion people to exist who otherwise wouldn’t be here (8, 9). We also don’t have enough natural gas left
to make a hydrogen economy happen. Extraction of natural gas is declining in North America (10). It will
take at least a decade to even begin replacing natural gas with imported LNG (liquified natural gas). Making
LNG is so energy intensive that it would be economically and environmentally insane to use natural
gas as a source of hydrogen (3).
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Hydrogen Bad – Energy Loss

Hydrogen causes energy loss and fails to solve fossil fuels

Energy Bulletin 3 (peak oil news, “Why Hydrogen is no Solution – Scientific Answers to Marketing Hype”, 8/17,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/1140)
Now we come to the production of hydrogen. Hydrogen does not freely occur in nature in useful
quantities, therefore hydrogen must be split from molecules, either molecules of methane derived from
fossil fuels or from water. Currently, most hydrogen is produced by the treatment of methane with steam,
following the formula: CH4 (g) + H2O + e > 3H2(g) + CO(g). The CO(g) in this equation is carbon
monoxide gas, which is a byproduct of the reaction.35 Not entered into this formula is the energy required
to produce the steam, which usually comes from the burning of fossil fuels. For this reason, we do not
escape the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. We simply transfer the
generation of this pollution to the hydrogen production plants. This procedure of hydrogen production
also results in a severe energy loss. First we have the production of the feedstock methanol from
natural gas or coal at a 32 percent to 44 percent net energy loss. Then the steam treatment process to
procure the hydrogen will result in a further 35 percent energy loss.3

Hydrogen production consumes more energy than the hydrogen releases

Cooke 5 (Ronald R, cultural economist, “An Open Letter to BusinessWeek on Hydrogen”, 1/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4221)
We have to remember that hydrogen is not a source of energy. It is merely a carrier of energy. Hydrogen
is a manufactured product. Your article glosses over and ignores a key fact about the production of
hydrogen. It's energy intensive. Using existing and proven technology, it takes substantially more energy
to make, compress, liquefy, store and distribute hydrogen than we can expect to get from hydrogen. If
electricity is used to make hydrogen by electrolysis, and the hydrogen thus produced is used in an
automobile fuel cell, at least 45 percent of the original energy used to manufacture the hydrogen will be
wasted by the time it is consumed in a fuel cell using best available technology. The net energy efficiency
of a vehicle which burns hydrogen as a fuel is substantially worse.

Hydrogen must be extracted, costing more energy than it gains

Energy Bulletin 6 (“Technofix bubbles of hydrogen and biofuels at Pentagon’s energy conversation”, 5/23,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/16710)
Let us put aside for a moment the issue of practicality from a physics standpoint: in brief, hydrogen "has to
be chemically extracted from substances, such as water or coal. Extraction consumes significantly
more energy than is released when hydrogen powers a fuel cell." (Energy Bulletin, Mark Derewicz in
Endeavors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, quoting astrophysicist Gerald Cecil "whose energy
outlook doesn’t include hydrogen.")
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Hydrogen Bad – NP

Hydrogen power necessitates nuclear power

Financial Times 5 (“Bush, Iraq and the hydrogen economy”, 1/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4189)
However, hydrogen isn't a source of fuel - it's a storage medium. It is produced by expending some other
primary source of energy. The source the government, energy industry, and the automotive industry has
in mind is nuclear power. We are talking about literally thousands of new nuclear facilities dedicated to
the production of hydrogen through fission powered electrolysis (the splitting of water into hydrogen and
oxygen gas). The hydrogen economy is really a nuclear economy. Investors and the rest of corporate
America may not realise how close the country is to making a gigantic bet on a nuclear future. The scientists
and engineers at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have been developing the
advanced nuclear technologies that would power the hydrogen world.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 132
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Hydrogen Bad – Warming/Ozone

Hydrogen power leaks to exacerbate warming and ozone depletion while causing vehicle
explosions

Energy Bulletin 5 (peak oil news and analysis organization, 12/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/11963)
Compressed and liquefied hydrogen present problems of their own. Both techniques require energy and
so further reduce the net energy ratio of the hydrogen. Liquid hydrogen is cold enough to freeze air,
leading to problems with pressure build-ups due to clogged valves. Both forms of hydrogen storage are
prone to leaks. In fact, all forms of pure hydrogen are difficult to store. Hydrogen is the smallest element
and, as such, it can leak from any container, no matter how well sealed it is. Hydrogen in storage will
evaporate at a rate of at least 1.7% per day. We will not be able to store hydrogen vehicles in buildings.
Nor can we allow them to sit in the sun. And as hydrogen passes through metal, it causes a chemical
reaction that makes the metal brittle. Leaking hydrogen could also have an adverse effect on both
global warming and the ozone layer. Free hydrogen is extremely reactive. It is ten times more
flammable than gasoline, and twenty times more explosive. And the flame of a hydrogen fire is invisible.
This makes it very dangerous to work with, particularly in fueling stations and transportation vehicles.
Traffic accidents would have a tendency to be catastrophic. And there is the possibility that aging
vehicles could explode even without a collision.

Hydrogen leaks destroy the ozone

Cooke 5 (Ronald R, cultural economist, “An Open Letter to BusinessWeek on Hydrogen”, 1/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4221)
In our existing world, we use tons of liquid hydrogen and millions of cubic feet of hydrogen gas every year.
But most of these applications are for industrial use. In theory, hydrogen is used under carefully
controlled conditions using specified procedures by trained personnel. Now we propose to make
hydrogen a widely distributed fuel for mobile and stationary applications. Who will use this fuel?
Millions of people with little or no training or real concern for the commodity they are handling. Leaks
are inevitable. Accidental release will be a fact of life. As this highly reactive gas ascends upward into the
atmosphere, it will combine with oxygen and form water droplets. Will this contribute to global
warming? Or cooling? And will hydrogen reach the ozone layer? If so, do we humans run the risk of
destroying the ozone layer with our hydrogen energy solution?

Hydrogen power will double transportation CO2 emissions

LA Times 4 (“Lots of Hot Air About Hydrogen”, 4/9, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/173)


Hybrids are already extremely efficient. The Prius, for example, generates only about 210 grams of carbon
dioxide — the principal heat-trapping gas that causes global warming — per mile. The car is also a partial
zero-emission vehicle, which means that when it uses California's low-sulfur gasoline, it produces very little
of the smog-forming pollutants, like nitrogen oxides. Hydrogen is not a primary fuel, like oil, that we can
drill for. It is bound up tightly in molecules of water, or hydrocarbons like natural gas. A great deal of
energy must be used to unbind it — something the AQMD plans to do by electrolyzing water into its
constituents: hydrogen and oxygen. And because the resulting hydrogen is a gas, additional energy must
be used to compress it to very high pressures to put it in the tank of your car. With all the energy
needed to create and compress that hydrogen — even with the relatively clean electric grid of California
— a Prius running on hydrogen would result in twice as much greenhouse gas emissions per mile as an
unmodified car. It would result in more than four times as much nitrogen oxides per mile.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 133
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Hydrogen Bad – Warming

Hydrogen increases energy use and GHG emissions

Rechsteiner 4 (Rudolf, Swiss Parliamentarian, “Ten Steps to a Sustainable Future”, p. 11, www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm)
Think about a good battery and a battery maintenance network at reasonable cost, maybe with permanent
service and ownership of the battery by the car maker. In any way, it must be pointed out that cars driven by
hydrogen electrolyzed from electricity show a much bigger consumption of energy than today cars.
Such a strategy for cars could only be viable in the case that abundant cheap and clean renewables were
available. If hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, CO2 emissions will grow higher than with today’s car
fleet and would be very much higher than with bio-fuels, battery cars or compressed air cars. The
electric vehicle turns out to be far more efficient than any fuel cell car; even more when the weaknesses of
batteries are eliminated and confidence into a service network would be built, by reasonable guarantees for
ranges and life-time of such appliances
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 134
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Hydrogen Bad – Ozone

Hydrogen destroys the ozone layer

California Insitute of Technology 3 (“Hydrogen economy might impact Earth’s stratosphere, study shows”, 6/12,
http://www.theozonehole.com/hydrogeneconomy.htm)
If hydrogen were to replace fossil fuel entirely, the researchers estimate that 60 to 120 trillion grams of
hydrogen would be released each year into the atmosphere, assuming a 10-to-20-percent loss rate due to
leakage. This is four to eight times as much hydrogen as is currently released into the atmosphere by
human activity, and would result in doubling or tripling of inputs to the atmosphere from all sources,
natural or human. Because molecular hydrogen freely moves up and mixes with stratospheric air, the
result would be the creation of additional water at high altitudes and, consequently, an increased
dampening of the stratosphere. This in turn would result in cooling of the lower stratosphere and
disturbance of ozone chemistry, which depends on a chain of chemical reactions involving hydrochloric
acid and chlorine nitrate on water ice. The estimates of potential damage to stratospheric ozone levels are
based on an atmospheric modeling program that tests the various scenarios that might result, depending on
how much hydrogen ends up in the stratosphere from all sources, both natural and anthropogenic. Ideally, a
hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has no environmental impact. Energy is produced by combining hydrogen with
oxygen pulled from the atmosphere, and the tailpipe emission is water. The hydrogen fuel could come from a
number of sources (Iceland recently started pulling it out of the ground). Nuclear power could be used to
generate the electricity needed to split water, and in principle, the electricity needed could also be derived
from renewable sources such as solar of wind power. By comparison, the internal combustion engine uses
fossil fuels and produces many pollutants, including soot, noxious nitrogen and sulfur gases, and the
"greenhouse gas" carbon dioxide. While a hydrogen fuel-cell economy would almost certainly improve
urban air quality, it has the potential unexpected consequences due to the inevitable leakage of
hydrogen from cars, hydrogen production facilities, the transportation of the fuel. Uncertainty remains about
the effects on the atmosphere because scientists still have a limited understanding of the hydrogen cycle. At
present, it seems likely such emissions could accumulate in the air. Such a build-up would have several
consequences, chief of which would be a moistening and cooling of the upper atmosphere and,
indirectly, destruction of ozone.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 135
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Hydrogen Bad – AT: Sequestration

Sequestration of emissions is infeasible and risks catastrophic CO2 leaks

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 6, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


So I have a science and tech team made up of some of the best scientists in the world, and what they say to
me is – and of course nothing is certain. I’m just saying that is best. And what the scientists are saying, how
do we make it economically feasible, is the quest of this. But even if we did, the question in their mind –
because it’s a question – how could bury this volume of CO2 underground forever assuming there is
enough storage capacity – with never a leak. This makes the nuclear problem pale in consideration.
The problem is when you have massive CO2 underground and it does begin to leak, in that short time
period, that is really a catastrophe.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 136
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Hydrogen Bad – Tradeoff

Hydrogen trades off with renewables and energy efficiency

Rechsteiner 4 (Rudolf, Swiss Parliamentarian, “Ten Steps to a Sustainable Future”, p. 11, www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm)
The hydrogen research budget of the Bush administration comes at the expense of support of
renewable energy and of energy efficiency [32]. Wind, biomass, geothermal and efficiency research all
lose support. The funding of hydrogen is provided to fill the coffers of nuclear and fossil fuel companies and
car makers. They are supposed to produce "clean" hydrogen on their grounds

Hydrogen power is a distraction from viable solutions to warming

American Chemical Society 4 (“Is There Hope for Hydrogen?”, 10/10, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2563)
But there is more to this tale that is not told in the book. One issue is that Romm's seemingly antithetical
position has more to do with Washington politics than with hydrogen. Environmental advocates fear they
are being manipulated. They recall the Clinton Administration's use of the government-industry
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles to deflect attention away from more stringent fuel
economy standards. They worry that this is déjà vu, their distrust exacerbated by a general hostility to the
Bush Administration's environmental policies. They fear that the promise of hydrogen is being used to
camouflage eviscerated and stalled regulations, and that it will crowd out R&D for promising near-
term energy efficiency and renewable opportunities. What the Administration and others portray as a
progressive, long-term strategy, some see as bait-and-switch. Romm gives voice to a building backlash
against this perceived tactic.

Hydrogen distracts from changes in lifestyle that are key to solve warming and peak oil

Energy Bulletin 6 (“Technofix bubbles of hydrogen and biofuels at Pentagon’s energy conversation”, 5/23,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/16710)
Energy in the form of hydrogen, as well as biofuels, is one of the few mainstays of hope for clinging to
global economic growth. When it comes to today’s growing worries over both the world peak in oil
extraction and global warming, government and industry favor certain renewable energy technologies
to supplement and then supplant decades more of fossil fueling. What of lifestyle change and truly
sustainable, local economics? That's not what's being planned for you by the corporate state or even by
some entities we would trust. Therefore, we are all allowing a tragic waste of time and more global
warming that is avoidable. The technological solution (or "the technofix") is what we examine in this
report, for its appeal serves to excuse the absence of immediate, realistic national and global action on
preparing for what a growing number of people see as petrocollapse.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 137
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Hydrogen Bad – Storage

Hydrogen power has storage problems preventing use in transportation

US Army Corps of Engineers 5 (Sept., p. 72, http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-


bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)
The major developing market for hydrogen is the transportation sector, which is 97 percent petroleum
fueled. Effective use of hydrogen in pure-hydrogen vehicles has significant storage and transportation
problems. Hydrogen is a bulky gas and it is not nearly as easy to work with as gasoline. Compressing
the gas requires energy, and compressed hydrogen contains far less energy than the same volume of
gaso-line. It takes roughly four times the volume of hydrogen compared to gasoline to get the same energy
potential. It is lighter, but more bulky. This also makes it a problem in fueling aircraft.

Hydrogen power can not be stored or regenerated on vehicles

Huang 1/8 (Xinyu, assistant research prof. at Global Fuel Cell Center, et. al., Military Energy Alternatives marcus
evans defense [conference], “Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Technology”, p. 2, 08)
Researchers and manufacturers are faced with signficiant hurdles in seeking to overcome the challenges
presented in the development and viability of hydrogen power as an alternative energy medium. Current
hydrogen storage approaches involve compressed hydrogen gas tanks, liquid hydrogen tanks, metal hydrides,
carbon based materials/high surface area sorbents, and chemical hydrogen storage. Storage as a gas or liquid
or storage in metal hydrides or high surface area sorbents constitutes “reversible” on-board hydrogen storage
systems since hydrogen regeneration or refill can take place on-board the vehicle. For chemical storage
hydrogen approaches, such as a chemical reaction on-board vehicles to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen
regeneration is not possible on-board vehicles. Therefore spent materials must be removed from the
vehicle and regenerated off-board. This workshop will also explore the developments of PEM durability
and general PEM technology.

Hydrogen can not be stored effectively and makes vehicles less fuel efficient

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
The more you compress hydrogen, the smaller the tank can be. But as you increase the pressure, you
also have to increase the thickness of the steel wall, and hence the weight of the tank. Cost increases
with pressure. At 2000 psi, it’s $400 per kg. At 8000 psi, it’s $2100 per kg (5). And the tank will be huge --
at 5000 psi, the tank could take up ten times the volume of a gasoline tank containing the same energy
content. That’s why it would be nice to use liquid hydrogen, which allows you to have a much smaller
container. But these storage tanks get cold enough to cause plugged valves and other problems. If you
add insulation to prevent this, you will increase the weight of an already very heavy storage tank. There
are additional components to control the liquid hydrogen which add extra costs and weight (11). Here’s how
a hydrogen tank stacks up against a gas tank in a Honda Accord. According to the National Highway Safety
Traffic Administration (NHTSA), "Vehicle weight reduction is probably the most powerful technique for
improving fuel economy. Each 10 percent reduction in weight improves the fuel economy of a new
vehicle design by approximately eight percent”. Fuel cells are also heavy: "A metal hydride storage
system that can hold 5 kg of hydrogen, including the alloy, container, and heat exchangers, would weigh
approximately 300 kg (661 lbs), which would lower the fuel efficiency of the vehicle," according to Rosa
Young, a physicist and vice president of advanced materials development at Energy Conversion Devices in
Troy, Michigan (12).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 138
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Hydrogen Bad – Airplanes

Hydrogen airplanes would greatly exacerbate warming

Energy Bulletin 5/6 (peak oil news, “Air Travel”, 08, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/43752)
The airline companies prescribe two cures that are even worse than the disease. Even before they are
deployed commercially in jets, biofuels are spreading hunger and deforestation. At first sight, hydrogen
seems more promising. If it is produced by electrolysis using renewable electricity, it's almost carbon
free. The prohibitive issue is storage.... Hydrogen's great advantage - that it produces only water when
it burns - turns into a major liability: in the stratosphere, water vapour is a powerful greenhouse gas.
The commission estimates that hydrogen planes would exert a climate-changing effect "some 13 times
larger than for a standard kerosene-fuelled subsonic aircraft".

Hydrogen destroys airplane efficiency

Dagatt and Hadaller 6 (D and O, Boeing commercial airplanes, et. al., “Alternative Fuels and their Impact on Aviation”, NASA, p.
6, Oct.)
Other alternative fuels result in airplane performance penalties. For example, liquid hydrogen (LH2) not only
presents very substantial airport infrastructure and airplane design issues, but because of the need for
heavy fuel tanks, a short-range airplane would experience a 28 percent decrease in energy efficiency
while on a 500-nautical-mile (nmi) mission. However, because airplanes need to carry much more fuel for a
long range flight, and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) fuel is quite lightweight the lighter takeoff weight of the
airplane results in an energy efficiency loss of only 2 percent while on a 3,000-nm mission.

Hydrogen fuel fails airplanes – impairs handling, infrastructure, and storage

Dagatt and Hadaller 6 (D and O, Boeing commercial airplanes, et. al., “Alternative Fuels and their Impact on Aviation”, NASA, p.
6, Oct.)
Hydrogen Fuel.—H2, publicized as the most environmentally benign alternative to petroleum, has its own
drawbacks and is not a source of energy in itself. H2 production needs an abundantly available source of
energy, such as electrical power, produced from nuclear fusion and a large source of clean water. Although
combustion of H2 emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and is lightweight, its production,
handling, infrastructure, and storage offer significant challenges. The volumetric heat of combustion
for LH2 is so poor that it would force airplane design compromises. The use of LH2 (or methane) will
also require an entirely new and more complex ground transportation, storage, distribution, and vent
capture system.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 139
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Hydrogen Bad – Leaks

Hydrogen increases the risk of leaks that torch people and cause power failures

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
Hydrogen is the Houdini of elements. As soon as you’ve gotten it into a container, it wants to get out,
and since it’s the lightest of all gases, it takes a lot of effort to keep it from escaping. Storage devices
need a complex set of seals, gaskets, and valves. Liquid hydrogen tanks for vehicles boil off at 3-4% per day
(3, 13). Hydrogen also tends to make metal brittle (14). Embrittled metal can create leaks. In a
pipeline, it can cause cracking or fissuring, which can result in potentially catastrophic failure (3).
Making metal strong enough to withstand hydrogen adds weight and cost. Leaks also become more likely as
the pressure grows higher. It can leak from un-welded connections, fuel lines, and non-metal seals such as
gaskets, O-rings, pipe thread compounds, and packings. A heavy-duty fuel cell engine may have thousands of
seals (15). Hydrogen has the lowest ignition point of any fuel, 20 times less than gasoline. So if there’s a
leak, it can be ignited by a cell phone, a storm miles away (16), or the static from sliding on a car seat.
Leaks and the fires that might result are invisible, and because of they high hydrogen pressure, the fire
is like a cutting torch with an invisible flame. Unless you walk into a hydrogen flame, sometimes the
only way to know there’s a leak is poor performance.

Hydrogen leaks and constant loss of fuel are inevitable

Energy Bulletin 3 (peak oil news, “Why Hydrogen is no Solution – Scientific Answers to Marketing Hype”, 8/17,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/1140)
First off, because hydrogen is the simplest element, it will leak from any container, no mater how strong
and no matter how well insulated. For this reason, hydrogen in storage tanks will always evaporate, at a
rate of at least 1.7 percent per day.29 Hydrogen is very reactive. When hydrogen gas comes into contact
with metal surfaces it decomposes into hydrogen atoms, which are so very small that they can
penetrate metal. This causes structural changes that make the metal brittle.30
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Hydrogen Bad – Food

Hydrogen power’s use of natural gas would cause food shortages and exacerbate warming.

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
One of the main reasons for switching to hydrogen is to prevent the global warming caused by fossil fuels.
When hydrogen is made from natural gas, nitrogen oxides are released, which are 58 times more
effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide (6). Coal releases large amounts of CO2 and mercury. Oil is
too powerful and useful to waste on hydrogen–it’s concentrated sunshine brewed over hundreds of millions
of years. A gallon of gas represents about 196,000 pounds of fossil plants, the amount in 40 acres of wheat
(7). Natural gas is too valuable to make hydrogen with. One use of natural gas is to create fertilizer (as
both feedstock and energy source). This has led to a many-fold increase in crop production, allowing an
additional 4 billion people to exist who otherwise wouldn’t be here (8, 9).

Hydrogen trades off with natural gas, causing food shortage

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
Any diversion of declining fossil fuels to a hydrogen economy subtracts that energy from other possible
uses, such as planting, harvesting, delivering, and cooking food, heating homes, and other essential
activities. According to Joseph Romm “The energy and environmental problems facing the nation and
the world, especially global warming, are far too serious to risk making major policy mistakes that
misallocate scarce resources (3).

Transition to hydrogen causes food shortages

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
The obvious problem with freeing up animal land to grow fuel, to anyone looking at peak petroleum, is that
the nation’s crop production is already completely hooked on natural gas and oil to grow food. When
that system crashes from petroleum shortage, there is hardly going to be a change-over to biofuels as people
starve. People will deal suddenly and desperately with the wasteful energy practices and water
demands of cattle raising by haphazardly slaughtering the cattle for meat, and trying to grow plant-
based food crops on those ranches and pastures. Besides lower yields, the trouble will be in trying to
truck that food around for hundreds and thousands of miles - not possible in a petroleum-starved
world. But, what if hydrogen fuel and a vast new infrastructure are available very quickly? Hydrogen
energy will not grow food, in terms of supplanting the human and animal power to put seeds in the ground,
water them, weed them, thin them, feed them, or pick the crops or harvest the seeds. Can non-petroleum
made-and-powered machines and chemical products do those things for us if based on hydrogen and other
"renewable energies?"
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 141
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Hydrogen Bad – Trucks

Hydrogen trucks are practically impossible, and trucks are key to food distribution

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
In 2002, given the same volume of fuel, a diesel fuel vehicle could go 90 miles, and a hydrogen vehicle at
3600 psi could go 5 miles. But that’s nothing compared to the challenges trucks face. I know we’re just
supposed to only driving a hydrogen car, but it’s really hydrogen trucks that are most critical. If we don’t
figure out how to make them, we won’t have a way to distribute food and other goods across the
country. A truck can go a thousand miles with two 84 gallon tanks placed under the cab, which takes up
23 cubic feet. But the equivalent amount of hydrogen at 3600 psi would take up almost 14 times as
much space as the gas tanks. It is hard to imagine where you could put the two cylindrical, twelve feet
long by four feet wide hydrogen tanks. They can’t go in the cargo space because a hydrogen leak in an
enclosed area would explode if there were a leak. You can’t put the tanks on top or the truck won’t fit
beneath underpasses and make the truck top-heavy. Nor would these tanks fit beneath the truck. (23).
To redesign trucks and build hundreds of millions of new ones would take too much energy and money.
Yet keeping trucks moving after fossil fuels disappear is far more important that figuring out how to keep
cars on the road. Trucks deliver food and other essentials we can’t live without.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 142
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Hydrogen Bad – Inefficient/Need FF

Hydrogen power is highly inefficient and increases fossil fuel use while depleting water

US Army Corps of Engineers 5 (Sept., p. 71, http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-


bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)
The concept of an economy based on hydrogen and associated technologies is only in its infancy. The
issue of where the hydrogen would come from to fuel the national economy has not really been
addressed. Hydrogen does not occur freely in nature; it is an energy carrier produced industrially like
electricity. Initial markets are re- forming hydrogen from natural gas and other fossil fuels. This is of no
benefit from an energy standpoint since the process still relies on fossil fuels. For instance, if the source of
hydrogen were from coal gasification in a clean process, it would accelerate coal depletion. The
nation’s coal reserves would be reduced from 250 years to 75 years. A viable hydrogen economy must
make hydrogen from renewable energy resources like wind and tidal power, utilize some biological process,
or rely on the dissociation of water from electricity produced by nuclear power plants. To make up for the
petroleum input to the transportation sector, would require about 150 million tons of hydrogen (Turner
2004). To dissociate enough water to support the process would require the amount of electricity
generated in the nation to double, and would use about 100 billion gallons of water per year. There are
also energy inefficiencies in the production of hydrogen and in its usage. It greatest benefit is that it can
be stored, transported in pipelines, make electricity cleanly in fuel cells or combusted in microturbines, or
used for transportation. Hydrogen can also act as storage me- dium for intermittent renewable
technologies such as photovoltaics and wind power that do not have consistent generation capabilities.
Although making hydrogen from electricity and then making electricity from hydrogen makes little
sense from an energy perspective

Hydrogen fuel cells are expensive and inefficient, requiring fossil fuels to be produced
Science Daily 8 (4/10, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080409170347.htm)
While recognized a clean, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, hydrogen production is expensive and
inefficient. Most traditional commercial production methods rely on fossil fuels, such as natural gas,
while innovations like microbial fuel cells still yield low levels of hydrogen. Researchers worldwide thus are
urgently looking for better way to produce the gas from renewable resources.

Hydrogen is too inefficient to run the economy

PhysOrg 6 (science news site, “Why a hydrogen economy doesn’t make sense”, 12/24, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/24093)
In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The
large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas,
biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user,
plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for
practical use - an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications
like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 143
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Hydrogen Bad – Needs FF

Hydrogen must be produced from coal

Biegler 4 (Tom, fuel cell researcher, “Fuel Cells – A Perspective”, 12/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/5203)
Unfortunately, misconceptions about the hydrogen economy abound, mainly to do with the notion that
hydrogen is an ‘abundant fuel’ that can replace fossil fuels. Hydrogen does not occur naturally and can
never be a primary fuel. It needs to be manufactured using other sources of energy. While much
hydrogen could be produced from coal, the claims of ‘abundance’ are usually referring to its presence
in water, which of course is irrelevant to its potential as a common energy transmitter.

Hydrogen requires fossil fuels and sequestration won’t solve their GHGs

LA Times 4 (“Hydrogen: A Week Without Dinosaurs”, 8/24, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/1762)


An explainer: Hydrogen is very amorous, bonding promiscuously with all sorts of other elements and
compounds. To use it as fuel, it's necessary to liberate it from its chemical entanglements. The most
concentrated sources of hydrogen are, in fact, hydrocarbons (uh-oh, the dinosaur rears its ugly head).
Almost all commercial hydrogen is formed by processing, or "reforming," a fossil fuel feed stock,
usually natural gas. The FCXs leased to the city refuel at a natural-gas reforming station at the city's motor
pool. As hydrogen skeptics eagerly point out, such an approach does little to reduce reliance on fossil fuel,
and it creates yet another problem. Once you extract hydrogen from a hydrocarbon, what do you do with
the carbon, a primary component in greenhouse gases? At the moment, carbon sequestration technologies
—where carbon is squirreled away somewhere, perhaps underground, perhaps undersea—are a patchwork
of untested theories and small-scale experiments.
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Hydrogen Bad – Inefficient

Hydrogen is inefficient and can’t solve warming – standard electricity is better

Windpower Monthly 4 (“Hydrogen Hijacked”, 11/16, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3203)


Now for some facts. Hydrogen can no more "de-carbonize" fossil fuels than electricity can. Producing
hydrogen from hydrocarbons results in carbon emissions. If viable techniques should be found for
capturing and retaining emissions, then electricity, not hydrogen, will remain the superior energy
carrier, both economically and environmentally. For transport, hydrogen might have overall clean air
advantages in spark ignition engines were it not for the matter of finding a practical solution to
compressing and transporting the gas. Even the better efficiencies of using fuel cells in vehicles does not
make that problem disappear. On the subject of efficiency, a favorite argument of fuel cell proponents is that
they are "highly efficient." But even if fuel cells run at the 50% efficiency claimed for them, losses are
incurred at the electrolysis stage of hydrogen production. On a really good day, fuel cell cycle efficiency
cannot better about 40% -- only a slight improvement on coal. Cleaner and more efficient at the point of
use they may be, but not in the overall cycle.

Hydrogen is too inefficient to replace fossil fuels or establish a sustainable economy

Bossel 6 (pH.D. and Lucern Fuel Cell Forum organizer, “Announcement Lucerne Fuel Cell Forum”, 7/2,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/18120)
It is highly uncertain that synthetic hydrogen can ever be established as a universal energy carries.
Electricity from renewable sources will be the source energy in a sustainably organized future. The
direct distribution of electricity to the consumer is three to four times more efficient than its conversion to
hydrogen by electrolysis of water, packaging and transport of synthetic energy carrier to the consumer and its
conversion back to electricity with efficient fuel cells. By laws of physics, hydrogen economy can never
compete with an "electron economy". But the laws of physics cannot be changed with further research,
investments or political decisions. A sustainable future energy harvested from renewable sources (nuclear
energy is not sustainable!) must be distributed and used with the highest efficiency. A wasteful hydrogen
economy does not meet the criteria of sustainability. As a result, a viable free-market hydrogen
infrastructure will never be established and fuel cells for hydrogen may not be needed. For all
applications electricity from hydrogen fuel cells have to compete with the source electricity used to make
hydrogen.

Hydrogen is inefficient and expensive

Technology Review 6 (“Assessing GM’s Fuel Cell Strategy”, 10/6, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/21277)


Fuel-cell vehicles, which are being developed by other automakers as well, are powered by electricity
generated from hydrogen. They emit only water vapor from their tailpipes, and the fuel cells are
significantly more efficient than an internal-combustion engine in extracting energy from the fuel. But
GM's focus on creating a fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles could be a costly mistake as a strategy for
combating global climate change and for decreasing U.S. dependence on oil, many energy experts say.
The problem, these critics argue, is that powering electric vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells is both
inefficient and expensive.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 145
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Hydrogen Bad – Inefficient

Hydrogen is inefficient –energy sources will be more efficient without it

Rechsteiner 4 (Rudolf, Swiss Parliamentarian, “Ten Steps to a Sustainable Future”, p. 11, www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm)
If electricity is generated from natural gas in a large unit, the associated emissions of carbon dioxide are just
over 400 g/kWh. When hydrogen is produced by reforming natural gas, the emissions are around 285 g/kWh.
If that hydrogen is passed through a fuel cell to produce electricity, the emissions per unit of electricity
generated roughly doubled to 550 g/kWh, as the efficiency of a fuel cell system is at best about 50% [27]. In
other words, electricity generated directly in a natural gas fired combined cycle plant is more effective
in keeping emissions down than a fuel cell running on hydrogen derived from the same natural gas. It
is a fundamental fact of physics that converting energy also consumes some energy. This dictates that we
limit conversion steps to situations where they cannot be avoided. Using electricity from renewable energy
sources – wind, tidal flows, sunlight, geothermal heat – to break down water in order to get hydrogen for fuel
cells to convert it again into electricity is a wholly uneconomic detour. In all applications, hydrogen energy
would compete with its source energy. These original energy carriers can be delivered to the customers
much more efficiently in their original form than by using them first for producing hydrogen.

Hydrogen decreases fuel efficiency

Rechsteiner 4 (Rudolf, Swiss Parliamentarian, “Ten Steps to a Sustainable Future”, p. 11, www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm)
The transformation of biomass into methanol or ethanol or the creation of synthetic fuels by processing
biomass hydrocarbons creates fewer losses than the conversion of biomass or electricity into hydrogen
when all aspects of the energy market are considered. On a volume basis, these fuels store more energy
than hydrogen. They even contain more hydrogen than liquid hydrogen itself or hydrogen gas
compressed to 800 bar.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 146
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Hydrogen Bad – Explosions/Fires

Hydrogen explosions and fires will be more frequent and deadly than those from gas

Cooke 5 (Ronald R, cultural economist, “An Open Letter to BusinessWeek on Hydrogen”, 1/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4221)
Like gasoline and diesel fuel, hydrogen is highly volatile. Because of its very low boiling point (-252.77
degrees C.), and low density (.0899 grams/liter), it will dissipate very rapidly in an upward direction if
released as a gas into the atmosphere or spilled as a liquid onto the ground. This very high rate of upward
dissipation compares favorably with the slow dispersal rate of gasoline vapors which tend to fall and collect
near the ground. Furthermore, gasoline can ignite at a concentration of 1 percent. By contrast, hydrogen
needs a concentration level of roughly 4 percent before it will ignite. Since it has such a high dispersion
coefficient, hydrogen dissipates rapidly and it is thus almost impossible for a hydrogen explosion to occur in
an open area. It is also true that a hydrogen fire will burn out faster than a petroleum fire. These factors
appear to make hydrogen safer than gasoline or diesel fuel as a source of explosion and fire. But that does not
mean, as your article implies, that hydrogen is not a potential source of explosion and fire. According to
published Material Safety Data Sheets, it has other characteristics that make it dangerous. 1. Although the
flame will usually burn out very quickly and dissipate little radiant heat, hydrogen ignites over a wide
range of concentrations (from 4 to 74.2 percent). 2. A potential explosion hazard exists from reignition
if a hydrogen fire is put out without shutting off the hydrogen source. 3. Hydrogen becomes
explosively dangerous if it accumulates in the upper spaces of a structure. 4. In bright ambient light,
the pale blue flames are invisible to the naked eye. People have been burned by hydrogen fires before they
were even aware they had walked into an open flame. 5. It takes relatively little heat energy to ignite
hydrogen. For example, when hydrogen is released from a pressurized container, rapid gaseous
expansion causes an increase in temperature due to its negative Joule-Thompson coefficient and the heat
thus generated may cause spontaneous ignition. 6. Hydrogen is easier to detonate if it is in a confined
space, such as a tunnel, garage or the interior of a car. Care must be taken to eliminate sources of ignition,
such as sparks from electrical equipment or static electricity, open flames, and extremely hot objects. One
final point on hydrogen's potential fire and explosion potential. Hydrogen is highly reactive with other
elements and may combine with them to form new chemicals that are corrosive or explosive.

Compressing hydrogen fuel causes explosions

Energy Bulletin 3 (peak oil news, “Why Hydrogen is no Solution – Scientific Answers to Marketing Hype”, 8/17,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/1140)
Perhaps the largest problem for hydrogen fuel cell transportation is the size of the fuel tanks. In gaseous
form, a volume of 238,000 litres of hydrogen gas is necessary to replace the energy capacity of 20
gallons of gasoline.31 So far, demonstrations of hydrogen-powered cars have depended upon
compressed hydrogen. Because of its low density, compressed hydrogen will not give a car as useful a
range as gasoline.32 Moreover, a compressed hydrogen fuel tank would be at risk of developing
pressure leaks either through accidents or through normal wear, and such leaks could result in explosions.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 147
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Hydrogen Bad – Suffocation/Burns

Hydrogen leaks cause suffocation and tissue damage

Cooke 5 (Ronald R, cultural economist, “An Open Letter to BusinessWeek on Hydrogen”, 1/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4221)
Although hydrogen is odorless and nontoxic, it is classified as a simple asphyxiant. In an enclosed
space, such as the cabin of a vehicle or your garage, symptoms of anoxia can occur when gas
concentrations are within the flammable (and potentially explosive) range. Suffocation occurs because
increased concentrations of hydrogen dilute the available supply of oxygen in the air to levels below
those necessary to support life. To prevent explosions and suffocation, industrial systems typically employ
sensors which trigger venting procedures before hydrogen reaches a concentration of 4 percent. If we plan to
use hydrogen as a motor fuel, we will need to devise similar systems for use in garages and tunnels, and we
will expect vehicle manufacturers, such as BMW, to automatically vent our cars and trucks in the event of a
hydrogen leak. And last – but not least – all consumers will have to be warned that skin contact with
cryogenic hydrogen liquid or its vapors can cause burns and tissue damage.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 148
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Hydrogen Bad – Infrastructure

Converting infrastructure to a hydrogen economy would be extremely expensive

Energy Bulletin 5 (peak oil news and analysis organization, 12/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/11963)
On top of this, we must consider the terrific expense of converting from gasoline to hydrogen. The
infrastructure would have to be built virtually from scratch, at a cost of billions. Our oil and natural
gas based infrastructure evolved over the course of the past century, but this transition must be pulled
off in twenty years or less.

Lack of standard technology prevents infrastructure for a Hydrogen economy

US Army Corps of Engineers 5 (Sept., p. 72, http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-


bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)
Once the storage problem is solved and standardized, a network of hydrogen stations and the
transportation infrastructure will have to be developed. The main barrier to this is settling on a
standard technology. Fueling stations networks will not develop until there is a storage technology that
clearly dominates the market place and a clear demand for them. If all hydrogen-powered cars from all
manufacturers used sodium borohydride, then a station network could develop quickly.

Hydrogen infrastructure would break the bank

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
Another alternative is pipelines. The average cost of a natural gas pipeline is one million dollars per mile,
and we have 200,000 miles of natural gas pipeline, which we can’t re-use because they are composed of
metal that would become brittle and leak, as well as the incorrect diameter to maximize hydrogen
throughput. If we were to build a similar infrastructure to deliver hydrogen it would cost $200 trillion.
The major operating cost of hydrogen pipelines is compressor power and maintenance (3). Compressors in
the pipeline keep the gas moving, using hydrogen energy to push the gas forward. After 620 miles, 8% of the
hydrogen has been used to move it through the pipeline (17).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 149
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Hydrogen Bad – Cost

Hydrogen power is extremely expensive and unreliable

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
Fuel cells are expensive. In 2003, they cost $1 million or more. At this stage, they have low reliability,
need a much less expensive catalyst than platinum, can clog and lose power if there are impurities in
the hydrogen, don’t last more than 1000 hours, have yet to achieve a driving range of more than 100
miles, and can’t compete with electric hybrids like the Toyota Prius, which is already more energy
efficient and lower in CO2 generation than projected fuel cells. (3)

Hydrogen will always be more expensive than fossil fuels

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Hydrogen Economy: energy and economic black hole”, 2/24, http://energybulletin.net/node/4541)
The price of oil and natural gas will go up relentlessly due to geological depletion and political crises in
extracting countries. Since the hydrogen infrastructure will be built using the existing oil-based
infrastructure (i.e. internal combustion engine vehicles, power plants and factories, plastics, etc), the price
of hydrogen will go up as well -- it will never be cheaper than fossil fuels. As depletion continues,
factories will be driven out of business by high fuel costs (20, 21, 22) and the parts necessary to build
the extremely complex storage tanks and fuel cells might become unavailable. In a society that’s looking
more and more like Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”, hydrogen will be too leaky and explosive to handle.

Hydrogen is and will continue to be expensive barring research breakthroughs

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Challenges for the Hydrogen Economy”, 1/1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3828)


Figure 1 depicts the hydrogen economy as a network composed of three functional steps: production, storage,
and use. There are basic technical means to achieve each of these steps, but none of them can yet compete
with fossil fuels in cost, performance, or reliability. Even when using the cheapest production method—
steam reforming of methane—hydrogen is still four times the cost of gasoline for the equivalent amount
of energy. And production from methane does not reduce fossil fuel use or CO2 emission. Hydrogen can
be stored in pressurized gas containers or as a liquid in cryogenic containers, but not in densities that
would allow for practical applications—driving a car up to 500 kilometers on a single tank, for example.
Hydrogen can be converted to electricity in fuel cells, but the production cost of prototype fuel cells
remains high: $3000 per kilowatt of power produced for prototype fuel cells (mass production could
reduce this cost by a factor of 10 or more), compared with $30 per kilowatt for gasoline engines. The gap
between the present state of the art in hydrogen production, storage, and use and that needed for a
competitive hydrogen economy is too wide to bridge in incremental advances. It will take fundamental
breakthroughs of the kind that come only from basic research.
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Hydrogen Bad – Long TF

Adoption of Hydrogen takes decades

US Army Corps of Engineers 5 (Sept., p. 72, http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-


bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)
Beyond the transportation sector, moving to a pure hydrogen economy will be harder. The power-
generating plants will have to switch over to renewable sources of energy, and the marketplace will
have to agree on ways to store and transport hydrogen. These hurdles will likely cause the transition
to the hydrogen economy to be a rather long process. In summary, there are tremendous technical hurdles
to overcome; once we have solved the production, transmission, and resource issues and then the switch to
hydrogen may occur. This is a long-term issue and the hydrogen economy is decades away. The tools to
make it work, such as safe nuclear reactors, windmills, and fuel cells are still in the development or early
adoption phases. Realizing the potential benefits of a hydrogen economy—sustainability, increased energy
security, a diverse energy supply and reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions—hydrogen must be
produced cleanly, efficiently, and affordably from regionally available, renewable resources

Hydrogen will take 50 years to dent fossil fuel use

Technology Review 6 (“Hydrogen Reality Check”, p. 1, 5/5,


http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16777&ch=biztech&pg=1)
High oil prices and concerns about the long-term availability of oil have U.S. government officials singing
the praises of hydrogen fuel cells as a solution to our nation's transportation energy problem. But fuel cells,
while a promising technology, could take more than 50 years to have a significant impact on gasoline
consumption, according to estimates by MIT researchers. On the other hand, improved internal combustion
engines and lighter vehicles could offset energy consumption much sooner, especially if consumers have
incentives to buy them and manufacturers to make them. "The potential for hydrogen fuel cells having an
impact that you'd notice is a long way away," says John Heywood, professor of mechanical engineering at
MIT. The estimates assume that competitive fuel cell vehicles will be available within 15 years, an
achievement that will require improvements, for example, in hydrogen storage and production and fuel-cell
costs. But even if and when fuel-cell vehicles come with the price and performance that consumers want, it
will still take decades more before such new vehicles work their way into widespread use. One factor
slowing the impact of any new vehicle technology -- whether advanced internal combustion engine, hybrid,
or fuel cell -- is the average lifespan of a car, which is about 15 years, according to Heywood. Even as
people buy cars with new technologies, old ones stay on the roads, continuing to burn fuel and emit
carbon dioxide. Also, as the example of hybrids shows, the market share of vehicles with radical new
technologies increases only slowly, and it can take years before the new technology starts to appear in
more than one vehicle in a manufacturer's fleet. Hybrids were first introduced, in the United States, in
1999, and still only account for about one percent of vehicle sales. The MIT researchers estimate that,
even after a competitive hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is available, it will take roughly 25 years for these
vehicles to make up 35 percent of new car and light-truck sales. And it will be an additional 20 years or
so before these cars replace 35 percent of traditional vehicles on the road.

Transition to hydrogen takes too long to solve

American Chemical Society 4 (“Is There Hope for Hydrogen?”, 10/10, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2563)
Hydrogen is not a quick fix for our energy, pollution, and global- warming woes, and it will take several
decades for hydrogen to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a globally significant way.
Greenhouse gas emissions are more easily and quickly reduced in the near term by tightened fuel
economy standards, greater use of hybrid vehicles, and a variety of stationary power options. Large
technical and economic barriers confront automotive fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen
makes sense as a climate-friendly fuel only when it is produced from low- or zero-carbon energy sources,
such as renewable fuels or fossil fuels with carbon sequestration.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 151
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Hydrogen Bad – Evidence Indict

Their evidence is media hype and fails to approach scientific findings critically

Biegler 4 (Tom, fuel cell researcher, “Fuel Cells – A Perspective”, 12/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/5203)
Fuel cells attract great public and commercial interest. Their ability to turn a fuel’s energy into electricity
without flame or combustion has immediate popular appeal. The mass media regularly carry items about
fuel cell powered cars and their role in a future hydrogen economy. There is also a huge amount of
information on the internet: a Google search on ‘fuel cell’ gives more hits (3.7 million) than ‘internal
combustion engine’. What more can this article add? Unfortunately, fuel cell publicity conveys
expectations and hopes that are often based on uncritical interpretations of the underlying science. The
aim here is to use that science to analyse how the technology has developed and what can realistically be
delivered by fuel cells.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 152
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Hydrogen Bad – AT: Renewables Solve

Renewables will produce energy more efficiently without hydrogen

Cooke 5 (Ronald R, cultural economist, “An Open Letter to BusinessWeek on Hydrogen”, 1/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4221)
Public policy will eventually work to discourage the production of hydrogen from oil, coal, solar, hydro,
nuclear, or wind resources because in every case, it is more efficient to use the available energy for
electricity or motor fuel than to waste it for the production of hydrogen. All of the experimental
production and distribution options mentioned in your article assume the availability of cheap energy,
usually in the form of oil or natural gas. As time passes, that assumption will prove increasingly false. A
more realistic assessment of production costs using available resources would have shown substantially
higher consumer prices than those quoted in your article.

Renewables can’t power a hydrogen economy

Financial Times 5 (“Bush, Iraq and the hydrogen economy”, 1/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/4189)
Anti-nuclear activists want hydrogen fuel to come from renewable energy sources, such as wind power.
However, that arithmetic doesn't work. For example, California has the most developed wind power
industry in the US. Its share of those reactors in 2025, based on population, would be about 480. The entire
current wind development in California would only account for four reactors' worth of energy for
hydrogen production.

Renewables can’t power a hydrogen economy – fossil fuels will continue to dominate

Energy Bulletin 4 (“Hydrogen economy looks out of reach”, 10/6, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2437)


Converting every vehicle in the United States to hydrogen power would demand so much electricity
that the country would need enough wind turbines to cover half of California or 1,000 extra nuclear
power stations. So concludes a British economist, whose calculation is intended to highlight the difficulties
of achieving a truly green hydrogen economy. "This calculation is useful to make people realize what an
enormous problem we face," says Andrew Oswald, an economist from the University of Warwick. The
hydrogen economy has been touted as a replacement for fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide when
burnt, thus contributing to global warming. Burning hydrogen produces only water. Most hydrogen is
currently made from methane, in a process that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Splitting
water molecules with electricity generates hydrogen - but the electricity is likely to have been
generated from fossil fuels. Although this may shift urban pollution to out-of-town electricity plants, it
makes little difference to greenhouse-gas output. "Today, hydrogen is not a clean, green fuel," says
Oswald's brother Jim, an energy consultant who assisted with the calculation. "You've got to ask: where did
the hydrogen come from?" The only technology that can currently make large amounts of hydrogen without
using fossil fuels relies on renewable power sources or nuclear energy, the Oswalds argue. Hydrogen will
only mitigate global warming when a clean source of the gas becomes available, they say. Unpopular options
The duo considered the United Kingdom and the United States. Transport accounts for about one third of
each country's energy consumption. UK transport uses only a tenth as much energy as the United States, but
there is less land available: the hydrogen switch would require 100,000 wind turbines, enough to occupy
an area greater than Wales. It unlikely that enough turbines could ever be built, says Jim Oswald. On the
other hand, public opposition to nuclear energy deters many politicians. "I suspect we will do nothing,
because all the options are so unpopular."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 153
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Hydrogen Bad – AT: Renewables

Using renewables to power hydrogen emits more GHGs than using renewables alone

LA Times 4 (“Lots of Hot Air About Hydrogen”, 4/9, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/173)


It's possible, of course, to make hydrogen with renewable electricity, such as solar and wind power, but
that is a lousy use for renewables, since they can directly displace more than four times as much carbon
dioxide from coal power compared with using that renewable power to make hydrogen for vehicles.
And these savings can all be achieved without spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a new
hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen vehicles. As one 2002 British study concluded, "Until there is a
surplus of renewable electricity, it is not beneficial in terms of carbon reduction to use renewable
electricity to produce hydrogen — for use in vehicles, or elsewhere." That surplus is, sadly, a long way
off, given that Congress hasn't been willing to pass legislation requiring that even 10% of U.S. electricity in
2020 be from renewables like wind and solar.

Hydrogen is a horrible storage mechanism for renewables – physical storage is better

Rechsteiner 4 (Rudolf, Swiss Parliamentarian, “Ten Steps to a Sustainable Future”, p. 21, www.oilcrash.com/articles/steps.htm)
In the not so distant future renewable energy sources will contribute a sizable percentage of power to
the integrated power grid, even if developed within the conservative visions of current energy policies.
Fortunately, the reality is ahead of politics. The need for new energy storage schemes and load management
becomes apparent. However, electrochemical energy storage with batteries or hydrogen using reversible
fuel cells will not necessarily be the most practical or the most economic solution. Physical energy
storage systems appear to be the better solution. Electrical energy is best stored in electron storage devices
like super capacitors, as potential energy in hydro power storage facilities, as pressure energy in compressed
air storage tanks and alike. But above all, much energy can be stored in form of useful energy (e.g. ice
reservoirs in refrigerators, heat reservoirs in buildings). Furthermore, HVDC transmission lines can carry
electricity from regions of oversupply to regions of shortages to balance differences caused by weather
or daytime changes [46]. Also, wind energy generators can be easily stopped if the stability of the power
grid is threatened by too much wind in one area. This requires that the installed wind power is above the
actual power requirement of the grid. All these physical energy storage and management schemes
compete in economic terms with equally clean hydrogen storage solutions.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 154
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***Hydrogen Good***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 155
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Energy Loss

Hot-water electrolysis and nuclear power solves.

New York Times 4 (“Scientists cite breakthroughs in producing pure hydrogen”, 11/27, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3423)
WASHINGTON -- Researchers at a government nuclear laboratory and a ceramics company in Salt Lake
City say they have found a way to produce pure hydrogen with far less energy than other methods,
raising the possibility of using nuclear power to indirectly wean the transportation system from its
dependence on oil. The development would move the country closer to the Energy Department's stated goal
of a "hydrogen economy," in which hydrogen would be created through a variety of means and would be
consumed by devices called fuel cells to make electricity to run cars and for other purposes. Experts cite
three big obstacles to a hydrogen economy: manufacturing hydrogen cleanly and at low cost, finding a way
to ship it and store it, and reducing the high price of fuel cells. "This is a breakthrough in the first part," said
J. Stephen Herring, a consulting engineer at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory,
which plans to announce the development Monday with Cerametec Inc. of Salt Lake City. The developers
also said the hydrogen could be used by oil companies to stretch oil supplies even without solving the
fuel cell and transportation problems. Herring said the work showed the "highest-known production rate of
hydrogen by high-temperature electrolysis." But the plan requires the building of a new kind of nuclear
reactor, at a time when the United States is not even building conventional reactors. And the cost estimates
are uncertain. The heart of the plan is an improvement on the most efficient way to extract hydrogen,
which is to run electric current through water, splitting molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, called
electrolysis. The new method involves running electricity through water that has a high temperature.
As the water molecule breaks up, a ceramic sieve separates the oxygen from the hydrogen.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 156
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Warming

Clean coal can produce hydrogen without emissions

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 13, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


So hydrogen, where do we get it from because it’s a carrier; it’s not a primary energy. We can get hydrogen
from natural gas. Now, most of the hydrogen today, we should just leave that machine alone I think because
it’s scaring the hell out of me. I’m too old to get that jumpy. It keeps me awake. I haven’t had a senior
moment yet, but it may happen so stay with me. Most of the hydrogen today comes from natural gas. We
steam out the hydrogen, but natural gas only gives us a few years. We could use coal; there is a lot of
it. And the coal industry says, trust us; clean coal. If you give us enough time and you give us enough
research and you give us enough money, first build the power plants and let us move online with them, but if
you give us enough time, once these plants are on line, we will try to figure out a way to sequester the
CO2 under ground. We will grab the hydrogen.

Hydrogen fuel cells make emissions easier to collect and control

BBC News 5 (“Fuel Cells Need Political Push”, 10/5, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4309686.stm)


Fuel cells convert the chemical energy stored in fuels, such as hydrogen and methanol, into electrical
energy. They are seen as a great clean energy hope for future sustainable power generation. It is the
beginning of the personal power revolution where people will be able to divorce themselves from the tyranny
of the gridGeorge Apanel, SRI Consulting Fuel cells are being refined for use at the small scale; there are
laptop computers using methanol-powered cells, for instance. And on the larger scale, too, the technology is
making progress - to drive cars and buses, and to power buildings not connected to a national grid. Fuel cells
are not in the purest sense an "alternative" energy technology because the fuels on which they depend
have to be produced in what may or may not be environmentally friendly processes. Nonetheless, they
allow the emission points of pollution to be pushed further back in the chain where they can be more
easily collected and dealt with.

Using underground fossil fuels for hydrogen solves warming

Energy Bulletin 4 (“Hydrogen economy looks out of reach”, 10/6, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2437)


However, he thinks that the Oswalds are too pessimistic about the possibilities of new technology. "An
enormous amount of attention is being paid to generating hydrogen cleanly," he says. If we could trap
the carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels underground, we could convert them to hydrogen, says
Ekins. "It's not tried and tested, but it's a possibility." And it could become a reality by the time we have
enough hydrogen-powered cars to make it necessary, he says.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 157
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Ozone

Our knowledge of hydrogen’s potential to damage the ozone means we can control
emissions while using the fuel

California Insitute of Technology 3 (“Hydrogen economy might impact Earth’s stratosphere, study shows”, 6/12,
http://www.theozonehole.com/hydrogeneconomy.htm)
"Either way, it's good for society that we have an emission scenario at this stage," says Eiler. "In past cases
-- with chlorofluorocarbons, nitrogen oxides, methane, methyl bromide, carbon dioxide, and carbon
monoxide -- we always found out that there were problems long after they were in common use. But
this time, we have a unique opportunity to study the anthropogenic implications of a new technology
before it's even a problem." If hydrogen indeed turns out to be bad for the ozone layer, should the
transition to hydrogen-fueled cars be abandoned? Not necessarily, Tromp and Eiler claim. "If it's the best
way to provide a new energy source for our needs, then we can, and probably should, do it," Tromp says.
Eiler adds, "If we had had perfect foreknowledge of the effects of carbon dioxide a hundred years ago,
would we have abandoned the internal combustion engine? Probably not. But we might have begun
the process of controlling CO2 emissions earlier."

Hydrogen power would reduce damage to the ozone by 50%

Schultz 3 (Martin G, Science 24, Vol. 302, no. 5645,


If today's surface traffic fleet were powered entirely by hydrogen fuel cell technology, anthropogenic
emissions of the ozone precursors nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide could be reduced by up to
50%, leading to significant improvements in air quality throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Model
simulations of such a scenario predict a decrease in global OH and an increased lifetime of methane, caused
primarily by the reduction of the NOx emissions. The sign of the change in climate forcing caused by carbon
dioxide and methane depends on the technology used to generate the molecular hydrogen. A possible rise in
atmospheric hydrogen concentrations is unlikely to cause significant perturbations of the climate
system.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 158
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Hydrogen Good – AT: Tradeoff

Hydrogen is not a distraction – the problem is general political neglect of alternative energy

American Chemical Society 4 (“Is There Hope for Hydrogen?”, 10/10, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2563)
But we wonder about the merit of this backlash. If hydrogen were not on the policy table, would
government leaders pursue more aggressive fuel economy standards and larger investments in
renewable energy? We remain skeptical. Even if the bait-and-switch scenario were true in Washington,
would it also be true in California and Europe? And what about the larger question of the size of the
public R&D energy pie--if energy efficiency and climate change are compelling issues, then shouldn't the
debate really be over the size of the energy R&D budget? Romm is concerned that scarce R&D dollars are
going to hydrogen, diverted from other, nearer term technologies (that is, energy efficiency and renewable
electricity) that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions sooner. But we note that total energy R&D in the
U.S., both public and private, is only one-third of its peak in the early 1980s. U.S. government energy
R&D has declined even more, and remains a tiny fraction of overall federal R&D spending. We believe that
the entire area of energy R&D is greatly underfunded, given the seriousness of the problem. So rather
than fighting over a small pie, shouldn't we be calling attention to the need for an increase all around?
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 159
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Storage

Aluminum fuel cells solve storage and transportation

ScienceDaily 7 (“New Process Generates Hydrogen from Aluminum Alloy to Run Engines, Fuel Cells”, 5/20,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/29986)
A Purdue University engineer has developed a method that uses an aluminum alloy to extract
hydrogen from water for running fuel cells or internal combustion engines, and the technique could be
used to replace gasoline. The method makes it unnecessary to store or transport hydrogen - two major
challenges in creating a hydrogen economy, said Jerry Woodall, a distinguished professor of electrical and
computer engineering at Purdue who invented the process. "The hydrogen is generated on demand, so you
only produce as much as you need when you need it," said Woodall, who presented research findings
detailing how the system works during a recent energy symposium at Purdue.

Solutions to the storage problem are already under development

US Army Corps of Engineers 5 (Sept., p. 72, http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-


bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)
Solutions to the hydrogen storage problem are in development. Hydrogen can be stored in a solid
form in hydrides such as sodium borohydride. This technology has appeared in the news recently
because Chrysler is testing it. As sodium boro- hydride releases its hydrogen, it turns back into borax,
which can be recycled back into new borohydride.

Nanoscale architecture solves storage problems

Physics Today 5 (“Challenges for the Hydrogen Economy”, 1/1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3828)


Nanostructured materials offer a host of promising routes for storing hydrogen at high capacity in
compounds that have fast recycling. Large surface areas can be coated with catalysts to assist in the
dissociation of gaseous H2, and the small volume of individual nanoparticles produces short diffusion
paths to the material's interior. The strength of the chemical bonds with hydrogen can be weakened with
additives7 such as titanium dioxide in sodium aluminum hydride (NaAlH4). The capture and release cycle is
a complex process that involves molecular dissociation, diffusion, chemical bonding, and van der Waals
attraction. Each of the steps can be optimized in a specific nanoscale environment that includes appropriate
catalysts, defects, and impurity atoms. By integrating the steps into an interactive nanoscale architecture
where hydrogen molecules or atoms are treated in one environment for dissociation, for example, and
handed off to the next environment for diffusion, nanoscience engineers could simultaneously optimize
all the desired properties. Another approach is to use three-dimensional solids with open structures, such as
metal-organic frameworks8 in which hydrogen molecules or atoms can be adsorbed on internal surfaces. The
metal atoms that form the vertices of such structures can be catalysts or dopants that facilitate the
capture and release cycle. Designed nanoscale architectures offer unexplored options for effectively
controlling reactivity and bonding to meet the desired storage requirements.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 160
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Storage

Surface absorption for hydrogen solves storage issues

Physics Today 5 (“Challenges for the Hydrogen Economy”, 1/1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3828)


The two challenges for on-vehicle hydrogen storage and use are capacity and cycling performance under
the accessible on-board conditions of 0-100°C and 1-10 bars. To achieve high storage capacity at low weight
requires strong chemical bonds between hydrogen and light-atom host materials in stable compounds, such as
lithium borohydride (LiBH4). But to achieve fast cycling at accessible conditions requires weak chemical
bonds, fast kinetics, and short diffusion lengths, as might be found in surface adsorption. Thus, the high-
capacity and fast-recycling requirements are somewhat in conflict. Many bulk hydrogen-storage compounds,
such as metallic magnesium nitrogen hydride (Mg2NH4) and ionic sodium borohydride (Na+(BH4)-),
contain high volumetric hydrogen densities but require temperatures of 300°C or more at 1 bar to release
their H2. Compounds with low-temperature capture and release behavior, such as lanthanum nickel hydride
(LaNi5H6), have low hydrogen-mass fractions and are thus heavy to carry. Hydrogen absorption on
surfaces is a potential route to fast cycling, but has been explored relatively little except for carbon
substrates. Hydrogen can be adsorbed in molecular or atomic form on suitable surfaces, using
pressure, temperature, or electrochemical potential to control its surface structure and bonding
strength. A major challenge is controlling the bonding and kinetics of multiple layers of hydrogen. The first
layer is bonded by van der Waals or chemical forces specific to the substrate; the second layer sees primarily
the first layer and therefore bonds with very different strength. The single-layer properties of adsorbed
hydrogen on carbon can be predicted rather accurately and are indicated by the solid curve in figure 4; the
behavior of multiple layers is much less well understood. But experience with carbon suggests that multiple
layers are needed for effective storage capacity. One route for overcoming the single-layer limitation is to
adsorb hydrogen on both sides of a substrate layer, arranged with others in nanoscale stacks that allow
access to both sides.

Carbon nanotubes solve storage issues

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 23, Nov.)
Hydrogen can be stored at high densities as reversible metal hydrides or adsorbed on carbon
structures. When the hydrogen is needed, it can be released from these materials under certain
temperature and pressure conditions. Complex-based reversible hydrides such as alanates have recently
demonstrated improved weight performance over metal hydrides along with modest temperatures for
hydrogen recovery. The most promising carbon materials for hydrogen storage at this time appear to be
carbon nanotubes.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 161
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Storage

Improvements in storage technology will make hydrogen viable as it becomes more popular

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 23, Nov.)
The most challenging application is the light-duty vehicle or, more specifically, the automobile. Automobiles
impose the greatest constraints with respect to available space on-board the vehicle and the greatest
consumer expectations for energy density (vehicle range). In the near-term, fuel cell vehicles are likely
to be introduced first in fleet applications. Since fleet applications are apt to have centralized refueling
facilities, a vehicle range of 100 to 150 miles (160 to 241 kilometers) would be acceptable. In terms of mass
of hydrogen, this range could be achieved with about 3 kilograms of hydrogen supplying a fuel cell vehicle.
Mature compressed and liquid hydrogen storage technologies of reasonable size and weight could
achieve this short-term goal. In the longer term, average consumers will expect fuel cell vehicles to
provide the same cost, convenience, and operational characteristics as gasoline-powered vehicles. In fact, it is
likely that fuel cell vehicles will have to offer a significant value proposition to encourage consumers to
adopt a new technology rather than continue with something that is tried and true. Vehicle range will be an
important factor to consumers, especially as ahydrogen refueling infrastructure begins to develop. Fuel cell
vehicle ranges of 300 to 400 miles (480 to 644 kilometers) will be needed, requiring roughly 5 kilograms
ofhydrogen to be stored on-board. Advanced storage methods, including advancements incompressed
storage, alanate hydrides, cryogas tanks, and carbon nanostructures, willhave to emerge from the
laboratory to reduce hydrogen storage system size, weight, andcost without sacrificing safety or
consumer convenience.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 162
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Airplanes

Hydrogen fuel would improve airplane efficiency

Dagatt and Hadaller 6 (D and O, Boeing commercial airplanes, et. al., “Alternative Fuels and their Impact on Aviation”, NASA, p.
6, Oct.)
Because the aircraft engines are typically sized to power the airplane during the heaviest part of its
mission (takeoff), it is possible to downsize the LH2 airplane’s engines to deliver about 25 percent less
thrust, thereby enabling smaller, lighter weight engines to be used. It is possible to downsize the wing
only slightly, as it still needs to be able to carry the additional weight of the fuel tanks during the airplane’s
slow approach to the airport. Because of these tanks, the airplane will need about 28 percent more energy on
a typical 500-nmi mission. For longer durations, the lightweight properties of the fuel start to overcome
the drawbacks of the heavy tanks. On a 3,000-nmi mission, the aircraft will only use 2 percent more energy
than a jet-fueled aircraft. Longer range airplanes would most likely experience a fuel savings benefit of
using LH2 over Jet-A fuel.

Hydrogen fuel requires only minor modifications in airplanes

Dagatt and Hadaller 6 (D and O, Boeing commercial airplanes, et. al., “Alternative Fuels and their Impact on Aviation”, NASA, p.
6, Oct.)
Hydrogen-Fueled Engines.—To use LH2 in aircraft engines, modifications are necessary to the
combustor and fuel system components, such as pumps, supply pipes, and control valves. In addition, a
heat exchanger will be required for vaporizing and heating the cryogenically stored LH2 fuel (ref. 8). Early
tests with H2 demonstrated that only slight combustor modifications were necessary because H2 fuel
has a very wide ignition range, which is beneficial to combustor control.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 163
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Food

Hydrogen won’t be made from natural gas – renewables and biomass will be used

Business Week 5 (“Hydrogen Cars are Almost Here, But…”, 1/24,


http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_04/b3917097_mz018.htm)
Some of the upcoming fuel stations may also have water-electrolysis systems. However, while that
technology makes sense in Europe, where gasoline is twice as expensive, it's not so attractive in the U.S.
Electrolysis takes a lot of electricity. It costs at least $2.50 to produce a kilogram of hydrogen, which contains
the same amount of energy as a gallon of gasoline. But the next generation of wind turbines and solar
cells could supply cheaper electricity and make electrolysis more feasible for certain areas of the U.S..
Germany is already experimenting with wind-powered electrolysis at filling stations. Energy's goal for
hydrogen from water is $2 per kilogram by 2010. In the U.S. heartland, biomass is the long-term ticket.
This refers to leftover crop plants plus lumber and logging waste. Coaxing biomass to give up its hydrogen
now costs more than $3 a kilogram. But researchers expect to shrink that to $2.60 around 2010. A few
years later, hydrogen could compete with gasoline. Total up all the potentials, and the U.S. has more
than enough domestic resources to supply the energy it needs to replace all automotive fossil fuels with
hydrogen -- using renewable resources only. So it would no longer be necessary to extract hydrogen
from finite supplies of natural gas, which is the source of 90% of hydrogen today.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 164
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Trucks

Hydrogen can be used for trucks

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 23, Nov.)
Transportation applications for hydrogen include buses, trucks, passenger vehicles, and trains.
Technologies are being developed to use hydrogen in both fuel cells and internal combustion engines,
including methanol systems. Nearly every major automaker has a hydrogen-fueled vehicle program,
with various targets for demonstration between 2003 and 2006. The early fuel cell demonstration programs
will consist of pilot-plant “batch-builds” of approximately 10 to 150 vehicles. These early vehicles are most
likely to be deployed in fleets with a centralized or shared re-fueling infrastructure to limit capital
investment. Information obtained from these vehicle demonstrations will then be used to help determine how
and when to advance to the next level of production. Hydrogen-fueled internal-combustion engine
vehicles are viewed by some as a near-term, lower-cost option that could assist in the development of
hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen storage technology. A key advantage of this option is that
hydrogen-fueled internal-combustion engines vehicles can be made in larger numbers when demand
warrants.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 165
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Needs FF

Hydrogen is key to renewable energy storage; without it, renewables will fail

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 16, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


So there is another way to get the hydrogen. We could use renewable energy: solar, wind, geothermal,
hydro, and biomass. And let me put biomass over here for just a moment because it’s a unique renewable.
We could take wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro, and generate electricity. Now, as you know, at this point
in time you can’t store electricity in any major way. But the battery technology, lithium technology may
get there, but it’s not there yet for storage. You have to have hydrogen storage. So we take solar, wind,
geothermal, and hydro, generate electricity, and electricityflows right down the line. But when there is good
times and there is surplus electricity and it’s cheap and that at peak load, you can electrolyze water –
remember high school chemistry? You’re not sure? The anode and the cathode and you split – you didn’t go
to that class – the anode and the cathode, you put it in the water; you grab the hydrogen, then you extort
energy. With biomass, agricultural waste, forest waste, garbage, solid waste, waste water, you can grab
the hydrogen direct. The problem is thermodynamically you’re generating power twice, first to get the
electricity, then to electrolyze the water – with biomass, not a problem. But you can’t have renewable
energy without hydrogen. This is something environmentalists, many that I know, failed to understand for
a long time. They thought, well, why are we talking about hydrogen. We know President Bush is talking
about it, so maybe we shouldn’t be talking about it. (Laughter.) But you cannot have – I will get to President
Bush in a minute. But you cannot have renewable energy without hydrogen. Does anybody know why?
Audience: Storage. MR. RIFKIN: Storage. The wind isn’t always blowing. The sun isn’t always
shining, and the water tables are low and it’s not always going over the damn. These are intermittent
energies. So that if we want to go to renewable energy society – biomass, you can store a little bit with the
hydrogen – but if you want to go to renewable energy society, the kind that the baby boomers in this room
have dreamed about for your children, you have to have a way to store the energy. This is very important.

Hydrogen can be made from renewable energy sources like solar power

Cleveland Plain Dealer 5 (“Hydrogen fuel cells hint at hope, hurdles”, 8/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/8283)
But electrolysis on a large scale would take a lot of electricity. Most electricity comes from coal-burning
power plants. Coal, too, is a fossil fuel that produces greenhouse gases. That means electrolysis is an
inefficient and dirty way to make hydrogen, Romm argues. No problem, Turner counters. Just generate
the electricity with a sustainable energy source, like solar power. "I think the sun has four and a half
billion years of fuel left," he says. "It probably won't peak for a while." In May, Midwest Optoelectronics
LLC in Toledo introduced a solar-powered electrolysis system that it says can make enough hydrogen
in a year to power a fuel cell car for 10,000 miles.

Microbial fuel cells can generate hydrogen without fossil fuels

Energy Bulletin 5 (“Progress in production of hydrogen by microbial fuel cells”, 5/7, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/5994)
In the new MFC, when the bacteria eat biomass, they transfer electrons to an anode. The bacteria also
release protons, hydrogen atoms stripped of their electrons, which go into solution. The electrons on the
anode migrate via a wire to the cathode, the other electrode in the fuel cell, where they are electrochemically
assisted to combine with the protons and produce hydrogen gas. A voltage in the range of 0.25 volts or
more is applied to the circuit by connecting the positive pole of a programmable power supply to the anode
and the negative pole to the cathode. The researchers call their hydrogen-producing MFC a
BioElectrochemically-Assisted Microbial Reactor or BEAMR. The BEAMR not only produces hydrogen
but simultaneously cleans the wastewater used as its feedstock. It uses about one-tenth of the voltage
needed for electrolysis, the process that uses electricity to break water down into hydrogen and oxygen.
Logan adds, "This new process demonstrates, for the first time, that there is real potential to capture
hydrogen for fuel from renewable sources for clean transportation."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 166
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Needs FF

Hydrogen solves dependence on fossil fuels

Rifkin 2 (Jeremey, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., http://www.foet.org/books/hydrogen-economy.html)


While the fossil-fuel era is entering its sunset years, a new energy regime is being born that has the
potential to remake civilization along radical new lines, according to Rifkin. Hydrogen is the most basic
and ubiquitous element in the universe. It is the stuff of the stars and of our sun and, when properly
harnessed, it is the "forever fuel." It never runs out and produces no harmful CO2 emissions.
Commercial fuel-cells powered by hydrogen are just now being introduced into the market for home, office
and industrial use. The major automakers have spent more than two billion dollars developing hydrogen cars,
buses, and trucks, and the first mass-produced vehicles are expected to be on the road in just a few years. The
hydrogen economy makes possible a vast redistribution of power, with far-reaching consequences for society.
Today's centralized, top-down flow of energy, controlled by global oil companies and utilities, becomes
obsolete. In the new era, says Rifkin, every human being could become the producer as well as the consumer
of his or her own energy - so called "distributed generation." When millions of end-users connect their fuel-
cells into local, regional, and national hydrogen energy webs (HEWs), using the same design principles and
smart technologies that made possible the World Wide Web, they can begin to share energy - peer-to-peer -
creating a new decentralized form of energy use. Hydrogen has the potential to end the world's reliance
on imported oil and help diffuse the dangerous geopolitical game being played out between Muslim
militants and Western nations. It will dramatically cut down on carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate
the effects of global warming. And because hydrogen is so plentiful and exists everywhere on earth,
every human being could be "empowered," making it the first truly democratic energy regime in
history.

Hydrogen allows abandonment of fossil fuels and GHG emisions

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 14, Nov.)
Vision of hydrogen production: Hydrogen will become a premier energy carrier, reducing U.S.
dependence on imported petroleum, diversifying energy sources, and reducing pollution and
greenhouse gas emissions. It will be produced in large refineries in industrial areas, power parks and fueling
stations in communities, distributed facilities in rural areas, and on-site at customers’ premises. Thermal,
electric, and photolytic processes will use fossil fuels, biomass, or water as feedstocks and release little
or no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 167
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Hydrogen Good – AT: Inefficient

Hydrogen is more efficient than fossil fuels

Physics Today 5 (“Challenges for the Hydrogen Economy”, 1/1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3828)


A major attraction of hydrogen as a fuel is its natural compatibility with fuel cells. The higher
efficiency of fuel cells—currently 60% compared to 22% for gasoline or 45% for diesel internal
combustion engines—would dramatically improve the efficiency of future energy use. Coupling fuel
cells to electric motors, which are more than 90% efficient, converts the chemical energy of hydrogen
to mechanical work without heat as an intermediary. This attractive new approach for energy conversion
could replace many traditional heat engines. The broad reach of that efficiency advantage is a strong
driver for deploying hydrogen fuel cells widely. Although fuel cells are more efficient, there are also
good reasons for burning hydrogen in heat engines for transportation. Jet engines and internal
combustion engines can be rather easily modified to run on hydrogen instead of hydrocarbons.
Internal combustion engines run as much as 25% more efficiently on hydrogen compared to gasoline
and produce no carbon emissions. The US and Russia have test-flown commercial airliners with jet
engines modified to burn hydrogen.9 Similarly, BMW, Ford, and Mazda are road- testing cars powered by
hydrogen internal combustion engines that achieve a range of 300 kilometers, and networks of hydrogen
filling stations are being implemented in some areas of the US, Europe, and Japan. Such cars and filling
stations could provide an early start and a transitional bridge to hydrogen fuel-cell transportation. The
versatility of fuel cells makes them workable in nearly any application where electricity is useful.
Stationary plants providing 200 kilowatts of neighborhood electrical power are practical and operating
efficiently. Such plants can connect to the electrical grid to share power but are independent of the grid
in case of failure. Fuel-cell power for consumer electronics like laptop computers, cell phones, digital
cameras, and audio players provide more hours of operation than batteries at the same volume and
weight. Although the cost per kilowatt is high for these small units, the unit cost can soon be within an
acceptable consumer range. Electronics applications may be the first to widely reach the consumer market,
establish public visibility, and advance the learning curve for hydrogen technology. The large homogeneous
transportation market offers enormous potential for hydrogen fuel cells to dramatically reduce fossil
fuel use, lower harmful emissions, and improve energy efficiency. Fuel cells can be used not only in
cars, trucks, and buses, but also can replace the diesel electric generators in locomotives and power all-
electric ships.8 Europe already has a demonstration fleet of 30 fuel-cell buses running regular routes in
10 cities, and Japan is poised to offer fuel-cell cars for sale.

Fuel cell inefficiency is no worse than other energy sources

Biegler 4 (Tom, fuel cell researcher, “Fuel Cells – A Perspective”, 12/31, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/5203)
Inescapable energy losses incurred in electrochemical operations are not unique to fuel cells. Even the
simple process of storing electrical energy in a rechargeable battery (e.g. the common lead/acid car
battery) results in significant losses, with energy recovery efficiency (kWh out vs. kWh in) typically only 60
-70 percent. Perhaps the efficiency results for fuel cells should not surprise.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 168
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Inefficient

Solar energy and catalysts make hydrogen much more efficient

National Geographic News 4 (“New Process Could Help Make Hydrogen Affordable”, 8/24,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/1807)
Scientists in Australia say they have have made a breakthrough in the efficiency of using sunlight to
generate hydrogen from water. It may be a step toward an affordable source of clean energy. A renewable
source of energy to replace the world's declining fossil fuel reserves is perhaps the scientific community's
holy grail. Hydrogen is all around us. It is seen by many as the cleanest and most efficient fuel for
powering everything from vehicles to furnaces and air-conditioning—if only we can find an affordable
way to harness it. Now two researchers in Australia say they have made substantial progress. Scientists have
known for a long time how to split water into its two elements, oxygen and hydrogen. But the problem is
that the process requires electricity—typically derived from fossil fuels—which makes the process
counterproductive and expensive. Janusz Nowotny and Charles Sorrell are researchers from the Centre for
Materials Research in Energy Conversion at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. They
have been looking for an economical way to use titanium dioxide to act as a catalyst to split water into
oxygen and hydrogen—using solar energy. The Stuff of Toothpaste Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used
as a white pigment in paint, paper, cosmetics, sunscreens, and toothpastes. It is found in its purest form in
rutile, a beach sand but is also extracted from certain ores. Rio Tinto, a mining company that produces
titanium oxide, helps fund Nowotny's and Sorrell's research. Nowotny and Sorrell announced their
breakthrough today at the International Conference on Materials for Hydrogen Energy, hosted by the
University of New South Wales in Sydney. They believe they have found a way to considerably improve
the productivity of the solar hydrogen process (using sunlight to extract hydrogen from water) using a
device made out of titanium dioxide. "This is potentially huge, with a market the size of all the existing
markets for coal, oil, and gas combined,'' Nowotny said in a news statement released ahead of the conference.
"Based on our research results, we know we are on the right track." Although Australia's sunny
climate makes it an ideal place to generate solar energy, Sorrell said the technology could be used
anywhere in the world.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 169
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Hydrogen Good – AT: Dangerous

Hydrogen is no more dangerous than other fuels, and safety standards solve

Physics Today 5 (“Challenges for the Hydrogen Economy”, 1/1, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3828)


The public acceptance of hydrogen depends not only on its practical and commercial appeal, but also
on its record of safety in widespread use. The special flammability, buoyancy, and permeability of
hydrogen present challenges to its safe use that are different from, but not necessarily more difficult
than, those of other energy carriers. Researchers are exploring a variety of issues: hydrodynamics of
hydrogen-air mixtures, the combustion of hydrogen in the presence of other gases, and the embrittlement of
materials by exposure to hydrogen, for example. Key to public acceptance of hydrogen is the development
of safety standards and practices that are widely known and routinely used—like those for self-service
gasoline stations or plug-in electrical appliances. The technical and educational components of this aspect
of the hydrogen economy need careful attention.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 170
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Explosions/Fire

Chemical hydrides solve

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 14, Nov.)
Chemical hydrides are emerging as another alternative to direct hydrogen storage. The chemical
hydrides considered for storage applications are a class of compounds that can be stored in solution as an
alkaline liquid. Since the hydrogen is chemically bound in the compound and released by a catalyzed
process, chemical hydrides present an inherently safer option than the storage of volatile and
flammable fuel, be it hydrogen, gasoline, methanol, etc. The challenges associated with chemical hydrides
include lowering the cost of the “round-trip” chemical hydride process (which requires recycling of spent
“fuel”), increasing overall “well to wheels” energy efficiency, and development of infrastructure to support
the production, delivery, and recycling of the chemical hydrides for transportation and other uses.

Hydrogen power doesn’t pollute and is less likely to explode than oil

Business Week 5 (“Hydrogen Cars are Almost Here, But…”, 1/24,


http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_04/b3917097_mz018.htm)
The downside to burning hydrogen in a combustion engine is that it produces some pollution -- a small
amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Fuel cells, on the other hand, spew out nothing more noxious than
water. But BMW asserts that its out-the-tailpipe NOx levels will be well below even California's strict Super
Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard. Another consideration is that BMW bi-fuel cars will use liquid
hydrogen, which must be kept very cold, below -423F. The car's onboard cryogenic system takes care of this
automatically. But if the vehicle isn't started up for three or four days, says Reisinger, the liquid will begin to
boil, and hydrogen gas will escape through a vent. That, however, sounds like a bigger worry than it actually
is. Despite persistent myths, hydrogen is less dangerous than gasoline. It disperses quickly, so even
when a container leaks explosions are next to impossible.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 171
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Infrastructure

Gradual transition to a hydrogen infrastructure solves

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 14, Nov.)
A pathway for scaling up hydrogen use would build from the existing hydrogen industry. To foster the
initial growth of distributed markets, small reformers and electrolyzers will provide hydrogen for small
fleets of fuel cell-powered vehicles and distributed power supply. The next stage of development will
include mid-sized community systems and large, centralized hydrogen production facilities with fully
developed truck delivery systems for short distances and pipeline delivery for longer distances. As
markets grow, costs will drop through economies of scale and technological advances; carbon
emissions will decrease with commercialization of carbon capture, sequestration, and advanced direct
conversion methods using photolytic, renewable, and nuclear technologies.

A hydrogen infrastructure is feasible and attainable

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 17, Nov.)
Once applications for hydrogen as an energy carrier have become well established, the United States
will require much more hydrogen than it now produces. An estimated 40 million tons of hydrogen will be
required anually to fuel about 100 million fuel-cell powered cars, or to provide electricity to about 25 million
homes. Each of the following scenarios could produce 40 million tons per year of hydrogen: Distributed
Generation Production Methods Electrolysis: 1,000,000 small neighborhood based systems could fuel
some of the cars and provide some power needs. Small reformers: 67,000 hydrogen vehicle refueling
stations, which is about one third of the current gasoline stations. Centralized Production Methods
Coal/biomass gasification plants: 140 plants each about like today’s large coal fired plants. Nuclear
water splitting: 100 nuclear plants making only hydrogen Oil and natural gas refinery: 20 plants, each
the size of a small oil refinery, using oil and natural gas in multi-fuel gasifiers and reformers. "A Production
Mosaic" Many factors will affect the choice of production methods, how they will be used, and when they
might be demonstrated and commercialized. Visualizing a mosaic of future production methods provides
a perspective for the Roadmap. The combination of distributed and centralized production, plus
advanced methods that are not yet available, could be combined to create a future industry producing
40 million tons of hydrogen per year. Here is one scenario:
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 172
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Hydrogen Good – AT: Cost

Renewables make hydrogen cost-competitive

Business Week 5 (“Hydrogen Cars are Almost Here, But…”, 1/24,


http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_04/b3917097_mz018.htm)
Some of the upcoming fuel stations may also have water-electrolysis systems. However, while that
technology makes sense in Europe, where gasoline is twice as expensive, it's not so attractive in the U.S.
Electrolysis takes a lot of electricity. It costs at least $2.50 to produce a kilogram of hydrogen, which contains
the same amount of energy as a gallon of gasoline. But the next generation of wind turbines and solar
cells could supply cheaper electricity and make electrolysis more feasible for certain areas of the U.S..
Germany is already experimenting with wind-powered electrolysis at filling stations. Energy's goal for
hydrogen from water is $2 per kilogram by 2010. In the U.S. heartland, biomass is the long-term ticket.
This refers to leftover crop plants plus lumber and logging waste. Coaxing biomass to give up its hydrogen
now costs more than $3 a kilogram. But researchers expect to shrink that to $2.60 around 2010. A few
years later, hydrogen could compete with gasoline. Total up all the potentials, and the U.S. has more
than enough domestic resources to supply the energy it needs to replace all automotive fossil fuels with
hydrogen -- using renewable resources only. So it would no longer be necessary to extract hydrogen
from finite supplies of natural gas, which is the source of 90% of hydrogen today.

Hydrogen power has the potential to be cost-competitive and widespread

DOE 2 (US Dept. of Energy, “National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap”, p. 14, Nov.)
Vision of hydrogen energy conversion: Fuel cells will be a mature, costcompetitive technology in mass
production. Advanced, hydrogen-powered energy generation devices such as combustion turbines and
reciprocating engines will enjoy widespread commercial use. The commercial production, delivery, and
storage of hydrogen will go hand in hand with the commercial conversion of hydrogen into valuable
energy services and products, such as electricity and thermal or mechanical energy. As shown in the table
above, the technologies appropriate for commercial conversion include established technologies, such as
combustion turbines and reciprocating engines, as well as less developed technologies with great potential,
such as fuel cells. Current products embodying these technologies have the potential to provide safe,
clean, and affordable energy services in all sectors of our global economy

Hydrogen can compete with rising fossil fuel prices, and warming will be more expensive

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 13, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


While it is more expensive, remember that fuel cells are 2.5 times more efficient than the internal
combustion engine, and you can co-generate the heat back a the end of the line. So two bell curves:
The bell curve for oil and gas is going up on world markets. It is never going back down, down, down.
The indirect costs are going up. And I am going to be with one of the major reinsurers in two weeks from
now – they have to put out in Germany, they had to put out a huge amount of money on Katrina – Katrina
and Rita: Real-time global warming.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 173
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Long TF

Hydrogen can replace oil within the decade

Cleveland Plain Dealer 5 (“Hydrogen fuel cells hint at hope, hurdles”, 8/20, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/8283)
"There is a potential for replacing essentially all gasoline with hydrogen over the next half century using only
domestic resources," the National Academy of Sciences reported last year. Some think hydrogen will soon
emerge as a force in the economy, just as oil did 100 years ago. They believe that the nonpolluting
hydrogen-powered fuel cell, which makes electricity for running cars and just about anything else, will
be fairly common in a decade or two.

Renewable hydrogen economy can be achieved within 25 years

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 6, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


The coming together of communication and energy, how does it work? A fuel cell is analogous to a personal
computer. When you get a personal computer, you generate your own information. You become the
producer and the distributor, and you can distribute to a billion people if you so choose. With a fuel cell
powered by hydrogen, extracted from renewable energies, it’s analogous to a personal computer; you become
your own producer of energy; you become your own utility; you become your own power plant. You have
to imagine in 25 years from now, not 50, millions and millions and millions of fuel cells powered by
hydrogen, extracted from renewable energies. Someone said to me the other day, well, how can we
possibly imagine millions of fuel cells, portable fuel cells – every home, factory, office; every car, bus,
truck a power plant? They asked the CEO of IMB in the 1950s how many computers do you think the
world market can use. And they confidently predicted four on the world market. Would anyone have
suspected 30 years ago – and ask you here at the Pentagon when you were playing with ARPANET that this
technology that you created would allow 25 percent of the human race to communicate completely flat and
distributed. You have got to back up and see how we are too close to this. So how is a fuel cell
analogous? You and I generate power with our fuel cell – home, factor, office, car, bus, truck, industrial
technology part – we are going to have more power than we might need at any given time of the day
because we are all utilities. What do we do with the surplus? We may want to send electricity back to
the grid. If the price of the electricity on the grid at any given time of day near peak load is higher,
then the price it costs me to generate my hydrogen with renewable energy – I’m making money; I’m in
the power plant. So what we are going to do this: We are going to take the exact same software –it’s identical
– the same hardware, we are going to use the same architecture that we created in Silicon Valley to establish
this communication and IT revolution. It’s identical. And we are going to reconfigure the power grid of
North America, the power grid of Europe, the power grid of the world in the next 25 years so the grid, the
power grid is distributed, intelligent, decentralized, so that when you and I generate more hydrogen
than we need and we want to send that electricity back, we can do it peer-to- peer, just like information
on the grid. This is grid technology taken to power. As you know, we now have grid technology that
allows us to take all of the little computers and with the appropriate software connect them so that we
can share that information power and have power amassed than central computers. Within 30 years from
now, we should be saying the same thing about energy and power and cell – distributive, flat,
decentralized, and grid technology.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 174
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Long TF

Hydrogen can undercut fossil fuel use within a year

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 17-18, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


Let me give a timetable because some people say, well, isn’t hydrogen a hundred years away? Portable fuel
cell cartridges will be on the market – eight Japanese companies in 12 to 18 months. They already
have it; you can Google it up: Toshiba, Hitachi, Canon, and this is where the kids in the world will first be
acquainted with fuel cell cartridges. It started in outer space, the Pentagon and with NASA. Now next
year, a little methane fuel cell cartridges – the hydrogen comes form methane from natural gas, but we
certainly could have it from renewables easily. You are going to be able to power up – tell your kids when
you go home tonight – you’re going to be able to power up your MP3 player, your cell phone, your laptop,
and you are going to get more power than you would by having to recharge in the sockets, and you throw
away the cartridges.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 175
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Hydrogen Good – AT: Tech Issues

Technological problems will be overcome – the naysayers are always wrong

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 5, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


I will end by saying this is very difficult. The technology is still a long way to be proven. There is all sorts
of engineering problems, thermodynamic problems, regulatory problems. It is one big giant disruptive
technology revolution and it’s a complete mess. So what? We could have said the same thing if we were
in this room at the beginning of the steam and coal revolution. How would we ever lay rails across the
continent in 500 years? We did it 50. And we could have said the same thing when the internal
combustion engine came in and the telegraph and telephone – how will we lay electricity lines across
continents and build an interstate highway? We did it in 50 years. I’m confident in my own mind that is
the beginning of a process. It’s early. But if we could go from ARPANET to connecting 25 percent of
the human race in that amount of time, why can’t we have the same distributive grid technology for a
renewable in a hydrogen future?
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 176
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Hydrogen Good – Turns Non-Unique

Their turns are non-unique – space ships have used hydrogen for decades

Rifkin 6 (Jeremy, Foundation of Economic Trends pres., p. 5, 5/22, http://www.nps.edu/cebrowski/rifkin.html)


So we had this decentralized, distributed, flat communication and IT revolution – through the 1990s – a
dramatic increase in IT productivity. We changed the cognitive development of our children in ways that we
don’t even understand that. We have changed the sociology of our cultures. But I think there is a deeper
mission here. I think when the anthropologists look back at this particular period of history it will be clear
that this communication revolution is a distributed, decentralized revolution, and it is the command and
control mechanisms of the new energy regime. On the horizon hydrogen – basic element of the universe
– the stuff of the stars, the lightest element in existence, and when you use it for energy, you only get
two byproducts: pure water and heat. Our astronauts have been have been powering their spaceships
for 30 years in outer space with high-tech, state-of-the art fuel cells. I should say I would like to do a
mea culpa, right here, especially with the folks here in the Pentagon tonight. I was one of the naysayers in
NASA. I said, for 25 years, tell us what you have contributed here on earth. And I had to do a mea culpa.
They had asked me to come to do an address at their annual – at the annual convention that was in Florida
about four years ago, and I said, I need to apologize because your legacy will be written with one
technology. You brought back the ancient fuel cell; you turned it into a high-tech medium, and you showed
us the way out of the fossil fuel era.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 177
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***OTEC Bad***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 178
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No Solvency - Titanium Shortage


Titanium shortages prevent commercialization of OTEC

Daniel 99 (Thomas Ph.D.


NELHA Scientific/Technical Director [http://www.otecnews.org/articles/nelha_otec_history.html] A Brief History of
OTEC Research/ August 1999)
The new modules were made with a welded aluminum frame to hold the panels in the correct
positions. ALGOODS experienced difficulty with the brazing of the 200 thin-walled inlet and outlet tubes
(100 each) that connect the 100 panels in each module to the inlet and exhaust headers, but the units were
eventually assembled and received at NELHA in October 1998. Though the contract funds were nearly
depleted, a no cost extension was negotiated, whereby PICHTR re-assembled the plant and performed initial
shakedown operations before turning it over to Makai Ocean Engineering which will complete their CEROS
contract by collecting operational data for approximately six months. Data from this project, completed by
the end of 1999, have established the heat exchange and flow efficiencies of the roll-bond heat exchangers
and thus clarified the economic tradeoffs between competing heat exchanger types. If much larger surface
areas are required, for example, lower cost aluminum may still not presently be competitive with
titanium. The relative scarcity of titanium will, however, significantly change these economics for
future large-scale expansion of the technology.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 179
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No Solvency – Not Commercially Viable


OTEC is commercially inviable -- inefficiency and start-up costs

Crews 97 (Richard [http://www.trellis.demon.co.uk/reports/otec_sites.html] OTEC Sites/ December 28, 1997)


An OTEC facility requires a substantial initial capital outlay (in the range of $50 to $100 million for a
“small” ten-megawatt plant). OTEC has not been demonstrated at full scale over a prolonged period
with integrated power, mariculture, fresh-water, and chill-water production. OTEC is only feasible at
relatively isolated sites (deep tropical oceans); from such sites, the power and marine products must be
transported to market. (In general, the fresh water--and certainly the chill-water--cannot be transported
more than a few miles economically.)
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 180
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No Solvency – No Investors

Investors unwilling to invest in OTEC because it is not proven reliable

Binger 4 [Dr. Al, Visiting Professor, Saga University Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga, Japan. He is Director of the University of the West
Indies Centre for Environment and Development, Kingston, Jamaica. SIDS, “Potential and Future Prospects for Ocean Thermal Energy
Conversion (OTEC) In Small Islands Developing States” http://www.sidsnet.org/docsare/energy/20040428105917_OTEC_UN.pdf]
However, for the other two components, there is no evidence of successful operations at commercial scale, at
present. Consequently , there is a valid question of technical viability of the entire system. Addressing this will
require the commissioning of a commercial scale facility; the soon to be commissioned 1 MW capacity OTEC
barge10 will provide critical confirmation of technical viability at close to commercial scale. The 1 MW facility
will, however, not address economic viability, financing mechanism, or environmental impact of shore based OTEC
plants. Economic Viability and Financing The first issue of economic viability arises from the high level of initial
investment. This is the most easily understood in the context of energy efficient lighting in poor households. It is well known that poor
households pay the highest cost of electricity per unit of service received, be it cooling, heating, lighting or refrigeration. This is a result of
limited income, which serves as an obstacle to the acquisition of energy efficient and use appliances. Let us consider the case of light bulbs. It is
generally accepted that a 70-75 watt incandescent light bulb will give as much lighting as a 20-25 watt compact fluorescent bulb, while using less
than a third of the electricity, and also has a much longer life time, and use of the compact fluorescent bulb would bring about significant saving
on electricity bills, making it a much better bulb to purchase, despite being more costly. However, with very limited disposable income, the poor
household has no option but to purchase the cheaper bulb and pay the higher electricity bill. An Innovative electric company, recognizing the
economic benefits of end user efficiency develops a partnership with the household, and finances the cost of the efficient light bulb, and recovers
the cost in the monthly utility bill. In that way, both the utility and the household realize economic benefits from the reduction in the amount of
energy that is wasted by the bulb. Overcoming the obstacle of high initial investment required for an OTEC plant will require innovative
financing partnerships similar to that used to finance efficient lighting. Such partnerships are tried by the US-based OTEC Company Sea Solar
Power. The second challenge is the relatively high degree of variability of overall initial cost estimation
compared to petroleum-based systems. While a conventional energy developer can say very early what will be
the cost per megawatt of diesel or fuel oil power plant at any location in SIDS with a significant degree of
certainty, this is not yet possible with OTEC. This does not, however, represent a technical weakness, but rather a reflection of the
site-specific nature of the most renewable energy technologies. Environmental Impact As discussed earlier, the environmental considerations are
very important in SIDS and will become even more so in the future because future survival is directly linked to environmental preservation.
While the OTEC system is potentially the most environmentally friendly development technology, there in no experience of the environmental
impact assessment of the system. The primary concern raised by environmentalist and also the Science and Technology Advisory Panel of the
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in the January 2000, on the assessment of OTEC technology, is the management of the
outflow water streams. As discussed earlier, rather than being a problem, the cold water outflows from the OTEC plant show potential for new
commercial ventures like Mari-culture and horticulture, as demonstrated in Hawaii, USA, the extensive coastal-based fisheries and a potentially
unique means to protect critical ecosystems from the negative consequences of increased ocean temperatures. However, this potential will most
likely be realized in the medium to long-term, after OTEC has proven its commercial scale as an energy system. There is need to show that the
system can be used without the negative environmental impact. Based on deep-water simulation research at the IOES, the way to prevent
negative environmental impacts will be to design the pipeline system that will return the outflow from the OTEC plant to the appropriate ocean
depth that coincided with the temperature of the combined water outlet from the plant. For example, in the case of a 10-megawatt plant using the
Uehara cycle, such a plant would have an output of about 29 tons per second of water at about 23 degrees Celsius, and about 30 tons per second
at about 10 degrees Celsius. The combined outflow would be about 59 tons and at a temperature of about 16 degrees Celsius. Based on its
temperature and depth profile shown in the island of Jamaica in Figure.7, the return pipe would be placed at a depth of between 350 and 400
meters. However, this has to be demonstrated before OTEC will be given a positive Environmental Impact Assessment. Reliability of System
While there is great interest at the policy level and among the sustainable development community in SIDS regarding OTEC, there is not
the same degree of interest by the leadership of electric utilities. The leadership of the electric utilities are
highly sceptical about endorsing new technologies, and unlikely to endorse any technology until it has been
proven and they can get hard performance reliability and cost data. If the new energy technology is to be
considered as the base load capacity, then the leadership become even more demanding about the data. The
best way to convince this critical segment of the SIDS professionals is by having an OTEC plant on commercial
scale, operating under conditions similar those in their country.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 181
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No Solvency - Inefficient
OTEC is inefficient

Barry 8 (Christopher, naval architect and co-chair of the Society of Naval Architects
[http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/ate/story?id=52762] Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and CO2
Sequestration/ July 1, 2008)
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) extracts solar energy through a heat engine operating across
the temperature difference between warm surface water and cold deep water. In the tropics, surface
waters are above 80°F, but at ocean depths of about 1,000 meters, water temperatures are just above freezing
everywhere in the ocean. This provides a 45 to 50°F temperature differential that can be used to extract
energy from the surface waters. Of course, with such a low differential, the Carnot efficiencies of such
a scheme are very low; for a system operating between 85°F and 35°F the maximum theoretical efficiency
is only 9.2% and real efficiencies will be less. Regardless, OTEC has been demonstrated as a technically
feasible method of generating energy.

Plant would use 30% of power generated and may get worse – not competitive

Metz 77 [William D, Tenure as Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island, Ocean Thermal Energy: The Biggest Gamble in Solar
Power, Science, New Series, Vol. 198, No. 4313, (Oct. 14, 1977), pp. 178-180]
It takes energy to move water around, and the pumps on an OTEC station would consume 30 percent of the
gross power output of the plant, according to the engineering design studies done for the government program.
Such an energy balance is scandalously poor by the standards of present-day generating plants, which
typically use less than 1 percent of their power for internal needs. Any slippage in the performance of the plant
heat exchangers could make the OTEC energy balance even worse, and a thin layer of marine slime on the heat
ex- changer surfaces could push the energy balance into the red.

DOE study concludes OTEC has a small energy output

Johnsen 4 [Senior Correspondent - Chemical and Engineering News Writer, Power from moving water,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2561, October 3, 2004]
This dilemma is most obvious in the U.S., where there is no federal ocean energy program. Andrew R. Trenka, a
project officer for Department of Energy biomass programs, was DOE's technical lead on ocean energy when it had
a program 15 years ago. He says DOE did an assessment of ocean energy potential in the early 1990s after
investing around $250 million, nearly all in ocean thermal energy technologies. DOE decided that the oceans'
electricity contribution would be small and geographically localized and the return on investment would be
marginal compared with wind, photovoltaic, or biomass. The program was soon shut down.

OTEC plants only run at 3% efficiency

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Operating Efficiencies-Overall Cermal operating efficiencies for most OTEC plants are expected to be in the
2-3% range. However, certain pilot-plant designs use larger than normal warm-water flow rates to take advantage
of less expensive heat exchangers. Such designs will have efficiencies in the 1.0-1.5% range.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 182
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No Solvency – Slime

Only a millimeter of slime would reduce performance by 60 perecent

Fetkovich 78 [John G, Department of Technology and Human Affairs, Washington University, OTEC: Feasibility and Costs, Science,
New Series, Vol. 199, No. 4327, (Jan. 27, 1978), pp. 368-370+372]
In the original article, Metz said, "Experiments conducted so far in the OTEC [ocean thermal energy conversion]
program indicate that only millimeter of slime would reduce the plant's performance by 60 percent." This is
technically incorrect. However, it is incorrect only in that no experiments yet conducted have been allowed to
continue long enough for 1/4 millimeter of slime to accumulate. Avery, in his letter (9 Dec. 1977, p. 990), replies
that "No experience indicates that 1/4 millimeter of slime growth on marine hardware would reduce OTEC
performance by 60 percent." This is technically correct for the reason stated above. However, it is fundamentally
misleading. If, for example, we assume OTEC heat exchanger tubes 1 inch in diameter with a seawater flow
velocity inside of about 6 feet per second, 1/4 millimeter of slime growth will indeed reduce the heat transfer
coefficient by about 60 percent if biological slime has a thermal conductivity equal to that of seawater ..' (In fact it
probably has a lower conductivity, so the degree of degradation will be even greater.) Let no one then bemisled.
Metz's statement was indeed a fair characterization.

No inhibitors for slime

Fetkovich 78 [John G, Department of Technology and Human Affairs, Washington University, OTEC: Feasibility and Costs, Science,
New Series, Vol. 199, No. 4327, (Jan. 27, 1978), pp. 368-370+372]
The point is in any case not the important one. There is no longer any doubt that slime growth will reach
unacceptable levels if it is not inhibited. The critical question, about which there exists so far only the most
preliminary evidence, concerns whether a feasible method can be developed to prevent or remove slime
growth. Most of us who are working on this problem feel confident that it can be done, but this has yet to be
convincingly demonstrated. Of greater concern are the potentially more serious problems of scale formation
and corrosion in the OTEC heat exchanges which may take years to resolve. More effort should be concentrated
in these areas
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 183
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No Solvency – High Risk

No solvency – OTEC is high risk, failure imminent

Metz 77 [William D, Tenure as Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island, Ocean Thermal Energy: The Biggest Gamble in Solar
Power, Science, New Series, Vol. 198, No. 4313, (Oct. 14, 1977), pp. 178-180]
Having one of the few choice locations in the country, the Florida Power & Light Company has studied OTEC per-
haps more than any other utility and found the arguments for it wanting. "The utilities today are faced with a high
risk world but, relatively speaking, the cur- rent concepts for OTEC are really high risk," says FPL's
coordinator for re- search and development, David Jopling. He thinks the concept faces six to ten major
technological ceilings. "Perhaps it is not impossible," he says, "but they just don't know what they are up
against." Jopling, like the Academy, however, does not wish an end to OTEC. Instead, he observes that "the best
promotion for the project right now is a healthy realism."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 184
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No Solvency – Materials

Double bind – Either the plant will be too cheap and corrode or it will be to expensive and
not enough will be built

Metz 77 [William D, Tenure as Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island, Ocean Thermal Energy: The Biggest Gamble in Solar
Power, Science, New Series, Vol. 198, No. 4313, (Oct. 14, 1977), pp. 178-180]
Enormous heat exchangers will be required. As projected now, the surface area would cover as much as
700,000 square meters. The size depends on performance, which is generally recognized to be a crucial
question for the OTEC program. (The government program, ad- ministered by the Department of Energy as of 1
October, has issued a $3.5-million contract to TRW to test a 1-megawatt heat exchanger on the old Howard Hughes-
CIA special equipment barge.) If the heat exchangers are built of cheap aluminum, corrosion could be a severe
problem, according to the Academy review. If they are built of expensive titanium, one OTEC plant would
exhaust the entire annual national production.

20 times less cost-competitive then a power plant

Fetkovich 78 [John G, Department of Technology and Human Affairs, Washington University, OTEC: Feasibility and Costs, Science,
New Series, Vol. 199, No. 4327, (Jan. 27, 1978), pp. 368-370+372]
The letter by Duguay (9 Dec. 1977, p 22. 992) is a good illustration of another aspect of the communication
problem. Certainly the casual, or nonexpert, reader might be convinced by it that the OTEC program should be
abandoned. .Before doing so, however, it would be "I'' well to look more carefully at Duguay's arguments. In his
first paragraph he argues, based on relative efficiencies, that the cost of a competitive OTEC power plant would
have to be 20 times less than the cost of an equivalent land-based power plant." Here, he seems to mean by
"equivalent" that the plants have Congressional equal thermal energy input. (Clearly, if he means equal output,
competitive Science Fellowship: plants would then just need to cost about the same.) From this, he concludes in his
Child Policy second paragraph that OTEC sup- Applications Invited porters claim to be able to build and
maintain a power plant that would be 15 times cheaper than a land-based The American Association for
power plant."

OTEC is not cost-competitive or reliable

Johnsen 4 [Senior Correspondent - Chemical and Engineering News Writer, Power from moving water,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2561, October 3, 2004]
For decades, scientists and engineers have tried to channel this potential into electricity with small success. They've
found that containing and converting this potent power to electricity is far from simple or cost-effective. But
over the past few years, ocean energy advocates around the world have been claiming that technology is improving
and that they are onto something big. Like renewable energy entrepreneurs in wind and solar power, those in ocean
energy hope that global warming, high fossil fuel prices, growing worldwide electricity demand, and public
opposition to environmentally invasive, big-scale energy projects will give them the push they need to get ocean
energy to the marketplace. These ocean technologists face a difficult task, however. First and foremost, the
ocean is a wild partner. More than a few technologies have been torn apart when actually placed in the sea.
And there is the money problem. "They can't get government or private R&D funding without showing their
device is feasible, and they can't prove it is feasible without R&D money to develop the technology," says
Roger Bedard, manager for wave and tidal flow energy business development for the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI), a utility-funded nonprofit center.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 185
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No Solvency – No Program

U.S. has no program for ocean energy – last program was a drop in the bucket

Johnsen 4 [Senior Correspondent - Chemical and Engineering News Writer, Power from moving water,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2561, October 3, 2004]
This dilemma is most obvious in the U.S., where there is no federal ocean energy program. Andrew R. Trenka,
a project officer for Department of Energy biomass programs, was DOE's technical lead on ocean energy when it
had a program 15 years ago. He says DOE did an assessment of ocean energy potential in the early 1990s after
investing around $250 million, nearly all in ocean thermal energy technologies. DOE decided that the oceans'
electricity contribution would be small and geographically localized and the return on investment would be
marginal compared with wind, photovoltaic, or biomass. The program was soon shut down.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 186
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No Solvency – Long Timeframe

Our Disads will always outweigh on timeframe

Johnsen 4 [Senior Correspondent - Chemical and Engineering News Writer, Power from moving water,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2561, October 3, 2004]
Trenka's favorite project, ocean thermal energy, which uses differences in temperature between near-surface and
deep-ocean waters to generate power, required huge investments and a long payback, he says. Tidal and wave
energy are the only technologies in play today, he adds.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 187
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No Solvency – No Sites

Any energy OTEC produces will be stranded at sea

Barry 8 (Christopher, naval architect and co-chair of the Society of Naval Architects
[http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/ate/story?id=52762] Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and CO2
Sequestration/ July 1, 2008)
There are many practical issues as well. Again, with ammonia as the example, ammonia attacks copper
bearing alloys, but only copper alloys resist marine fouling, and only a small amount of fouling is enough to
drastically cut efficiency. Systems using ammonia have to have sophisticated waterside cleaning systems.
There are also issues with the design of efficient low head turbines, very high performance heat
exchangers, the long cold water pipe, and the platform, if it is floating (most OTEC designs are floating
platforms, "grazing" in the open ocean). Finally, there is the problem of using the energy. Most OTEC
plants will be far at sea, because deep water in the tropics is generally far from energy markets, so the
energy is "stranded." Since the 70's a few developers have been experimenting with approaches using
different fluids, with improved heat exchanger and turbine technology and innovative platform and cold
water pipe designs and materials.

Only 5 locations have the setting for OTEC

Johnsen 4 [Senior Correspondent - Chemical and Engineering News Writer, Power from moving water,
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2561, October 3, 2004]
PART OF THE PROBLEM, he says, is that there are only five states with good tidal flows and maybe eight
states with good waves. "The question is: Will Congress support something with so few states? We know we
must diversify the nation's energy, but as the saying goes, 'Electrons flow according to the laws of physics;
electricity flows according to the laws of politics.'

OTEC will be placed by cost only

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
For most situations the placement and configuration of the cold water pipe will be constrained purely by
economic conaiderations. However, the perceived lack of flexibility does not seem to imply any significant
disadvantage in terms of potential environmental impact and risk to fisheries. Regarding the warm water intake, it is
felt that more information is needed on the microscale distribution of fish eggs and larvae. However, in general, it is
believed that warm water intakes placed below the surface, where many fish eggs rend to concentrate, and above the
chlorophyll maximum may be most desirable. This suggests a placement between about 10 and 40 m. Additionally,
if there was some flexibility over the location of the plant, particularly its warm water intake, a plant located further
offshore might imply a lower environmental and fishery risk on qualitative grounds, other factors being equal.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 188
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Marine Environment Destruction


OTEC causes destruction of fish and environment destruction

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
The concern over fisheries is primarily related to the entrainment and impingement that would result with
the pumping of large volumes of seawater through an OTEC plant, the secondary entrainment caused by the
discharge of OTEC waters. the use of biocides, and the redistribution of ocean properties (e.g., nutrients. trace
metals, heat). The very presence of an OTEC structure might add to these factors due to the attraction or
avoidance of fish and other biota to OTEC structures. There are other potential problems (NOAA 1981a), e.g.,
the leakage or spilling of working fluids to the environment, that are not discussed in any detail in this report. The
report has focused on those problems associated with the normal everyday operating conditions of an OTEC plant.

OTEC hurts the oceans – multiple reasons

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Ocean Water Mixing-An OTEC plant's displacement of large quantities of deep ocean water can cause an
upwelling effect that may disturb the natural temperature structure, salinity gradient and levels of dissolved
oxygen, nutrients, and trace metals in the surface waters. Artificial upwelling is not a characteristic of
conventional power plants; therefore, there is little direct analogy to the OTEC situation. However, some
studies that have been made on nutrient distribution and changes in trace metal levels may be of some use in
predicting upwelling effects.

Species will be entrained

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Any organism small enough to pass through the intake screens (approximately 1.3 cm; Sands 1980) will be
entrained in the seawater flowing through the heat exchangers (primary entrainment). During this period,
organisms are subjected to thermal and mechanical stresses as a result of changes in pressure and
temperature, shear and acceleration forces, abrasion, and collision with structures. In addition, organisms
will be subjected to biocides used to clean the surfaces of the heat exchangers. anticorrosion agents, and corrosion
products. Effects on organisms will be due to a combination of these factors The effects of primary entrainment at
conventional power plants have been extensively studied and a number of reviews have been reported (e.g.. Schubel
and Marcy 1978). There is general agreement that while a great many species of organisms cannot survive
passage through the cooling water system, there is a wide range of tolerance among species, and plant design
and operating characteristics are critical factors. Mechanical damage is probably the major single factor
contributing to primary entrainment mortality. The importance of thermal and chemical stress will vary
depending on thermal exposure, biocide treatments, and corrosion rates.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 189
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Marine Environmental Destruction


Chemicals in OTEC affect growth and survival of organisms

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Chemical Additions-Due to the low thermodynamic efficiencies available through the OTEC system (Myers and
Ditmars 1985), the heat transfer rate at the heat exchanger surfaces will be critical. The inhibition of
biofouling due to microorganisms must thus be an integral aspect of OTEC operations. As in coastal power
plants, current thought here supports the need for intermittent chlorination to keep biofouling to a sufficiently low
level. As noted by Hoss and Peters (1983), there is concern over the use of chlorine because of its toxicity. It has
been shown that added chlorine can seriously affect the growth and survival of entrained organisms (Schubel
and Marcy 1978), although there are species-to-species variations and certain synergistic effects with temperature
and trace metals (Hoss et al. 1975, 1977).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 190
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Kills Fish

OTEC hurts fish through temperature, pressure changes and chemical additions

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Organisms entrained by the intakes of an OTEC plant will either be impinged on screens placed to prevent
larger objects from entering and clogging critical parts of the plant, or entrained and transported through the
plant and then discharged. In passage through the plant. entrained organisms will be subject to a number of
stresses such as temperature and pressure changes, and chemical additions. Upon discharge to the environment,
entrained organisms will be redistributed in the water column along with additional organisms entrained into the
discharge plume. The artificial upwelling of nutrients and other constituents contained in the deeper, colder
waters and their subsequent redistribution may also effect some biological changes.

OTEC will kill millions at once

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Impingement at coastal power plants has been an ecological problem (loss of a large number of organisms), an
operational problem (reduction in cooling water flow), and a cost problem (removal and disposal of organisms).
Impingement occurs when organisms too large to pass through the intake screen, are pulled against it, and
are unable to escape due to the current velocity. Schooling fishes are especially susceptible, and impingement
mortalities may involve millions of individuals. In one incident, 2 million menhaden at the Millstone Plant in
Connecticut were impinged and caused a shutdown of the plant by reducing the cooling water flow. These
mortalities are believed by some ecologists to be reaching proportions which may cause population damage
(Van Winkle 1977). As a result, data on impingement of fish have been collected from many operating plants
(Adams 1969; Marcy 1971; Jensen 1974; Uziel 1980)

Massive quick changes in pressure in OTEC means death for fish

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Pressure-Rapid change in hydrostatic pressure IS one of the stresses ti) which organisms are subjected during
entrainment. These pressure changes may be either negative (vacuums within the pump) or positive, and the
magnitude of the change is dependent on design < i t th.2 p1’Lit. It has been suggested that rapid changes in
pressure that occur in power plant cooling water pumps may be potentially damaging to entrained fish
(Marcy et al. 1980). Although much research has been conducted on the effect of pressure change on fish, very little
of it has any direct relevance to the relatively small pressure changes (1-5 atmospheres; 1 atmosphere change
equivalent to a 10-m depth change) to which fish are subjected in power plant cooling systems. Much less
entrainment of organisms is expected in the cold water intake of an OTEC plant, but any entrained organisms will
be exposed to a pressure change of 70-100 atmospheres depending on depth of the intake pipe. Entrained fish
larvae possessing a swim bladder would be very vulnerable to rapid changes in pressure of this magnitude
(Hoss and Blaxter 1979; Blaxter and Hoss 1979).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 191
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Temperature Change Kills

Temperature change from OTEC means instant death

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Unlike conventional power plants where organisms experience only an increase in temperature as they pass
through the condensers, organisms entrained in OTEC plants will experience both increases and decreases in
temperature. Organisms entrained in the warm water will pass through the evaporator, where the
temperature will be decreased by 2-3”C, while organisms entrained in the cold water will pass through the
condenser, where temperature will be increased 2-3°C (U.S. Dept. of Energy 1978). Additionally, organisms will
be subject to larger temperature changes upon mixing of the two effluents (if practiced) and/or discharge to the
environment. For instance, a mixed discharge would effect a temperature drop of about 10°C for the warm-water
organisms and a 10°C increase for any cold-watzr organisms. Entrained organisms will also experience a
redistribution in the water column when discharged with effluent waters. This redistribution could also
expose organisms to a differmt temperature regime. No literature was found on cold shock in fish for the
temperature range and AT expected for the OTEC discharge. Cold shock literature IS limited to describing effects
of rapidly reduced temperatures during the cooler months to new temperatures at or near the low lethal
teniperatures, which produce death by the formation of ice in the tissues or induce primary (respiratory) or
secondary (nerve blockage) chill comas. All reported fish kills or experimental cold shocks involved species in
temperate climates. Chittenden (1972) found that young Alosu sapidissirnu exposed to abrupt temperature
decreases from 24°C to 12°C were not affected, but below 12°C even gradual decreases caused sublethal behavioral
problems. Terpin et al. (1977) showed that Anchou mitchilli died at 10°C when acclimated to 22°C and subjected to
a 12°C decrease in 29 hours. However, no mortality occurred at decreases of 4°C and 7°C. Bccker et al. (1977),
although not working with marine species, Yhowed that differences in response to abrupt temperature changes wcre
found between species, inferring that a general prediction of the effect of cold shock cannot be made to a number of
species. Further, knowledge of thermal requirements of the adults of a species may not be sufficient to predict those
of egg and larval forms. In Brett’s (,1956) review. he states that “ . . the thermal requirements in rhc very early stages
are more exacting than in the adult.” For cggs and larvae of stenothermal species, reduced temperatures, although
not actually “cold,” will retard development and may cause abnormalities. Harada et al. (1978) found that no
yellowfin tuna larvae developed normally in temperatures below 20°C.

Even small temperature changes affect feeding and growth

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Ehrlich (1977) reported that the hatching success of California grunion (I~~urrsrhrersn uis) was significantly
reduced by a nom thermal but unknown component of the effluent from a California power plant. Large
variation in hatching success suggested that the unknown hatching inhibitor in the mater fluctuated during
plmt operation. It is possible that trace metals in the effluent caused the variation, since previous work by
Rosenthal and Alderdice (1976) showed reduced hatching in herring eggs exposed to trace metals. The effects of
small changes in water temperature have been shown by Peters and Angelovic (1973) to be an important factor
in controlling fish feeding and growth. Small changes in temperature (either increases or decreases) in the
discharge plume may, therefore, have an effect on larval fish growth, but this will he very dependent on the
depth at which the discharge occurs and the total area that is impacted
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 192
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Biocides/Chemicals

OTEC exacerbates biocide and chemical use

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
The biocide concern is amplified in an OTEC operation because of the large volumes of water involved, i.e.,
the achievement of a certain concentration for biocidal effectiveness will require the application of large
quantities of biocide. Although the required dose of chlorine will be somewhat site-specific, recent studies indicate
that concentrations of total residual chlorine of about 0.07 mg/L may achieve the desired results (Larsen-Basse and
Daniel 1983). This is well below the new source performance standards (NSPS) requirement for chlorine discharges
from steam electric generating stations, the standards which would most likely apply to OTEC discharges (Myers
and Ditmars 1985). For plants with a steam electric generation capacity of 25-MWe or more, the NSPS specify the
total residual chlorine (TRC) in the cooling water discharge from any single generating unit shall not exceed 0.20
mgiL, and that the duration of chlorine discharge shall not exceed 2 hoursiday. Although chlorine bioassay studies
by Venkataramiah et al. (1981b) suggest that levels less than or equal to 0.5 mgiL may be generally safe, there are
still concerns regarding cumulative effects of continuous discharges that must be further addressed (Venkataramiah
et al. 1981a; U.S. Department of Energy 1981). There is also a potential for synergistic reactions of chlorine with
trace metals and ammonia leaks. Recent studies (Venkataramiah et al. 1981a,b) on marine fishes and zooplankton
have shown that the toxicity of ammonia and chlorine varies with habitat of the species and with duration of
exposure. Within the same species (gray mullet, Mugil cephalus), smaller fish were more sensitive than larger
fish. This work confirms past research on other species and provides further evidence that exposure to
chlorine in marine waters, while not well understood, may present a serious problem and should receive
additional study.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 193
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Plankton

OTEC entrains plankton in turn killing them

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
The information on zooplankton distributions indicated that the CWP will entrain certain zooplankton. It is
also apparent that the deeper the placement of the CWP intake, the fewer the number of zooplankton that will be
entrained. If the CWP intake could be placed beneath the zone within which certain zooplankton undergo diel
migrations (see Zooplankton section), this would also help to minimize entrainment. However, the extension of the
CWP to depths deeper than necessary to achieve the needed AT would be very expensive, since this is one area
where present technology is being advanced. This could also totally upset the financial aspects of a plant since
the CWP construction and deployment costs will comprise a major percentage of the total construction and
deployment costs.

Plankton is critical to human survival.


Julian Cribb 2006 (September 16, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20398844-5003900,00.html, Accessed 6/29/08)
THEY are the most numerous and least considered beings on the planet, yet humanity cannot survive
without them. Invisibly, they form the air we breathe and serve as the fount of life in oceans, rivers and
lakes. Plankton have existed for 3.5 billion years, quietly making our planet habitable for people,
plants and animals. These minute architects are the true builders and shapers of Earth's beauty and
diversity.
Yet individuals are palaces as elegant as Versailles itself: filigreed, roseate, fluted, crenellated, striated, stellate, spinose, perforated, multifoliate, ornamented more wildly and
beautifully than a human mind could conceive. And like many beautiful things, some are deadly, either as the producers of lethal nerve poisons or as the raw material used in
explosives.
In Plankton: a Critical Creation, University of Tasmania marine biologist Gustaaf Hallegraeff has brought the microscopic world of these creatures into vivid focus with a
breathtaking selection of electron microscope images. These are accompanied by a fascinating, and gently reproachful, essay on the wonders of the planktonic universe.
It is the privilege of science to reveal the world we thought we knew in startling and unexpected ways, causing us to view it differently thereafter. Hallegraeff has done just this here,
introducing us to creatures as exquisite as any sculpture and as fit for purpose as any instrument. It is a voyage through the Earth's inner space, depicting organisms as small as a few
millionths of a millimetre and their elaborate structures. These range from the "familiar" blue-green algae, microscopic filaments often toxic, to the vanished fossils of millions of
years ago that built the White Cliffs of Dover and, indeed, much of the world's sedimentary rocks and soils.
He explores plankton with skeletons of calcium and silica in wild and alien or eerily familiar forms. Here is one that resembles the leaning Tower of Pisa, down to the very columns.
Here, others like a radiant star, a sunburst, a vol-au-vent, a Catherine wheel, a flower, a host of trumpets, a loufa ... It all raises the question: does the shape of man-made devices hark
back to some ancestral patterning perfected and implanted a billion years ago?
Plankton are certainly providing inspiration for modern architects and, increasingly, the question of how they grow these elaborate and robust structures is being explored by
nanotechnologists, eager to unlock their biochemical secrets in order to revolutionise the way we makethings.
Besides their role in producing oxygen, processing CO2, absorbing nutrients and underpinning the
global food chain, these microscopic plants serve in other ways: their mildly abrasive skeletons are
used in toothpaste, to make concrete and filter swimming pools.
Perhaps most importantly, they help to regulate the Earth's climate, producing the chemicals that
allow clouds to form. Of great concern, says Hallegraeff, is the thought that if the gradual acidification of
the oceans by human production of CO2 destroys these creatures, the results could be catastrophic
both for the climate and the global food web. At present, it is thought plankton absorb half the world's
CO2 from theatmosphere.
Hallegraeff traces his own journey of fascination with this microscopic world from his childhood in The Netherlands, growing up a few kilometres from
where Anton van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope in 1673 and revealed the invisible world that engulfs us. Gazing at the whirling green creatures in a
drop of pond water, the young Hallegraeff was hooked for life, pursuing his studies into the largely unexplored biological realm of Australia and the
southern seas. Here most people's awareness was restricted to periodic panics about algal blooms in drinking water, toxic red tides and the risks of paralytic
shellfish poisoning or ciguatera. He decided to redress the balance, revealing planktonic life in all its diversity, wonder and beneficial -- as well as risky --
aspects.
"In the past 30 years," he writes, "scientific appreciation of the global importance of single-celled
microscopic plants and animals has escalated. It is now obvious that most of the action on our planet is
in the plankton.
"Life originated in the primeval fluid of the plankton world. The microbial engine of the plankton
plays a key role in our planet's ability to adapt to climate change. It is perilous to our own survival to
ignore this critical creation."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 194
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Turn – Overfishing

OTEC exacerbates overfishing by attracting more fish

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
In comparison to floating OTEC structures, the tower and manmade island designs of OTEC plants are
expected to function as artificial reefs. duplicating those conditions that cause concentrations of fishes and
invertebrates on natural reefs and rough bottom areas. The effect of tower designs would be similar to that of
offshore oil platforms, which have resulted in an increase in offshore sport fishing in the' immediate area.
Numerous studies have described the variety of fish which have been attracted to artificial reefs at various sites. In
all studies, the many different species found generally represent similar basic broad behavioral classes, such as the
Turner et al. (1969) reef or nonreef associates (the former further split into resident or semiresident). Four reefs were
established at various sites in Hawaii between 1960 and 1973, using primarily car bodies, damaged concrete pipes,
and old car tires filled with mortar. The southern boundary of a reef created on one of these sites (Waianae) on the
western coast of the Island ofOahu is at lat. 2lo25.1'N, long. 158"11.6'W (Kanayama and Onizuka 1973) only 3
miles from the present OTEC benchmark survey site at lat. 21"19.5'N, long. 158"12.5'W offshore of Kahe Point.
Sampling along a fish transect established before the reef construction indicated the presence of 32 different
species and a standing crop density of 103 pounds of fish per acre. The reef was constructed in two sections,
one composed of car bodies and the other of damaged concrete pipes. Thirty species of fishes (standing crop
estimated at 1,271 pounddacre) were present at the car body section. This was a tenfold increase over the pre-
reef count. The concrete pipe section showed a fivefold increase of 45 fish species and a standing crop
estimated at 496 pounddacre.

Overfishing causes ecological extinction

Dobrzynski 2 (Tanya, OCEANA marine ecosystem specialist, OCEANS AT RISK: Wasted Catch and the
Destruction of Ocean Life, http://www.oceana.org/uploads/bycatch_final.pdf)
The impact of fishing on ocean ecosystems can hardly be overstated. Nineteen prominent scientists recently
concluded that “ecological extinction caused by overfishing preceded all other human disturbance to coastal
ecosystems, including pollution, degradation of water quality, and anthropogenic climate change.”7 Their
study emphasized that harm to one species can have damaging ripple effects throughout an entire ocean
ecosystem. For instance, in the Gulf of Maine, overfishing of dominant predators that eat sea urchins, such as
Atlantic cod, caused a population explosion among sea urchins in the 1920s. Because sea urchins eat kelp, the
population explosion caused the destruction of the region’s kelp forests, leading to faster coastal erosion rates.8
Similarly, predators may be forced to eat new species, if too many of their prey are killed as bycatch, with potential
effects throughout the ecosystem. Bycatch may also alter ecosystems as a result of the tremendous volume of dead
material added as food, potentially causing major disruptions to the food chain.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 195
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

***OTEC Good***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 196
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

A2: Low Energy Production


OTEC is more energy efficient than other current technologies.

Savage 93 [Marshall T, founder of the First Millennial Foundation The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps, pg.
33]
The pulsing heart of Aquarius is an OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Converter). The OTEC produces electrical
power by exploiting the temperature differential between warm surface waters and cold deep waters.
Aquarius has a long tap root that penetrates to the cold deep waters of the sea. By taking in warm water from the
surface and sucking up cold water from the depths, OTECs generate electrical power. Most power generating
facilities conform to the zero -sum rules. They consume more energy than they produce. A typical nuclear
power plant consumes 3000 calories of energy for every 1000 it produces. This is not unlike the thermodynamics
of a cow who consumes three pounds of grain for every pound of milk she produces. Unlike conventional power
plants, OTECs are net energy producers. An OTEC consumes only 700 calories of energy for every 1000 it
produces.

OTEC consumes energy only from the sun, so it’s effectively infinite.

Savage 93 [Marshall T, founder of the First Millennial Foundation The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps, pg.
33-34]
This is a characteristic that OTECs share with most solar powered devices, including green plants. The OTEC
consumes no fuel, so the only energy the system requires is that needed to construct and operate it. By virtue
of its ability to absorb solar energy, and to use that energy to impose higher states of order on the materials in
its environment, the OTEC, like a living plant, is able to operate in defiance of the second law of
thermodynamics. Of course, the law is not violated in the broader universe, since the sun is providing the energy,
and it is running down, just as the law demands. But it will be a long time before we have to include the fusion
engine of the sun in our calculations of local entropy. For the time being, we can consider sunlight as a free good,
outside the limits of our earthbound system of energy accounting.

OTECs can draw energy from the ocean and can produce ten times as much
energy as all other methods combined.

Savage 93 [Marshall T, founder of the First Millennial Foundation The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps, pg.
35]
All heat engines function on the simple proposition that energy will flow from a warmer to a cooler body. In
conventional power plants, the temperature difference is hundreds of degrees. An OTEC operates on a
temperature difference of only 40 degrees. In the tropical seas, surface waters, bathed in the intense light of the
equatorial sun, are heated to 80°+ F. (26.6° C.); deep waters, condemned to centuries in utter darkness, are cooled to
40°F (4.44° C.). This difference in temperature is enough to run a thermal engine, albeit at low efficiency. (The
greater the difference in temperature, the more efficient the engine.) A typical fossil fuel plant will convert 40% of
the energy available in the fuel to electricity.27 An OTEC, will convert only 2.5% of the available energy to
electricity.28 Usually, this would seem a ridiculously low level of efficiency not warranting any consideration
as a realistic source of energy-but there is nothing usual about the sea. At sea, even very low levels of thermal
efficiency are rendered practical by the sheer size of the available resource. Expressed in electrical terms, the
energy resource of the oceans represents a renewable power base of over 200 million megawatts.29 By
comparison, the global installed electrical capacity in 1978 was only one million megawatts.30 In other words, the
total electrical output of mankind represents only a half of one percent of the power latent in the world's
oceans. Even at very low levels of net efficiency, OTECs could produce ten times as much electrical energy as
every other current power source combined.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 197
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

A2: Low Energy Production


There is enough potential energy from OTEC to replace all other forms of power,
while avoiding warming and pollution.

Takahashi and Trenka 96 [Patrick and Andrew, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and
Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, Ocean Thermal
Energy Conversion, , pg. 1-2]
The oceans occupy almost three-quarters of the earth's surface and represent an enormous source of
nonpolluting, inexhaustible energy. They can provide an alternative energy source that can be utilized to
offset reliance on combustion of fossil fuels and their resultant environmental problems of global warming
and air pollution. While many of the major developed nations have conducted exploratory research and
development, and even installed a few commercial facilities, the total operational power available, with the
exception of a French tidal power plant, is far less than 100 megawatts. Conversely, the projected available ocean
power far exceeds the ultimate energy consumption of mankind, making this option extremely attractive,
especially when the environmental implications are considered.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 198
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

A2: No Investors
Companies want to develop OTEC – the only thing stopping them is the
government.

Weare 3 [B.C, "U.S. OTEC Regulations not Budging." Science; Vol. 387, pp. 947-949]
For years commercial industries have asked the United States government for approval to develop Ocean
Thermal Energy Conversion facilities, and for years they have been ignored. It is a silent atrocity as
businesses are being denied the right to develop OTEC facilities, the companies realize the implications of
running out of fossil fuels and they are attempting to take preventative measures but the United States
government is sheltering them from the rights they need… Some companies trusted that the U.S. would quickly
remove restrictions on OTEC and made facilities to be run under U.S. mandates and under U.S. control assuming
the mandates would be lifted and that the companies could begin profiting off of their facilities. In contrast, the
United States has still not lifted their 1981 mandates, and all but one of these OTEC facilities has been shut
down.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 199
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A2: Not Cost Competitive


OTEC will be competitive with fossil and nuclear power.

Kobayashi 2 [Hiroki SP Project Team, Hitachi Zosen Corporation October 17, “Water” from
the Ocean with OTEC”]
A new era in the technology of OTEC has come. Although the density of the energy is comparatively poor, the
ocean provides us a huge amount of thermal energy. Today, the new OTEC technology makes it possible to
extract the energy practically from the ocean. The area suitable for OTEC ranges around the world from the
tropics to semi-tropics. An advantage of the OTEC technology should be emphasized on not only its
tremendous potential for power generation but also the convenient feature that can disperse the power plant
with proper cost of the electricity generation. The cost will become competitive with that of the conventional
fossil fuel burning power plant s as well as nuclear in the near future.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 200
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A2: Temperature

OTEC makes water colder, which improves ocean ecosystems and fishing.

Braun 2 [Harsry, Chairman of the Hydrogen Political Action Committee, “OTEC CAN SAVE THE OCEANS”, September 20]
OTEC plants will profoundly improve ocean ecosystems because they function by pumping the deep cold
water that is rich in nutrients needed for aquatic plants and animals to the surface. Only then can the
nutrients react with sunlight, which then allows the ecosystems to flourish. Indeed, natural cold-water
upwellings are responsible for some of the most fertile fishing grounds in the world, such as those off the west coast
of South America. Thus, deploying large numbers of OTEC plants throughout the tropical seas could
dramatically increase world seafood supplies. Unlike fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, OTEC systems can
dramatically improve the natural ocean environment in which they operate. Detailed OTEC engineering studies
have been completed by a number of investigators, including Lockheed, Bechtel, Grumman, TRW, the Applied
Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University and the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 201
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A2: Overfishing

OTEC structures increase fish reproduction and species

Myers et al 4 [Edward; Donald Hoss; Walter Matsumoto, Michael Seki, Richard Uchida; John Ditmars, Robert Paddock, Ocean Minerals
and Energy Division of National Ocean Service; Southeast Fisheries Center; Southwest Fisheries Center; Energy and Environemntal Systems
Division, The Potential Impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Fisheries,
http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/CR/1986/8672.PDF, May 17, 2004]
Although attraction of fish to man-made structures is well documented, questions still arise regarding the
relationship between artificial structures and fish production. Mallory (1965) believed that a structure
concentrated the fish which constantly migrated in and out, thus serving as an orientation point. This was
true for a number of species (primarily the game fishes) associated with flotsam. Stroud (1965) felt that since the
artificial habitat provides food and shelter. reproduction will be enhanced resulting in an increase in
production and yield of fish. A third hypothesis discussed by Carlisleet al. (1964), Turneret al. (1969), and Dugaset
al. (1979), combines both viewpoints; fish are concentrated by recruitment, and, as the colonization progresses on
the structures, a reproducing resident fish community may evolve. Although this may hold true for many of the
reef fishes, this hypothesis falls short of accounting for overall fish attraction as evidenced primarily for such species
as the deeper water pelagic scombrids and billfishes
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 202
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A2: Plankton

OTEC feeds plankton

The Weekend Australian 1 [Australian National Newspaper, September 22, 2001]


Feed the food that feeds fish to feed people by Stephen Brook The plan by the students and Sydney University
professor Ian Jones will be presented to the Japanese Government in November, and will be examined in detail by
academics and philanthropists who may invest some of the $600 million needed to build a barge to house the
necessary equipment. The process, known as ocean thermal energy conversion, creates food for phytoplankton,
itself a ready food source for stocks of fish. Floating ocean nourishment plants on barges over deep water
would produce ammonia, a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen which can be absorbed by plants as energy.

OTEC promotes plankton growth

Bechtel and Netz 97 [Maria and Erik, OTEC - Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion]
One of the most critical problems of the next century will certainly be global warming. OTEC is unique
among all energy generation the technologies in that not only does it generate no carbon dioxide whatsoever,
but it actually counteracts the effects of fossil fuel use. OTEC involves bringing up mineral-rich water from
the depths of the oceans. This water will promote growth of photosynthetic phytoplankton. These organisms
will absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into their bodies, and when they die, or when the animals, which eat
them, die, the carbon dioxide will be sequestered in the depths of the oceans. The effect is not small. Each 100-
megawatt OTEC plant will cause the absorption of an amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produce by fossil
fuel power plant of roughly the same capacity. No other energy technology ever imagined can do this. OTEC plants
construction, with laying pipes in coastal waters may cause localised damage to reefs and near-shore marine
ecosystems.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 203
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A2: Pollution

OTEC has the potential to replace fossil fuels.

Daniel 2k [Thomas H, Scientific/Technical Director of the Natural


Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL,
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: An Extensive, Environmentally Benign Source
of Energy for the Future, September 2000]
OTEC represents a tremendous potential energy resource for the future. Figure 4 shows contours of the annual
average temperature difference between the sea surface and 1000 m depth for the world ocean. OTEC is feasible
with temperature differences of 20ºC or greater, so all of the area between these contours in Figure 4, i.e. most of the
area of the tropical ocean, is available for extraction of energy. Though the relatively small available temperature
difference limits the achievable thermodynamic efficiency to less than 3%, various methods yield estimates that
about 10 TW (1013 watts) of continuous electrical output could be extracted from this resource without significantly
changing the thermal structure of the ocean[1]. The sun continues to replace heat removed from the surface
layer, and the tremendous mass of the cold deep ocean water (the average temperature of the ocean is 3.5ºC!)
represents an essentially inexhaustible heat sink. OTEC could thus potentially supply most of the present
energy consumption for all human activities, which was estimated at 386 EJ/yr in 1997 (1 EJ = 1018 J, 386 EJ/yr
˜ 1.22 x 1013 W = 12.2 TW)[6]. Other non-nuclear alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources, such as
hydroelectric, wind, photovoltaic, geothermal, waves and tides each have, with presently available technology,
at least two orders of magnitude less potential than OTEC[7].

OTEC would replace fossil fuels for developing nations.

Cohen 92 [Robert, PH.D From Cornell university revitalizing the U.S.


Ocean energy research and development program testimony to the energy and water
Development Subcommittee, http://csf.colorado.edu/authors/Cohen.Robert/Revitalizingoc.energyR&D.htm, April 1, 1992]
Attractive early OTEC electrical markets are found in land-based locations where OTEC-derived electricity
can be generated on shore and substituted for presently oil-derived electricity. Such U.S. OTEC markets
include Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and there is a large, near-term OTEC electrical
market in many developing countries having access to the major oceans. A Science Applications International
Corp. study report by Dunbar (Potential for ocean thermal energy conversion as a renewable energy source for
developing nations, 1981) documents many attractive early markets where OTEC-derived electricity could be
substituted for presently oil derived electicity or used to expand the electrical supply. That report indicates that
there are about 60 developing nations -- including Brazil-- with access to a viable ocean thermal energy
resource within their exclusive economic zones. The Dunbar study also identified about 30 territories of
developed nations -- such as Puerto Rico, Tahiti, and the Virgin Islands -- which are similarly situated. For each
megawatt of existing oil-derived electricity replaced by OTEC generation, about 40 barrels per day of oil
would be conserved. An early market penetration of some 50,000 megawatts could be achieved in such
locations, amounting to a daily global savings of 2 million barrels of oil. Also, likely coproducts of OTEC
plants and of OTEC technology have considerable potential in developing countries. They include coastal
cooling, fresh water production, mariculture, solar ponds, and bottoming cycles.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 204
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A2: Increased Warming

OTEC counteracts the negative effects of fossil fuels and solves global warming.

Bechtel and Netz 97 [Maria and Erik, OTEC - Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion]
One of the most critical problems of the next century will certainly be global warming. OTEC is unique
among all energy generation the technologies in that not only does it generate no carbon dioxide whatsoever,
but it actually counteracts the effects of fossil fuel use. OTEC involves bringing up mineral-rich water from
the depths of the oceans. This water will promote growth of photosynthetic phytoplankton. These organisms
will absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into their bodies, and when they die, or when the animals,
which eat them, die, the carbon dioxide will be sequestered in the depths of the oceans. The effect is not small.
Each 100- megawatt OTEC plant will cause the absorption of an amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that
produce by fossil fuel power plant of roughly the same capacity. No other energy technology ever imagined can
do this. OTEC plants construction, with laying pipes in coastal waters may cause localised damage to reefs
and near-shore marine ecosystems.

Even if all of the world’s energy needs were powered by OTEC, it would only
reduce sea temperatures by less than 1 percent.

Braun 2 [Harry, Chairman of the Hydrogen Political Action Committee, “OTEC CAN SAVE THE OCEANS”, September 20]
It follows that all of the impending environmental problems that will result if those remaining fossil fuels are
extracted, shipped and burned could be avoided. Moreover, Professor Zener calculated that even if 100
percent of the world's energy needs were provided by OTEC systems, and even assuming the entire world
was consuming energy at the rate that the U.S. does, the surface temperature of the tropical oceans would
only be lowered by less than one degree Centigrade. Given the current concerns regarding global warming, this
slight drop in ocean temperatures could another important by-product of the large-scale deployment of OTEC
systems.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 205
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A2: Water Pollution

OTEC produces fresh water and prevents damage to the environment.

Braun 3 [Harry, Chairman of the Hydrogen Political Action Committee June 18, “SAVING OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS WHILE MAKING
AMERICA ENERGY INDEPENDENT” http://www.phoenixproject.net/releases/prpdf/oceand.pdf, June 18]
OTEC systems use the solar-heated seawater near the surface of the oceans and the very cold water that is
about 1,500 feet below the surface, to generate electricity. Because these elements are constant, OTEC systems
can operate 24-houyrs a day, 7 days a week, regardless of weather conditions. And because the cold deep
water is nutrient -rich, once it is brought to the surface, it can then react with the sunlight allowing the
populations of fish and other sea life to explode. Even more amazing is the fact that once the cold water is
used by the OTEC ship to condense the vaporized solar-heated sea water that is located near the surface,
immense amounts of fresh water is produced as a by-product. As such, the deployment of these sea-based
solar hydrogen energy systems fundamentally protect the ocean ecosystems from over-fishing and oil spills,
and providing vast quantities pollution-free hydrogen, seafood and fresh water in the process. OTEC was
initially conceived in the 1880s by the French physicist, d’Arsonval, and the first OTEC power plant was build on
Cuba in the 1930s. The OTEC ship concept on the left below was developed in the 1980s by the Applied Physics
Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University. The OTEC design on the right was developed by TRW, and other OTEC
designs have developed by Grumman, Lockheed and the University of Hawaii. Note that all of the OTEC designs
are characterized by a cold water pipe that is used to pump up the near freezing water found deep below the surface.

OTEC can produce large quantities of fresh water.

Bechtel and Netz 97 [Maria and Erik, OTEC - Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion]
As the peoples of the world grown more prosperous, there will be a demand for higher quality food. Industry
agriculture and commerce will require more fresh water. It is possible to use this resource to produce fresh
water instead of producing electric power if there is a large ask for fresh water. The fresh water appearances
when the cold water is put into contact with the vapour from the warm water stream in a large box. The
vapours condense on the secondary heat exchangers, leaving the salt behind the warm water stream. The yield of
fresh water from a 100-megawatt power plant would be approximately 33,000,000 cubic meter per year, comparable
to a flow of a medium-sized river. This is enough to support the city of Norrköping with water during a whole year.
This water is completely salt-free, suitable for all agricultural, commercial, industrial and domestic uses. Besides
desalinised water you also can get by-products as ammonia, methanol. Hydrogen can be electrolysed from
seawater and mixed with nitrogen to from ammonia for easy transportation from the floating plants.

OTEC puts out fresh water as a bi-product – this is as efficient as desalination in


creating fresh water.

Aquarius Rising 98 [Planned research and eco-tourist facility of the First


Millennial Foundation, http://www.trellis.demon.co.uk/otec.html, February 1, 1998]
The first bi-product is nutrient rich cold water from the deep ocean. The cold "waste" water from the OTEC
is utilised in two ways. Primarily the cold water is discharged into large contained ponds where multi-species
mariculture is performed, producing harvest yields which far surpass naturally occurring cold water
upwelling zones, just like agriculture on land. The cold water is also available as chilled water for either air
conditioning systems or more importantly for refrigeration systems, most likely linked with creating cold
storage facilities for preserving seafood. When the cold water has been used it is released to the deep ocean.
The second bi-product is fresh water. A small 1 MW OTEC is capable of producing some 4,500 cubic meters of
fresh water per day, enough to supply a population of 20,000 with fresh water. OTEC-produced fresh water
compares very favourably with standard desalination plants, in terms of both quality and production costs.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 206
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Politically Unpopular

Plan is unpopular—environmentalists and the feds prove

Freedman 8 [Becca, Political Analyst for Harvard Political Review, An Alternative Source Heats Up, Examining the Future of Ocean
Thermal Energy Conversionm http://hprsite.squarespace.com/an-alternative-source-heats-up/, June 12, 2008]
Even environmentalists have impeded OTEC’s development. According to Penney, people do not want to see
OTEC plants when they look at the ocean. When they see a disruption of the pristine marine landscape, they
think pollution. Given the risks, costs, and uncertain popularity of OTEC, it seems unlikely that federal
support for OTEC is forthcoming. Jim Anderson, co-founder of Sea Solar Power Inc., a company specializing in
OTEC technology, told the HPR, “Years ago in the ’80s, there was a small [governmental] program for OTEC
and it was abandoned…That philosophy has carried forth to this day. There are a few people in the Department
of Energy who have blocked government funding for this. It’s not the Democrats, not the Republicans. It’s a
bureaucratic issue.”

Energy policy results in political gridlock due to opposing interests

Podesta 3 [John D, VISITING PROFESSOR OF LAW AT GEORGETOWN


UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER “The Future of Energy Policy” Foreign Affairs, August 2003]
Unfortunately, energy policymaking in the United States in recent years has been neither decisive nor strategic. U.S.
energy policy is reminiscent of Mark Twain's quip about the weather: everyone talks about it, but no one does
anything. This inertia has deep roots. Vested interests -- in the oil, utility, and transportation industries, for
example -- have been powerful economic and political players, protecting the status quo and brooking little
interference from the outside. Similarly, the environmental lobby has proved itself able to block proposals it
opposes but less successful in advancing initiatives it favors. As a consequence, little progress has been made
toward breaking the gridlock.

There is opposition to any changes in energy sources

Leslie 97 [Jacques, Dawn of the Hydrogen Age Wired magazine


http://hotwired.wired.com/collections/space_exploration/5.10_hydrogen1.html, October 1997]
The irony is that for all of this technology's potential benefits, the one thing it notably lacks is strong public
support. As William Hoagland, president of the fledgling advocacy group Hydrogen 2000, points out, "There are a
lot of political and other forces supporting the conventional fuel structure, and we don't have a hydrogen
industry or a public constituency asking for change." The US government has spent hundreds of millions of
dollars in fuel cell research and development over several decades, but in recent years, as that investment
hasfinally borne fruit, the public perception - well represented in Congress - is that fuel cells are a stagnant
technology. "The last few years have created a lag between what fuel cells can do, what funding ought to be,
and what everybody's understanding of them is," Romm says.
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Politically Popular

Plan is popular – increased interest now

Northwest Public Power Association 6 [The West Coast and ocean renewable energy, Washington D.C.
Report, http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28797375_ITM, November 1, 2006]
Congress, regulators, and the ocean renewable energy industry have all been ramping up activity over the last
18 months to accommodate increased interest in converting the ocean's energy to renewable power. While
ocean technologies have been improving over the years, increased political interest in developing new renewable
energy resources and reducing domestic dependence on foreign energy sources is giving the industry a boost.
This signals a change in attitude for the potential of ocean energy as it was dealt a significant blow in the 1970s,
setting back development and innovation for decades.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 208
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***Hydropower***
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No Solvency – Hydro not Commercially Feasible

Hydropower not commercially feasible


In Business 5 (May/June, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5378/is_200505/ai_n21375349)
WHILE hydropower technologies show great promise, they still face significant hurdles on the road to
commercialization. Free-flow hydropower and wave power demonstration projects are essential to moving
the industry towards commercialization, There is still very little experience with the technologies in the
field. Issues regarding efficiency, power delivery, longevity in underwater environments and
environmental impacts are yet to be proven. "Deployment is the big challenge; all technologies have to
prove their concepts," says Mike Bahleda of the Electric Power Research Institute. "Every time you get a
unit in the water you are closing the information gap."
Deployment is also a critical step in validating the economic case for the technologies. "Economically,
most of these technologies are more than doable," observes Bahleda. "But you do need to be careful
about looking at the current financial numbers. None of these technologies have been deployed in the
field." Bahleda believes getting some field experience is the only way to design robust structures and
understand real operating costs. Tom Denniss, Chief Executive of Energetech, agrees: "All technologies need
to go through a learning process. We just need the chance to get some projects out there, The sooner we get
projects, the sooner the costs will fall."
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Dams->Methane

Dam production will have a net increase on global warming- plant and animal matter will
get trapped underwater and release methane.

USA Today 7(September 26, http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-09-26-china-dams_N.htm)


China is scrambling to build massive hydropower dams to curb pollution and slake its thirst for
energy, but scientists warn that reservoirs can also worsen global warming by emitting a powerful
greenhouse gas.
Methane, which traps heat much more efficiently than carbon dioxide, is produced by plants and
animals rotting underwater and released when that water rushes through hydropower turbines.
In a country that is already the world's top hydropower generator and aims to more than double capacity,
dams could raise methane emissions by around 8%, recent research shows.

Hydropower contributes more to global warming than coal or oil powerplants.

IOL News.com 6 (December 08,http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=31&art_id=qw1165558865413S360)


Hydropower has always been considered the cleanest forms of power generation, but a study published in Taiwan on
Friday showed that hydropower contributes to global warming.
According to the study conducted across Southeast Asia by the National Sun Yat-sen University and the National
Central University, hydropower causes much more global warming than coal- or oil-fired power stations.
"Hydropower has always been considered the cleanest form of power generation. But as dams prevent
organic matters from flowing down stream, organic matters trapped at the bottom of reservoirs are deprived
of the oxygen they need to decompose, thus producing methane and nitrous oxide," Professor Chen Chen-tong
of the National Sun Yat-Sen University said.
Chen said methane and nitrous oxide have different effects on global warming.
"One ton of methane equals 21 tons of carbon dioxide and one ton of nitrous oxide equals 200 tons of carbon
dioxide," he said.
Chen warned that China's Three Gorges Dam will produce serious global-warming effects because the dam has
blocked 75 per cent of the organic matters from flowing downstream.
The Three Gorges Dam built in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, began operation on May 20. The dam, the
world's largest, is 185 metres high, 2 309 metres long and eight metres wide at the
top, and can produce 18,2 kilowatts of electricity each year.
Chen and his team spent three years studying rivers, lakes and reservoirs across Southeast Asia, to evaluate the
impact of reservoirs on global warming. - Sapa-DPA
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Dams->Methane

Continued use of fossil-fuels would be preferable to building damns, they contribute to the
release of methane.

Giles 6 (Jim, “Methane quashes green credentials of hydropower,” Nature 444, 524-5)
Yet the clean, green image of dams may have been seriously overstated. Researchers are gathering in
Paris next week to discuss greenhouse-gas emissions from tropical reservoirs. Some of the latest findings
point to a disturbing conclusion: that the global-warming impact of hydropower plants can often
outweigh that of comparable fossil-fuel power stations. If that's correct, current energy strategies,
particularly in developing nations, will need to be rethought.
The problem lies with the organic matter in the reservoir. Large amounts are trapped when land is
flooded to create the dam, and more is flushed in after that. In the warm water of tropical dams, this
matter decays to form methane and carbon dioxide. Although both are greenhouse gases, the main worry
is methane, which has more than 20 times the warming impact of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
In the specific case of Balbina, there is now a rough consensus: in terms of avoiding greenhouse-gas
emissions, a fossil-fuel plant would have been better.
But that is where the agreement ends. On one side of the debate is Philip Fearnside, a conservation biologist
at the National Institute for Research in the Amazon in Manaus. His work, based mainly on theoretical
calculations, looks at water leaving dams. Many dams release water from several metres below the surface,
so the flow goes through an abrupt pressure change. Fearnside calculates that this causes methane release,
much as carbon dioxide fizzes out when carbonated drinks are opened. His latest results suggest that a
typical tropical hydropower plant will, during the first ten years of its life, emit four times as much
carbon as a comparable fossil-fuel station.

Hydropower produces more greenhouse gases than burning oil or coal.

News.com 7 (September 04, http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22360233-2,00.html)


The world's dams are contributing millions of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gases and spurring on
global warming, according to a US environmental agency.
International Rivers Network executive director Patrick McCully today told Brisbane's Riversymposium
rotting vegetation and fish found in dams produced surprising amounts of methane - 25 times stronger
than carbon dioxide.
"Often it's accepted that hydropower is a climate friendly technology but in fact probably all reservoirs
around the world emit greenhouse gases and some of them, especially some of the ones in the tropics,
emit very high quantities of greenhouse gases even comparable to, in some cases even much worse than,
fossil fuels like coal and gas," Mr McCully said.
He said when water flow was stopped, vegetation and soil in the flooded area and from upstream was
left to rot, as well as fish and other animals which died in the dam.
They then released carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the air.
"Basically they're factories for converting carbon into methane and methane is a very powerful
greenhouse gas - it's less known than carbon dioxide but it's actually about 25 times stronger than carbon
dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere."
Mr McCully said global estimates blamed dams for about a third of all methane emissions worldwide.
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Dams->Methane

Dams are already responsible for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Jakarta Post 8 (July 6, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/05/03/constructing-dams-vs-


global-warming.html

Large dams are large greenhouse gas (GHG) contributors. The World Commission on Dams findings have
shown that dam water inundates large tracts of land (including forests, stones of historical sites, housing
materials and fields), whose anaerobic reactions from decaying organic material emits greenhouse gases
-- which at present contributes up to 28 percent of the world's total emissions.
The International Rivers Network assessed that power dams in the Amazon basin produced up to 45 times
more GHG (including methane and carbon dioxide) than by naturally powered plants. As dam turbines
churn up the dam water, these GHG's are released into the atmosphere.
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Dams Kill Biodiversity

Dams destroy biodiversity by preventing variance in waterflows.

Allen 0 (David, Professor School of Natural Resources and Environment University of Michigan, “Dams and Rivers: Human and
Ecological Consequences,” Introduction to Global Change, http://www.earthscape.org/t1/ald01/)

Dams have many harmful effects on rivers. They change the physical environment, altering the
variation and cycles of flow that occur daily, seasonally, and inter-annually. Rivers are powerful engines
of erosion. Over time they wear away mountains, transport sediments and chemicals to the sea, and shape the
landscapes through which they flow. The river channel itself is in a dynamic equilibrium, shaped by "scour"
during flood events, and "fill" when flow recedes. Islands form in larger rivers at points where transported
material is deposited. The river channel itself shifts location, wandering back and forth across the floodplain,
while the entire valley floor erodes downward, leaving terraces that mark earlier floodplains.
All of this physical dynamism has enormous biological consequences. Habitat diversity is maintained
and habitats are rejuvenated by the episodic change in river flow. A common effect of dams is to
regulate river flow, effectively "flat-lining" the system. Flow becomes virtually constant year-round, as
dams store flood waters, and release it later during normal periods of low flow. Temperature can become very
constant, if the water is released from near the bottom of high dams, because water temperature is very
constant and cool at the bottom of deep lakes and reservoirs. Sediments settle out in reservoirs, and so the
river below a dam is Œsediment-starved". It will likely be more transparent, and so more algal growth may
occur. It will be "sediment-starved", and so erosion and down-cutting are common.
The natural flow regime: a paradigm for river conservation and restoration (Poff et al. 1997) describes the
many biological consequences of altered flow regimes. Two of general importance are changes in riparian
vegetation, and damage to fish populations. Riparian (streamside) vegetation is harmed because many
plants depend in complex ways on variation in flow, for replenishment of soil moisture, to keep out
competitors, to disperse seeds, and to favor seedling survival. Fish are affected by disruption of cues to the
spawning cycle, by loss of habitat, by proliferation of non-native species that benefit from regulated by
flow, and by simple blockage of passage.
The effects of dams on salmon has been a lightening rod for dam-related issues. At present (1999-2000), the
dams and salmon of the Snake River are one of the hottest environmental issues today.
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UQ- Salmon Up/Dams Down


Dams are being removed now and the salmon are moving away from extinction.

AP 6 (October 9, “ Salmon Fishing Is Back on Maine River,” Lexis)

However, dam construction, pollution and fishing took their toll. The number of salmon counted at the Veazie
Dam fell from about 3,100 in 1990 to 535 a decade later, and fishing for salmon in Maine was shut down in 1999.
The following year, the federal government listed Atlantic salmon as endangered on eight smaller Maine rivers and
warned that the species was in danger of extinction.
A turnaround has pushed the number of salmon on the Penobscot above 1,000. And a proposed $25 million
restoration project that calls for the removal of two dams and construction of a fish bypass at a third has
raised hopes of further gains.
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Dams Kill Salmon

Dams are directly responsible almost all salmon deaths.

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission 97(http://www.psmfc.org/habitat/salmondam.html, Oregon


Department of Fish and Wildlife, Northwest Power Planning Council, State of Idaho Governor's Office, Bonneville Power
Administration, American Rivers, Sierra Club)

Scientists generally agree that in the Upper Columbia River Basin dams are responsible for the death of
70-96% of the downstream migrating young fish and about 40% of the upstream migrating adults. Many
salmon pass at least 8 major dams on their journey to and from the ocean.
Adult salmon mortality may be due in part to trouble finding and negotiating the fish ladders.
The high death toll for young salmon is caused, in part, by passage through the dam's turbines. Some
are killed directly by the turbines; others are stunned and become easy prey.
Young salmon also die because of the dam-caused changes in migration times. Salmon are genetically
programmed for a one to two week swim to the sea, swept and shielded by the cold, cloudy, fast-flowing
water associated with spring snow melt. Now young salmon may take one to two months trying to find
their way downstream in such still water as the 76 mile reservoir behind the John Day dam. The longer the
migration in the clearer, warmer water, the higher the loss of salmon to predators such as squawfish. In
addition, the salmon may lose the urge to migrate.
The water stored behind the dams turned the arid Columbia Basin into fertile lands through irrigation. That
water also allowed cities to grow and prosper. But now, often, too little water is left in the streams of the
Columbia Basin for salmon survival. In the John Day River, for example, some areas simply dry up in the
summer, killing any fish or salmon eggs present. In other areas, the water gets much hotter than the 68
degrees salmon can tolerate.
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Salmon Key to West-Coast Econ

Salmon harvest are key to the west coast economy.

US Newswire 8 (May 5, “Congress Urged to Act as Bush Administration Fails to Deliver on New Pacific
Northwest Salmon Plan, Lexis)

"The administration's plan not only deliberately ignores science, it ignores economics and the tens of thousands of
people on the West Coast who rely on these fish for their livelihoods. We need abundant, harvestable
populations of salmon for long-term economic stability up and down the coast. This administration continues to
ignore, if not completely abandon, that goal," said Zeke Grader, executive director Pacific Coast Federation of
Fishermen's Associations. "We have a complete disaster on the West Coast this year and this will be devastating
to commercial fishermen from California to Alaska. The collapse of our fishery this year is just one more
example of our desperate need for leadership. Congress must step in to ensure a future for our industry and our
families."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 217
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Dams Kill Economy

Dams hurt our economy- it would be more cost effective to dismantle them than to leave
them standing.

US Newswire 6 (Nov 15, “Lower Snake Dam Removal Will Save Taxpayers Billions of Dollars
and Boost Regional Economy,” Lexis)
Removing four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington state will save U.S. taxpayers and
Northwest electricity consumers billions of dollars, according to a study released today by a coalition of
taxpayer, business and conservation groups.
The study, entitled Revenue Stream, examines the economic impact of dam removal and salmon recovery in
the Pacific Northwest. In addition to taxpayer savings of up to $5 billion, the study finds that increased
tourism, new outdoor recreation, and improved sport and commercial fishing opportunities could
generate more than $20 billion in revenue for the region.
"The bottom line is clear," said David Jenkins, government affairs director for Republicans for
Environmental Protection (REP). "The financial cost of maintaining and operating these dams far
outweighs their benefits. It will be cheaper for taxpayers and better for utility ratepayers to remove
these dams and replace their current benefits than to continue funding the status quo."
Using the best and most recent available information, Revenue Stream presents a side-by-side comparison of
the federal expenses of maintaining and operating the dams versus the costs of removing the dams and
replacing their benefits. The conclusion: With a bottom-line savings of up to $5 billion, removing the four
lower Snake River dams is a smart investment that will return significant dividends to the nation and the
Northwest, through savings to taxpayers and increased economic benefits from new and restored industries.
"This report makes it clear that dam removal is a cost- effective option to restore the nation's Columbia and
Snake River salmon and must be considered," said Steve Ellis, vice president for programs at Taxpayers for
Common Sense. "Taxpayers cannot afford to continue to foot the bill for the expensive failures of the status
quo. If the federal government continues to ignore real solutions like dam removal, taxpayers will be forced
to pay again by shouldering the massive costs of extinction."
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A2: Hatcheries Solve


Dams destroy hatcheries too.

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association 1( October 8,


http://www.pcffa.org/dams.htm)

Unfortunately, hatcheries cannot eliminate the problem of widespread habitat loss. Even hatchery fish
must have sufficient habitat to survive. As a result of habitat destruction, at least 106 major U.S. west
coast salmon runs have already been driven to extinction, and 25 more are now on the federal endangered
species list with many others being proposed. These huge losses have caused havoc within our fisheries. It is
time to say, "Enough!" It is time for some of the worst fish-killing dams to come down.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 219
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Aff- Salmon Dead Now


Salmon are near extinction now.

The Examiner 8 (June 17, http://www.examiner.com/a-


1446199~New_plan_to_balance_NW_salmon_and_dams_challenged.html)

Columbia Basin salmon returns have historically been the West Coast's largest, and once numbered 10
million to 30 million, but overfishing, habitat loss, pollution and dam construction over the past century
have caused their numbers to dwindle precipitously.
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Aff- A2: Dams Kill Salmon

Even though dams have hurt salmon in the past- new legislation means that they couldn’t
hurt salmon or their habitat.

The Examiner 8 (June 17, http://www.examiner.com/a-


1446199~New_plan_to_balance_NW_salmon_and_dams_challenged.html)

Dozens of populations have gone extinct, and 13 are listed as threatened or endangered species, making
it necessary for federal projects such as the hydroelectric system to show they can be operated without
harming them. The last two biological opinions from the Bush administration and an earlier one from the
Clinton administration failed to pass legal muster.

Dams store cold water behind them and can help protect salmon from warming.

CBS 13 News.com 8 (May 1, http://cbs13.com/local/salmon.california.dams.2.713820.html)


California's vast network of reservoirs -- which destroyed more than 5,000 miles of salmon habitat when
their dams were erected decades ago -- could turn out to be a savior for a species on the brink of collapse,
according to a new study.

Those dams store cold water, which the study says will be vital to the salmon's survival as climate
change is expected to warm California's rivers.

"Paradoxically, the very thing that is constraining fish now, we could use those to our advantage," said
study author David Yates, a project scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder,
Colo.
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Aff- A2: Dams Kill Salmon


New dams are built with salmon in mind, there is no risk of salmon deaths.

The Idaho Statesman 6 (July 26, Outdoors: Fish slides add new wrinkle to salmon debate, Lexis)
An engineering wonder that gives young salmon an easier, safer route through dams without reducing
hydropower generation has shifted the debate over endangered salmon. The removable spillway weir, or fish slide, tested
for four years at Lower Granite Dam, is a prototype that federal fisheries and dam managers hope offers an
alternative to removing some dams to save salmon, a symbol of the wild heritage of the region. The slide
allows the fish to migrate through the dam when they're ready, sliding through the spillway like children at a water park. "The fish
slides are the largest improvement in these dams since adult fish ladders were developed," said Robert Lohn, Pacific Northwest director of the National
Marine Fisheries Service.
"They represent the best opportunity for fish passage so long as the dams are in place." Since the 1980s, a debate has raged over the fate of declining
populations of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Much of that debate has centered on the effects of eight Snake and Columbia River
hydroelectric dams, and the best way to get migrating salmon past the dams. Federal officials changed the debate by creating the fish slides they hope will
allow salmon to survive their downstream journey in the river and require less water to be "spilled" over the dams and lost to power generation. These
officials contend the fish slides give them enough improvement in migration that they don't have to breach dams. But state and tribal scientists and salmon
advocates remain skeptical that the fish slides can improve river conditions enough to restore viable populations of salmon to Idaho's largely intact
spawning habitat in the Salmon River and its tributaries. Even though 12 stocks of salmon are listed as endangered or threatened, Idaho's salmon are the
stocks affected primarily by the Snake dams. Here's why scientists says it comes down to the dams: -- Idaho's salmon return at a rate three to four times
lower than salmon that go through only three to four dams. -- Much of central Idaho's spawning habitat remains pristine, like the Middle Fork of the
Salmon, so habitat restoration won't help. -- These fish have never been mixed with hatchery fish so they suffer no genetic weaknesses. -- Few of these wild
fish are harvested. That leaves dam passage or losses in the Columbia River's estuary as the only man-made limitations on fish survival. The returns for
these Middle Fork spring-summer chinook would have to double to reach the scientists' current estimate on how many, on average, of these fish must spawn
to survive, National Marine fisheries officials said. This "gap" presents the greatest challenge for federal dam managers and fisheries officials to develop
plans for operating dams that meet the Endangered Species Act. Federal dam managers and Lohn hope that two things will happen to bridge the gap over the
next decade: the installation of the fish slides at all eight dams and new management techniques that emerge from a growing understanding of what happens
to salmon when they near the Pacific. Slides are now in place at three of the eight dams. The remaining five dams are now slated to get the weirs over the
next 10 years. But even within federal scientific ranks, there are disagreements about how effective the weirs can be. National Marine Fisheries Service
scientist Steve Smith told the Northwest Power Planning Council earlier this month that he expects only minor improvement in salmon survival, since the
existing barging and fish passage facilities already provide high survival through dams. Federal scientists still say salmon survive better in the barges when
the river temperatures are too high for the fish to survive or flows are too low to flush them to the Pacific before they make the change from freshwater to
saltwater fish. And because of lack of food and increased predators in 2004 and 2005, salmon returns throughout the Northwest are expected to drop
significantly the next two years. That's why sporting groups and environmentalists remain skeptical about both the barges and the weirs and support
breaching instead the four Snake dams in Washington.. "The techno-fix just perpetuates denial of the real issues," said Glen
Spain, director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "I'd be overjoyed if the things worked, but I won't hold my breath." The modern
Spilling
marvel Salmon do not so much swim downstream toward the ocean, as they are swept down in the current, staying within 10 feet of the surface.
salmon through the spillways actually sucks the smolts -- young 5-inch-long salmon that are in the process of
changing from freshwater to saltwater fish -- as deep as 50 feet below the surface and subjects them to unnaturally
high pressures. Some are killed outright. Others are damaged or stressed so much that they die later,
or become highly susceptible to predators such as pikeminnows or walleyes. And some of the effects are not clearly understood.
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Aff- Stopping Global Warming Key

Salmon will go extinct as long as warming continues

LA Times 8 (March 21, Act now to save the salmon; To survive global warming, we must help the fish reach pristine spawning grounds,
Lexis)
As global warming bears down on our Western rivers and watersheds, it threatens one of the great symbols
of Western abundance: wild salmon. With each passing year, their numbers have dropped precipitously.
This decline is believed to be in part the result of warming temperatures in streams and rivers.
Just last week, government fishery managers moved toward a ban on salmon fishing off the California and
Oregon coasts because of the diminishing numbers of chinook salmon.
If we hope to save the salmon, we must do two things: Stop the rise in greenhouse gases as quickly as we
can and secure our waters' health against the warming that has begun and will continue. This is a river-by-
river job, and each river matters. But there is one part of the job that is critical -- the piece that unites
sportsmen, biologists and everyone else who cares about salmon.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 223
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Dams Popular

Politicians would rather club baby seals than prevent a dam from being built.

The News Standard 7 (April 17, http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/4688)


To reduce the decline in the salmon population in the Northwest, a US congressional representative has
proposed a measure to kill sea lions who feed on the endangered fish. But since the sea lions are
responsible for only about 3 percent of salmon deaths, according to the US Army Corp of Engineers,
environmental groups say the bill misses the point. They say the true solution is to eliminate the four dams in
the lower Snake River, which flows through several western states, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
The dams trap and kill thousands of salmon annually.
Last year, the Army Corps of Engineers found that sea lions killed almost 3 percent of the salmon passing
Bonneville dam, a number that has steadily increased in the past 4 years.
Sponsored by Representative Bill Baird (D?Washington), the proposed legislation would allow the federal
government to issue permits for the killing of some sea lions as a way to preserve the salmon
population in the area. The Commission could not kill more than one percent of the sea lion population.
A spokesperson for the congressman said Baird supports the bill because he thinks it would have an
immediate impact on the salmon population. "Non-lethal measures [for deterring sea lions] are preferable,"
Ciaran Clayton told The NewStandard, pointing out that the bill first requires the government to make sure
that non-lethal measures are not effective enough.
Salmon advocates, however, say the bill addresses a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself, which
they say is loss of habitat from the construction of dams in the rivers the salmon use to migrate from
spawning waters to sea.
"[The solution is to] restore that habitat so the salmon can come back," said Amy Kober, a spokesperson
for the conservation group American Rivers. "That?s where the focus of our elected leaders needs to be."
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***Tidal Power***
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Tidal Power - No Sites

There are at most only 40 potential sites for tidal power.

EERE 5 (US Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, “Ocean Tidal Power,”
http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/renewable_energy/ocean/index.cfm/mytopic=50008)

Some of the oldest ocean energy technologies use tidal power. All coastal areas consistently experience two
high and two low tides over a period of slightly greater than 24 hours. For those tidal differences to be
harnessed into electricity, the difference between high and low tides must be at least five meters, or
more than 16 feet. There are only about 40 sites on the Earth with tidal ranges of this magnitude.
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Tidal Power Kills Species

The ecological damage of tidal power is equivalent to clearing a rainforest.

The Western Mail 7 (November 22, Why some 'green' energy options could create more problems than they
solve, Lexis)
Just because they are renewable, doesn't mean they're sustainable. The Sustainable Development
Commission recently investigated tidal power, and concluded that up to 5% of the UK's electricity could be
generated by a tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary, and another 5% from other tidal generators deployed
around the UK coast. It would be tempting to think, given the severity of the threat from climate change, that
we need to exploit all these sources of power. But that would be to misunderstand the threat, and the way it
will affect us.
The Severn Barrage would be a rigid, permanent structure in a dynamic, living system, causing major
physical, chemical and biological changes in one of the UK's most important estuaries. The value of the
ecosystem goes far beyond its role as a habitat for birds, important though this is: it provides economic
services to humans through nutrient and waste cycling and carbon storage. It is a corridor for migratory fish
and a naturally regulating source of sediments.
Building a concrete wall across the Severn Estuary to generate electricity would be our marine equivalent
of clearing a rainforest to plant energy crops: a shortsighted choice we will ultimately regret. The only
other major barrage project contemplated anywhere in the world - across the Bay of Fundy in Canada - has
been rejected by the Canadian government, which now plans to harness the tides but leave nature intact.
It is inconceivable that future human society will value an obsolete technology such as a tidal barrage
over a functioning Severn Estuary, and the likelihood is that we will want to remove it, as better
technologies emerge.

Oceans life is key for planetary survival.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 98 (Perspectives on Marine Environmental Quality,


http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/yoto/meeting/mar_env_316.html)
Covering nearly three-quarters of the earth's surface, marine and coastal waters are the earth's largest and most
vital resources, influencing global energy cycles and biological processes upon which all life depends. The
ocean provides food, medicine, natural resources, habitat, and essential ecological services, contributing to
many valuable commercial, recreational, and cultural opportunities. Each resource and service provided by the
ocean relies upon high marine environmental quality
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 227
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Tidal Power Kills Species

Tidal power kills all the aquatic life around it.

The Christchurch Press 4 ( August 23, Tidal Power Problems, Lexis)


Tidal power is a major resource for New Zealand but the exploitation of it is a lot more difficult than it
seems. The easiest method is to dam across a harbour creating a tidal barrage. When the tide rises the basin
created behind the dam fills. When the tide goes out the basin is drained through a low-head turbine, similar
to hydro generation. A scheme like this exists on the coast of France. But the construction cost to the
environment led to the death of virtually all marine life within the basin. Another problem that may be
faced is that in order to work efficiently a tidal range in excess of 5m is required, which will occur only
in a few locations.

Tidal power destroys marine ecosystems.

Contract Journal 7 (October 31, Is tidal power the way forward?, Lexis)
Essentially, the idea behind the barrage would be for the tide to flow in and pass through the barrage. At high
tide, the sluice gates would shut, which would trap water in the estuary or basin and when the tide recedes,
the sluice gates would open again. The water would then flow through the barrage, driving the turbines and
generating power. The Seven Estuary has always been considered a prime location for this sort of barrage as
the Severn has a tidal range of up to 14m, the second-highest in the world.
Currently, the plans for the barrage are in their infancy, having been scrapped by the Thatcher government
in the 1980s as too expensive and environmentally damaging. The debate over the past few months seems
to have advanced and gained pace, with proponents and opponents of the project taking entrenched positions
over the potential environmental implications the project may have - be they positive or negative.
However, in reality the project is still in the very early stages, and was worthy of only a brief mention in this
year's Energy White Paper. The real cost-benefit has yet to be researched.
The proponents of the building of a barrage argue that it could help cut carbon emissions by up to 18 million
tonnes per year, help lessen the risk of flooding in certain areas, protect against coastal erosion and contribute
to a long-term sustainable solution to climate change. Opponents, such as the Environment Agency,
fervently believe that a barrage would cause irreparable damage to 75% of the area's unique eco-
system, which is internationally recognised as a Special Protection Area.

Tidal power projects will kill all marine life around them.

Moscow News 2 (September 18, How to Save the White Sea, Lexis)
This includes in particular a plan to build a tidal electric power station in the Mezen Bay. This installation
will kill off the White Sea salmon. This is borne out by the years-long operation of the economically
unviable Kislogubskaya tidal power station that generates barely enough power to provide heating and
lighting for the station itself and the houses of its employees, while disturbance of water circulation in the
area around the station killed all marine organisms, resulting in a large hydrogen sulfide
contamination zone in the bay.
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Aff- A2: Tidal Power Kills Species

There is a .004% chance that fish may be injured by tidal power.

Environews Innovations 7 (December 12, BluePower: TurningTides into Electricity,


http://www.ehponline.org/members/2007/115-12/EHP115pa590PDF.PDF)
Like hydroelectric dams, wave and tidal technologies are nonpolluting. But unlike dams, which block whole
rivers, tidal turbines do not require water impoundments nor do they appear to interfere with
migration of fish or other animals or otherwise interfere with the ecology. A study by Oak Ridge
National Laboratory published in the October 2005 issue of Hydro Review placed the probability of
migrating fish being injured by the tidal turbine project in New York City’s East River at 0.004–0.457%.

Marine ecosystems are especially resilient


Kennedy 2 (Victor S. et al, University of Maryland, http://www.pewclimate.org/projects/marine.cfm)
There is evidence that marine organisms and ecosystems are resilient to environmental change. Steele
(1991) hypothesized that the biological components of marine systems are tightly coupled to physical
factors, allowing them to respond quickly to rapid environmental change and thus rendering them
ecologically adaptable. Some species also have wide genetic variability throughout their range, which may
allow for adaptation to climate change.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 229
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***Wavepower***
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Wave Power Kills Species

Wave-power reduces the wave-strength, destroying uniquely adapted marine ecosystems.

Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)

Various natural processes might be affected if significant amounts of wave energy are removed from
the coastal ecosystem, including sediment transport and the functioning of near shore biological
communities. Marine mammal and seabird populations also could be affected by the physical presence
of wave energy structures. Depending on the type of conversion process, wave power plants might be a
potential source of chemical and noise pollution, as well as presenting a visual intrusion on the offshore
seascape. Substantial development of the wave energy resource could conflict with other human uses of
coastal sea space, and these potential impacts are also reviewed.

Oceans life is key for planetary survival.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 98 (Perspectives on Marine Environmental Quality,


http://www.yoto98.noaa.gov/yoto/meeting/mar_env_316.html)
Covering nearly three-quarters of the earth's surface, marine and coastal waters are the earth's largest and most
vital resources, influencing global energy cycles and biological processes upon which all life depends. The
ocean provides food, medicine, natural resources, habitat, and essential ecological services, contributing to
many valuable commercial, recreational, and cultural opportunities. Each resource and service provided by the
ocean relies upon high marine environmental quality

Wave power will destroy native plant species.

Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)

Reduction in wave energy levels shoreward of a wave power plant may alter the community structure
of algae communities in the nearshore and intertidal zones, favoring certain species over others, but
consequential effects on fish and invertebrates are expected to be negligible.

Wave power lets invasive species takeover

Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)

There are also potential effects on near shore biological communities due to withdrawal of wave
energy.. Reduced or withdrawn wave energy could increase the competitive advantage of faster-
growing algae and kelp species over wave-resistant species (e.g., giant kelp over bull kelp, fleshy algae
over coralline algae). While algae and kelp species composition might be changed, we believe that it is
unlikely that wave energy withdrawal will have significant effect on invertebrate and fish communities
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Wave Power – Sonar DA


Wave power operations will interfere with military SONAR technology.
Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)
Even if airborne turbine noise is muffled by a silencer, the sound may also carry into the surrounding
water, potentially interfering with military acoustic tracking operations. Underwater noise would also be
generated by hydraulic machinery.. It should be noted, however, that noise from wave power plant machinery
will generally increase in proportion to the ambient background noise associated with surface wave
conditions, thus tending to minimize its noticeable effect.

This technology is key to the navy.

McGinn 1 (Dennis V. Vice-Admiral, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, “The MMPA and SURTASS,
http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/107cong/fisheries/2001oct11/mcginn.htm)
The United States Navy has used SOund NAvigation Ranging or "SONAR" for more than five decades.
Sonar is generally broken into two methods of use, active and passive. Active sonar is a signal or "ping"
transmitted and then a reflection of that sound is received. Passive is simply listening for sounds emitted by
ships or submarines, such as engine vibrations. Active sonar can be divided into 3 categories; low (< 1kHz),
medium (1kHz-10kHz) and high frequency (>10kHz). The lower the frequency, the less the signal and the
return are attenuated as they pass through the water column and the further a they will travel. We currently
operate several variants of our standard hull mounted mid-ranged sonar on both surface ships and
submarines. These have been in use since the later 1960s. We also use sonar to detect mines, to guide
torpedoes and other weapon systems. We use it on fathometers to measure ocean depth, to perform
oceanographic mapping, for navigation, and to find shipwrecks. We use systems similar to sonar for
underwater communications, to measure global warming, and many other types of research. We have a
great deal of experience with sonar and have rarely observed any significant adverse effect on the
environment. Sonar is an extremely vital s ource of information, and most importantly, it allows us to
keep our sons and daughters out of harms way.

Naval readiness is key to military readiness.

Fleet Readiness and Logistics 1 (May 21, Statement,


http://www.house.gov/hasc/openingstatementsandpressreleases/107thcongress/01-05-22amerault.html)
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the increasing challenge
of maintaining readiness in the context of broad legal requirements and commercial and urban encroachment
on our training facilities and ranges. The Navy must provide credible, combat-ready forces that can sail
anywhere, anytime, as powerful representatives of American sovereignty. We demonstrate that
capability today through our forward-deployed forces operating in the Mediterranean Sea, the
Arabian Gulf and the Western Pacific, ready to directly and decisively influence events ashore from the
sea.
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Wave Power – Sonar DA

Readiness stops China taking Taiwan.

Shirk 7 (Susan, Deputy Assistant Secretary For China at the State Department, “China Fragile Superpower,” 263)
Keeping U.S. forces deployed in the Asia-Pacific region to deter potential aggression is all the more necessary once we are aware of the domestic pressures that could drive China's leaders to
behave rashly. We want Chinese decision makers, when faced with a crisis, to look out to the Pacific and see a U.S. military with the will and capacity to defend
Taiwan., our allies in Japan and South Korea, and our other Asian friends. Because restraining themselves may cost Chinese leaders domestic popularity, we need
to balance that cost with the even greater cost they will pay if they act belligerently internationally and are defeated by our forces. To quote Henry Kissinger again, "The challenge
to American foreign policy is how to deal with Chinese nationalism without inflaming it while standing firm when it turns to threats." i Maintaining our overwhelming military supe -
riorit y - also helps the doves in China argue that if the country tries to compete militarily with the United States just as the Soviet Union did, then it will collapse
from within just as the Soviet Union did.

War over Taiwan goes nuclear.

Strait Times – 2000 (June 25, No one gains in war over Taiwan, Lexis)

The high-intensity scenario postulates a cross-strait war escalating into a full-scale war between the
US and China. If Washington were to conclude that splitting China would better serve its national interests,
then a full-scale war becomes unavoidable. Conflict on such a scale would embroil other countries far
and near and -- horror of horrors -- raise the possibility of a nuclear war. Beijing has already told the US
and Japan privately that it considers any country providing bases and logistics support to any US forces
attacking China as belligerent parties open to its retaliation. In the region, this means South Korea, Japan, the
Philippines and, to a lesser extent, Singapore. If China were to retaliate, east Asia will be set on fire.
And the conflagration may not end there as opportunistic powers elsewhere may try to overturn the existing
world order. With the US distracted, Russia may seek to redefine Europe's political landscape. The
balance of power in the Middle East may be similarly upset by the likes of Iraq. In south Asia,
hostilities between India and Pakistan, each armed with its own nuclear arsenal, could enter a new
and dangerous phase. Will a full-scale Sino-US war lead to a nuclear war? According to General Matthew
Ridgeway, commander of the US Eighth Army which fought against the Chinese in the Korean War, the US
had at the time thought of using nuclear weapons against China to save the US from military defeat. In his
book The Korean War, a personal account of the military and political aspects of the conflict and its
implications on future US foreign policy, Gen Ridgeway said that US was confronted with two choices in
Korea -- truce or a broadened war, which could have led to the use of nuclear weapons. If the US had to
resort to nuclear weaponry to defeat China long before the latter acquired a similar capability, there is little
hope of winning a war against China 50 years later, short of using nuclear weapons. The US estimates that
China possesses about 20 nuclear warheads that can destroy major American cities. Beijing also seems
prepared to go for the nuclear option. A Chinese military officer disclosed recently that Beijing was considering a
review of its "non first use" principle regarding nuclear weapons. Major-General Pan Zhangqiang, president
of the military-funded Institute for Strategic Studies, told a gathering at the Woodrow Wilson International
Centre for Scholars in Washington that although the government still abided by that principle, there were
strong pressures from the military to drop it. He said military leaders considered the use of nuclear
weapons mandatory if the country risked dismemberment as a result of foreign intervention. Gen
should that come to pass, we would see the destruction of civilisation. There would be
Ridgeway said that

no victors in such a war. While the prospect of a nuclear Armaggedon over Taiwan might seem
inconceivable, it cannot be ruled out entirely, for China puts sovereignty above everything else.
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Wave Power -> Pollution


All wave power devices use toxic chemicals.
Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)
The possible sources of pollution from a wave power plant depend on the particular conversion process.
Devices that incorporate a closed-circuit hydraulic system have the potential for a hydraulic fluid spill,
whereas devices that use seawater or air as a working fluid are free of this concern. On the other hand, all
devices may have to use toxic chemicals to inhibit marine biofouling. Finally, high-frequency noise may
be a problem with devices that utilize a Wells turbine. These three potential sources of pollution are discussed
below.
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Wave Power -> Coastal Erosion


Wave power destroys coastal ecosystems.
Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)
Waves and currents have an important effect on the movement of small solid objects, in particular
sand, on the sea bed and at the shoreline. This can lead to littoral drift, which results in the erosion of
shorelines at some locations and the building up of new shorefronts at others. Man-made structures have
been used in attempts to control this drift, e.g. jetties and groins, which extend across the surf zone reducing
the current and thereby protecting important areas, such as tourist beaches, from erosion. Clearly wave
energy installations will affect these coastal movements, depending on their type, size and location:
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 235
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Wave Power Hurts Whales


Water power devices are only useful in water closer than 2 km and will hurt whale habitat.
Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)
Any wave power ant that can be sited more than 4 kin offshore will have virtually no impact on gray whale
migration, provided that construction activities which cross their path (seafloor surveys, laying of submarine
power cables) are carried out at times of the year when whales are not migrating. Such activities would
almost certainly be carried out in calm-weather months (July through September), so interference should not
occur.
As mentioned earlier, caisson-based plants are only economical in water depths less than 20 in, which
generally lie within 2 km of shore along PG&E's service area. Installation of such devices may involve
destruction of the kelp forest refuge for northbound mother calf pairs. Furthermore, if the noise
emissions from wave energy conversion machinery are perceived as threatening, the whales may give
the ant a wide berth. Gray whales have readily acclimated to the noise of offshore oil production platforms,
however, which are often used by human observers to watch the migrations "'.

Whales key to world’s ecosystem.

Burns 97 (William C., North American Chapter of Green Life Society, Colorado Journal of International Law
and Policy, Volume 8, Winter, 82-3)
The preservation of whales benefits the world community in a number of ways. Recent research indicates
that whales are an important component of the world's ecosystem. For example, in the North Pacific,
squid consume large quantities of commercially exploitable species of fish. The prodigious consumption of
large quantities of squid by sperm whales lowers the squid population, thus releasing more fish for
commercial exploitation. The feces of cetaceans may also play an important role in the promotion of nutrient
cycling in the diphotic zones of oceans. Additionally, several other marine species engage in what may
constitute a mutualistic or commensal relationship with cetaceans. The decline or extinction of certain
cetacean species may disturb the delicate balance that helps these other species survive. Finally, long-
term monitoring of whale populations may aid ocean researchers in detecting significant changes in marine
ecosystems produced by human activities. To give just two examples: 1) radio tags which are mounted on a
highly migratory whale species and which telemeter to a satellite may constitute a relatively cheap means of
collecting basic oceanographic data from remote ocean areas; 2) sperm whales . . . constitute virtually our
only means of monitoring such major abyssal taxa as the squid species on which they feed. The protection
of whales also helps us to promote what one author has termed "biophyllic values," defined as an
abiding respect for life and a recognition of the need for responsible social action.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 236
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A2: Wave Power Hurts Species

Wave power devices function as habitat for marine ecosystems and boost populations levels
and biodiversity.

Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)

Wave power plants may provide artificial hauling-out space for seals and sea lions or nesting space for
seabirds, enabling larger populations to exist than otherwise might exist under natural conditions. Likewise,
submerged surfaces of wave energy devices and associated seafloor structures such as anchors and
power cables will provide substrates for colonization by algae and invertebrates, creating "artificial reefs,"
which may be a beneficial impact.
Reduction in wave energy levels shoreward of a wave power plant may alter the community
structure of algae communities in the nearshore and intertidal zones, favorimng certain species over
others, but consequential effects on fish and invertebrates are expected to be negligible.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 237
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A2: Wave power Noise Hurts Animals

Wave energy doesn’t produce more noise than species are already used too.

Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)

Installation noise produced by drilling holes for rock bolts would be localized, intermittent, and of short
duration. Operation of the [Wave Energy Conversion] system is expected to produce continuous
acoustic output similar to that of ship traffic. It is unlikely that noise from system installation or
operation would have adverse effects on humpback whales, dolphins, and green sea turtles.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 238
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A2: Whales

Wave power projects will be located 4 km offshore and won’t affect animals.

Global Energy Partners 4 (LLC, Offshore Wave Power in the US: Environmental Issues,
http://oceanenergy.epri.com/attachments/wave/reports/007_Wave_Envr_Issues_Rpt.pdf)

Any wave power ant that can be sited more than 4 kin offshore will have virtually no impact on gray
whale migration, provided that construction activities which cross their path (seafloor surveys, laying of
submarine power cables) are carried out at times of the year when whales are not migrating. Such activities
would almost certainly be carried out in calm-weather months (July through September), so interference
should not occur.

Climate change will kill whales.

Burns 97 (William C., North American Chapter of Green Life Society, Colorado Journal of International Law
and Policy, Volume 8, Winter, 82-3)
At the most recent meeting of the IWC in May 1996, the parties expressed their serious concern about the
possible effects of environmental change on cetaceans[whales] and called for additional research by the
Scientific Committee and cooperation with other international organizations regarding this issue.
Environmental impacts such as exposure to toxins, depletion of the ozone layer, and climate change
could result in unpredictable and precipitous declines in cetacean stocks that the RMP may be ill-
equipped to address.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 239
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A2: Sonar DA
No link - Advances offset any increased masking

Earth Island Journal, 2000 (Summer, v15 i2 pS3)


navies of the world -- or at least those whose governments insisted on invading other countries -- to
The incident propelled the
adjust their expectations of the kinds of risks they would face in wartime. The subsequent demise of the USSR
capped this sea change in naval strategy. As the nature of naval warfare shifted from a long-term game of chess on the high seas to
something more closely resembling Whack-A-Mole, anti-submarine warfare strategy and equipment came up lacking. Passive low-
frequency sonar had been, and still is, adequate for detection of even the quietest submarines in deep water. Despite the
increasing noisiness of the world's oceans, an undisputed fact which the US Navy advances as justification for SURTASS
LFA, marked advances in computing and remote sensing more than make up for any increased masking
of submarine noise. In February, 1997, the US Navy's Director of Submarine Warfare Rear Admiral Edmund Giambastiani told
Jane's Defense Weekly, "Our view is that because of significant capabilities in processing, sensor apertures and the ability to net sensors
together, passive is not dead ... We feel there is [sic] still a lot of dB out there that we can mine."

N/U --Regular ocean noise


Department of Navy 2002 (FR Doc. 02–18480, Record of Decision for Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System
Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) Sonar)
The potential cumulative impact issue associated with SURTASS LFA sonar operations is the addition of underwater
sound to oceanic ambient noise levels, which, in turn, could have impacts on marine animals. Analysis of the
potential cumulative impacts requires a discussion of recent changes to ambient sound levels in the world’s oceans;
the operational parameters of the SURTASS LFA sonar system, including the required mitigation; and the
contribution of SURTASS LFA sonar to oceanic noise levels relative to other human-generated sources of oceanic
noise. As noted in the Final OEIS/EIS, since 1950 oceanic ambient noise levels have risen by as much as 10 dB,
mostly due to commercial shipping. Two SURTASS LFA sonars can transmit sound into the ocean for a total
maximum of 36 days per year’versus a total of 21.9 million days per year for the 60,000 vessels of the world’s
merchant fleet (assuming 80 percent of the merchant ships are at sea at any one time). Therefore, within the existing
environment, the potential for accumulation of noise in the ocean by the intermittent operation of SURTASS LFA
sonars is considered negligible.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 240
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***Wind Bad***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 241
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No Solvency - No Investment
Investors are not interested in an easily undermined power source

AE 6 (Alternative Energy, August 31, http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/japan-wind-power-project-


threatened/)
Eurus Energy Holdings Corp., Japan’s biggest wind power supplier, may scrap a plan to build turbines
in the north of the country after the regional utility said it will cut purchases of wind-generated power
because supply is unreliable. The project for Hokkaido island would not be profitable under a power
purchase plan offered by Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Eurus Energy President Kiyoshi Haraikawa said in
an interview on Aug. 22. Hokkaido Electric in June told wind power companies bidding to supply the utility
that it wants to buy 25 percent less electricity than offered. A national plan to triple use of electricity
generated from the wind is being undermined by utilities such as Hokkaido Electric and Tohoku
Electric Power Co., which are concerned about power surges from wind farms. Unlike Germany, the
world’s largest wind-power generator, Japan lacks the national grid needed to iron out supply fluctuations
from wind projects. “The reluctance of utilities to buy power from windmills will make it difficult for
the government to triple the use of wind power,” said Chuichi Arakawa, a Tokyo University professor and
vice chairman of the Japan Wind Energy Association. “It’s an urgent government task to form networks
between power suppliers.” Japan’s government drafted a plan in May 2005 to boost wind power generation
to 3 million kilowatts in the five years to March 2011. As of March, Germany had 14.61 million kilowatts,
the U.S. 6.35 million kilowatts and Japan 1.07 million kilowatts. Power from Germany’s 17,600 wind
turbines can meet about 6 percent of the nation’s demand. “It’s understandable that power companies are
buying less wind power out of concern over unreliable supply,” said Arakawa. Power surges can be a
problem for industrial customers, said Hirotaka Hayashi, a spokesman at Hokkaido Electric. Utilities often
need to cut back power generation at other plants to lessen the effect of excess power from wind
energy. “Continental European countries such as Germany and Denmark can transfer excess power from
windmills to other countries,” said Arakawa. “The electricity networks of Japan’s 10 utilities aren’t connected
like those in Europe. That’s the reason why it’s difficult to install windmills in Japan.”
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 242
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No Solvency - Expensive

Turbine costs rising 17% a year

Newhouse News Service 7 (Sun Journal, Aug 24, http://www.sunjournal.com/story/226451-


3/Business/Wind_turbine_shortage_continues_costs_rising/)
The biggest effect shows up in the price. Developers and utilities won't disclose how much they're paying
for turbines. But a study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that average turbine costs in the
country, measured per megawatt, rose 17 percent in 2006. The study projects prices to rise another 14
percent this year and perhaps further in the next couple of years.
That means a 1.5-megawatt turbine - a popular size - cost a developer $2.5 million this year compared
with the average cost of $2.2 million last year. The price includes all turbine components and
installation.
The higher costs are still working their way through to consumers.

Wind power is too expensive with too little output – new requirements cost $61.44 Million
per farm

AE 6 (Alternative Energy, August 31, http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/japan-wind-power-project-


threatened/)
That requirement has increased wind project installation costs to 300,000 yen ($2,560) per kilowatt,
from 200,000 yen, according to Toshiro Ito, vice president of EcoPower Co., Japan’s third-biggest wind
power supplier. “We can never make money unless utilities accept a price increase from the current 9
yen per kilowatt, which is very unlikely,” said Ito. EcoPower is a subsidiary of a machinery maker Ebara
Corp. Eurus Energy’s Hokkaido project “will be unprofitable if we stop supplies for a quarter of the
year as Hokkaido Electric demanded,” said Haraikawa. Eurus Energy, which is 60 percent owned by
Tokyo Electric, Asia’s biggest power producer, and 40 percent by Japanese trading company Tomen Corp.,
operates 10 wind farms in Japan with total generating capacity of about 240 megawatts. The Tokyo-
based company is also involved in projects in the U.S. and Europe. “If the government really wants to
triple wind power, it should subsidize operators,” said Satoshi Abe, a power and gas analyst at Daiwa
Institute of Research in Tokyo. “But that’s probably impossible as it already helps with about 10 billion
yen ($85 million) a year to windmills.”
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 243
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No Solvency - Turbine Shortage


Backlog means plan won’t even begin implementation for years
Richard 8 (Michael, Science & Technology, 4/7, http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/wind-power-turbine-
shortage-supple-problems.php)
growth in the wind power industry and how forecasts estimate a 155%
We recently wrote about the massive
growth between now and 2012 (bringing total installed capacity to 240 gigawatts). Well, there's a dark cloud on the
horizon. The problem is not with demand, but with supply.
If you want wind turbines to build a wind farm, take a number and grab a magazine, because the wait
could be long. If you order now, you might not get the turbines before late 2009 or later, depending on
your connections with suppliers. This is similar to what solar panel makers have been going through with the silicon shortage
for the past few years.

Shortage means small projects can’t even get turbines

Newhouse News Service 7 (Sun Journal, Aug 24, http://www.sunjournal.com/story/226451-


3/Business/Wind_turbine_shortage_continues_costs_rising/)
A prolonged shortage of wind turbines is pushing up prices for wind energy projects and forcing
developers to scramble for deals long before construction begins.
Record-breaking U.S. demand, tapped out manufacturing capacity and higher materials costs have
kept markets tight and costs rising. The supply squeeze is more than three years old and only now is showing some signs of
easing, wind developers and consultants say.
"It's almost the worst possible world," said Tom Karier, chairman of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which helps shape
energy policy in the Pacific Northwest.
The shortage is affecting developers nationwide, but the pinch is particularly acute in windy Western states such as
California, Washington and Oregon, which have ambitious plans to increase wind power production.
This year alone, Oregon developers are on track to more than double the wind power generated by wind farms in the Columbia River
Gorge. Boom-time construction is expected to continue through 2008 - longer if, as expected, Congress extends a federal tax credit set to
expire at the end of that year.
If developers haven't secured their turbines - each costing about $2 million - they face at least a two-
year wait, energy consultants and power planners say. So far, large developers haven't had to delay projects in the Northwest,
according to Renewable Northwest Project, an industry trade group that tracks wind development in the region. Instead, they've pulled
out the checkbook and locked up large numbers of turbines in anticipation of a sustained construction
boom.
Some small developers have put projects on hold, finding turbine makers either sold out or
uninterested in filling relatively paltry orders.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 244
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No Solvency - Inefficient
Wind power is unreliable and ineffective

Landler 7 (Mark, November 23,


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/23/business/23wind.html?_r=1&ei=5090&en=1b6a664e35cba8e0&ex=13535604
00&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1216400594-/gNXk/u579/qrSJpYPguYA)
For starters, the wind does not blow all the time. When it does, it does not necessarily do so during
periods of high demand for electricity. That makes wind a shaky replacement for more dependable, if
polluting, energy sources like oil, coal and natural gas. Moreover, to capture the best breezes, wind
farms are often built far from where the demand for electricity is highest. The power they generate
must then be carried over long distances on high-voltage lines, which in Germany and other countries
are strained and prone to breakdowns. In the United States, one of the areas most suited for wind turbines
is the central part of the country, stretching from Texas through the northern Great Plains — far from the
coastal population centers that need the most electricity. In Denmark, which pioneered wind energy in
Europe, construction of wind farms has stagnated in recent years. The Danes export much of their wind-
generated electricity to Norway and Sweden because it comes in unpredictable surges that often outstrip
demand. In 2003, Ireland put a moratorium on connecting wind farms to its electricity grid because of
the strains that power surges were putting on the network; it has since begun connecting them again. In
the United States, proposals to build large wind parks in the Atlantic off Long Island and off Cape Cod,
Mass., have run into stiff opposition from local residents on aesthetic grounds. As wind energy has matured
as an industry, its image has changed — from a clean, even elegant, alternative to fossil fuels to a renewable
energy source with advantages and drawbacks, like any other. “The environmental benefits of wind are not
as great as its champions claim,” said Euan C. Blauvelt, research director of ABS Energy Research, an
independent market research firm in London. “You’ve still got to have backup sources of power, like coal-
fired plants.”
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No Solvency - Increase Emissions


Back up plants that make up for ineffective wind turbines emit more CO2

Page 8 (Lewis, National Wind Watch, July 3, http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/07/03/research-wind-power-


pricier-emits-more-co2-than-thought/)
Oswald is an expert on gas turbines, having worked for many years at Rolls Royce*. He says that most
people, in allowing for gas backup to wind farms, assume that the current situation of gas-turbine usage
applies. Not so, he says. Gas turbines used to compensate for wind will need to be cheap (as they won’t
be on and earning money as often as today’s) and resilient (to cope with being throttled up and down
so much). Even though the hardware will be cheap and tough, it will break often under such
treatment; meaning increased maintenance costs and a need for even more backup plants to cover
busted backup plants. Thus, the scheme overall will be more expensive than the current gas sector. And
since people won’t want to thrash expensive, efficient combined-cycle kit like this, less fuel-efficient
gear will be used — emitting more carbon than people now assume. High-efficiency base load plant is
not designed or developed for load cycling … Load cycling CCGT plant will induce thermal stress
cracking in hot components … The other impact on the individual plant is a reduction in the plant’s
utilisation. This has an economic consequence, which will encourage operators of generation plants to
buy cheaper, lower-efficiency and therefore higher carbon emission plants … Reduced reliability will
require more thermal plant to be installed … And it gets worse. All this will hammer the gas grid’s pipeline
networks and storage hardware too, costing the end consumer even more money — again, something that
isn’t currently accounted for in wind power schemes. Power swings from wind will need to be compensated
for by power swings from gas-powered plants, which in turn will induce comparable power swings on the
gas network as plant ramps up and down. This will have a cost implication for the gas network, an
implication that does not seem to have been included in cost of wind calculations …In essence, wind plans
aren’t actually wind plans, according to Oswald. They’re gas plans with windfarms used to reduce the
amount of gas actually burned in the plants. But he thinks the assumptions now made on costs and
emissions reductions to be anticipated are unduly optimistic. From one perspective, one might argue
that this is the exact purpose of renewable plants, namely to reduce fossil fuel burning. However, it
does this not by obviating the need for that plant, but instead by reducing the utilisation of power
plants which continue to be indispensable. Electricity operators will respond to the reduced utilisation …
high capital [cleaner gas] plant is not justified under low utilisation regimes … it is critically important that
the carbon saving achieved by the whole system is known, understood, and achieved in practice. The effect
of this higher carbon calculation does not appear to be mentioned
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 246
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No Solvency - Increase Emissions


Wind turbines consume more energy than produced

Booth 7 (Robert, The Guardian, November 30,


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/windpower.carbonemissions)
It has become the home improvement of choice for the environmentally aware, but erecting a wind turbine
on the side of your house could create more carbon dioxide than it actually saves, a study into their
performance will reveal today. David Cameron led the trend for "micro-wind" this year when he installed a
turbine on the side of his west London home. But he may have been wasting his time and money. The
Building Research Establishment Trust, which advises the government and private sector, has found
that in built-up towns and cities weak winds and turbulence mean turbines are likely to add to, not
subtract from, a home's carbon footprint. The BRE took data from sites across Manchester, Lerwick and
Portsmouth and analysed the likely performance of three models of turbine. In Manchester two-thirds of the
96 different options studied for siting turbines produced a carbon dioxide impact that could never be paid
back. Building, installing and maintaining the units would, on balance, exacerbate global warming. The same
was true in a third of cases in the coastal city of Portsmouth. "Small windmills may work in the outskirts of
Wick, but the current generation do not work well enough in built-up areas," said Martin Wyatt, the chief
executive of the BRE Trust. "People need more information to ensure they are not doing the wrong thing."
After the energy used in manufacture from aluminium, steel, copper and fibreglass, the carbon
footprint of the turbine is exacerbated by transportation to the site and the need for regular
maintenance to moving parts which bear the strain of rapidly changing loads during heavy winds, the
report found. The likely output of a micro-wind turbine on a pitched roof house in a large city such as
Manchester would be less than 150kWh a year; 2% of the energy consumption of an average house.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 247
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No Solvency - Increases co2

Wind increases CO2 emission, fails to provide consistent power


Globe and Mail 7/11/8 (Neil Reynolds, http://windfarms.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/wind-turbine-marketers-are-full-of-hot-air/)
Wind turbines operate occasionally with remarkable efficiency at 100 per cent capacity. More often,
Really? Define predictable.
they operate with 20 per cent capacity. Once in a while, they operate with subzero capacity - taking
electricity from the grid to keep themselves running until they get hit again by a restless wind. British energy consultant
Hugh Sharman, based in Denmark, documented wind power’s capacity for subzero performance in a report published by Civil
Engineering magazine in 2005. With more wind power per capita than any other country, Denmark (population
5.4 million) is the world’s showroom nation for this highly fashionable form of renewable energy. Why, then, does
Denmark export almost all of its wind power - at a revenue loss? Why, then, does Denmark still operate
all of its conventional coal-fired power plants? In a phrase, Mr. Sharman says, the reason is Denmark’s “wildly
fluctuating wind power.” It turns out that Denmark’s vast array of turbines often produce minimal
electricity when demand is high, maximum electricity when demand is low. Basing his analysis on data from a
single year (2002), Mr. Sharman reported that wind power produced less than 1 per cent of the country’s electricity supply on 54
different days. On one of these 54 days, the wind turbines took more power from the grid than they produced. (Wind turbines consume
considerable electricity whether winds are blowing or not blowing.) British author and energy analyst Tony Lodge makes the same point
in a report by the Centre for Policy Studies, a London think tank. “Not a single conventional power plant has been
closed in the period that Danish wind farms have been developed,” he says. “Because of the
intermittency and variability of the wind, conventional power plants have had to be kept running at
full capacity to meet the actual demand for electricity and to provide backup.” Mr. Lodge says it is not practical to
turn coal-fired plants off and on as winds rise and fall - because ramping them up consumes more fuel
(and emits more carbon dioxide) than running them at a constant rate. Thus Denmark relies almost
exclusively on coal-fired plants for its own consumption and exports its wind power at whatever off-
peak price it can get. Only 3.3 per cent of Denmark’s wind power gets “accepted” on the grid for
domestic consumption. In 2003, Denmark exported 84 per cent of its wind-generated electricity at money-losing rates. And
CO{-2}? In 2006, Denmark produced 36 per cent more carbon emissions than the year before. Messrs.
McCain, Dion and Pickens notwithstanding, winds do not blow predictably. Without an energy storage battery the size of
Mount Everest, most wind-powered electricity will be wasted and will almost certainly increase a
country’s carbon emissions - albeit inadvertently. When your power plant operates at only 20 per cent
capacity (or less), you have to build four or five times as many plants as you need. For reliable backup,
you still need either coal, gas or nuclear power - all of which are cheaper than wind.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 248
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Micro – turbines Increase CO2


Carbon footprint is a net increase

Booth 7 (Robert, news reporter on the Guardian.11/30, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/windpower.carbonemissions)


erecting a wind turbine on the side of
It has become the home improvement of choice for the environmentally aware, but
your house could create more carbon dioxide than it actually saves, a study into their performance will reveal
today.
David Cameron led the trend for "micro-wind" this year when he installed a turbine on the side of his west London home. But he may
have been wasting his time and money. The Building Research Establishment Trust, which advises the
government and private sector, has found that in built-up towns and cities weak winds and turbulence
mean turbines are likely to add to, not subtract from, a home's carbon footprint.
The BRE took data from sites across Manchester, Lerwick and Portsmouth and analysed the likely performance of three models of
turbine. In Manchester two-thirds of the 96 different options studied for siting turbines produced a carbon
dioxide impact that could never be paid back. Building, installing and maintaining the units would, on
balance, exacerbate global warming. The same was true in a third of cases in the coastal city of Portsmouth.
"Small windmills may work in the outskirts of Wick, but the current generation do not work well enough in built-up areas," said Martin
Wyatt, the chief executive of the BRE Trust. "People need more information to ensure they are not doing the wrong thing."
After the energy used in manufacture from aluminium, steel, copper and fibreglass, the carbon
footprint of the turbine is exacerbated by transportation to the site and the need for regular
maintenance to moving parts which bear the strain of rapidly changing loads during heavy winds, the
report found.
The likely output of a micro-wind turbine on a pitched roof house in a large city such as Manchester would be less
than 150kWh a year; 2% of the energy consumption of an average house.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 249
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No Solvency - Lightning
Turbines are consistently struck by lightening and damaged

Yokoyama et al 5 (Kyushu University, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, “The Effect of
Lightning Tower Built for Lightning Attraction
Separately from Wind Turbine”)
In the report of general resources and energy research society in Japan, raise of introduction target of wind
power generation in 2010 and quick institutionalization of market expansion measure were advanced.
Therefore wind power generation equipments hereafter will be increased inevitably. With a rapid
increase of wind power generation, form of wind farm types, that wind turbines are densely
constructed, is increasing. Capacity of a wind turbine is also increasing, and the height of the wind
turbine blade tip exceeds 100m. Wind turbines are frequently constructed on the seaside and
mountain, that high structure does not exist in surrounding. The blades of wind turbines constructed in
these areas are stricken easily by the lightning at the same time as good wind condition. Especially in
Sea of Japan side, wind turbines easily get damages with huge energy lightning in winter. Therefore
lightning damages (destruction of wind turbine blades, breakdown of control system, etc...) are
becoming seriously, and appropriate lightning protection measures is necessary. In this study, lightning
attraction separately from wind turbine (lightning tower) was took up as lightning protection measure for the
wind power generation, and that effect has examined by simulation.

Wind turbines are susceptible to lightning and static charge

Yokoyama et al 5 (Kyushu University, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, “The Effect of
Lightning Tower Built for Lightning Attraction
Separately from Wind Turbine”)
The height of wind turbines is becoming high along with the increasing of capacity of a wind turbine. Along
with it, lightning damages such as destruction of the wind turbine blades are increasing. Especially, the
winter lightning that is frequently occurs along the coast of the Sea of Japan, and carries a large amount
of electric charge, is considered to be a major cause of damage to wind turbine blades. So the lightning
protection for the wind turbines is important. In this study lightning striking frequency to wind turbine blades
and the effect of a tower used for lightning attraction separately from wind turbine (lightning tower) is
estimated. And the effect of movement direction of lightning cloud is simulated by shifting the lightning
discharge starting point. Then the technique is also combined with an upward leader initiating from lightning
striking target.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 250
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Birds DA
Wind power kills birds- Endangered species, eagles, black kites

AE 6 (Alternative Energy, August 31, http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/japan-wind-power-project-


threatened/)
The expansion of wind power in Japan and elsewhere also faces opposition from an unlikely quarter -
ecologists. Not all environmentalists support wind turbines due to their noise level and negative effects
on bats and birds. Japan’s Wild Bird Society is demanding a stop to four projects because wind
turbines caused the deaths of five white tailed eagles, designated by the government as an endangered
species, since 2004 and six black kites since 2003. “It’s natural that people oppose windmills as they’re very
noisy machines,” said Daiwa Institute’s Abe.

Less birds means decrease pollination => Biodiversity Extinction

Rockets 6 (Rusty, Head writer for Scienceagogo.com, January 20,


http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/pollinators.shtml)
Biologists who have just concluded analyzing years of detailed and painstaking observations of flora
and fauna have released alarming findings concerning the likely future of biodiversity on our planet.
The findings show a widespread decrease in pollinators such as birds, bees and flies, which means that
plants in species-dense areas are not getting enough pollen to reproduce. The study’s team leaders, Jana Vamosi, Susan Mazer
and Tiffany Knight, believe that if the current state of affairs continues in species-rich hotspots, plant extinctions are
unavoidable. The researchers proffer a number of possible reasons for the current parlous state of biodiverse hotspots, but as yet they are still unsure as to whether this is a
recent phenomenon or whether they are simply witnessing something that has been occurring for millions of years; a situation that reflects the lack of existing knowledge in this area.
Knight performed an exhaustive global analysis of more than 1,000 pollination studies that
Vamosi, Mazer,
included 166 different plant species. Their study, appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that
plants suffer lower pollination and reproductive success in areas where there is considerable plant
diversity. The analysis shows that ecosystems with the greatest number of species - including the
jungles of South America and Southeast Asia and the rich shrub land of South Africa - have bigger
deficits in pollination compared to the less-diverse ecosystems of North America, Europe and Australia. "This is truly a
synthetic work," said Susan Mazer, a professor of biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "Our detection of global patterns required the simultaneous analysis of many
studies conducted independently by plant ecologists all over the world." Mazer said their meta-study analyzed 482 field experiments on 241 flowering plant species conducted since
1981. The work took several years to complete and all continents except Antarctica are represented. "This analysis can tell us things about ecological processes at the global scale that
individual studies are not designed to tell us," she said, noting that the synthesis could not have been done 25 years ago because few careful field studies of this type had yet been
conducted. A typical field study compared plants that were naturally pollinated to those to which pollen was added by hand. If the plants that received human intervention showed
increased fruit, then it was clear that the naturally pollinated flowers were not getting enough pollen to achieve maximum fruit production. "If pollinators are doing a good job, you
For
wouldn't expect a treatment effect," Knight said. "But for some of our plants we saw a huge treatment effect. We saw that a lot of the plants are incredibly pollen-limited.”
some plant species, this reduction in fruit and seed production caused through lack of pollination could
drive them towards extinction. The team found this pattern to be especially true for species that rely
heavily on pollinators to assist with outcrossing (seeding a flower’s stamen with pollen sourced from another flower of the same species) for
reproduction, because individuals of the same species tend to be separated by large distances when species diversity is high. This separation means that pollinators have to fly long
Not being able to outcross means
distances to deliver pollen, and when they do arrive, they may deliver lots of unusable pollen from other plant species.
that extinctions are a real likelihood. While it is possible for plants to self-pollinate (selfing), this alone does not progress or strengthen the species, as,
like any other living organism, a plant needs genetic variation in order for the species to survive as a whole. In short,
selfing does not deliver the genetic variation that may increase the fitness of a plant’s progeny. The new study does not bode well for life
globally, as many of the so-called biodiverse hotspots are home to many valuable organic compounds,
used for medicines and other applications. "Biodiversity hotspots, such as tropical rainforests, are a global resource
– they are home to many of the known plants used for medicine and may be a source for future cures,
and they absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide and generate volumes of clean oxygen. Our research suggests
that plants in these areas are also very fragile. They already suffer from low pollen receipt, and future perturbations of the habitat may
exacerbate the situation," said Knight. That’s a scenario that would not auger well for human progress, but
Knight’s comment also implies another explanation for this drastic state of affairs. It seems that we humans like to shoot ourselves in the foot every so often, as many of the
"Pollinators are on the
biodiverse hotspots also happen to be areas where habitat is being destroyed either directly or indirectly through human intervention.
decline globally because of habitat loss and destruction, pesticide use, invasive species, and extinction
of vertebrates," said co-researcher Tia-Lynn Ashman. "The concern is that we are losing habitat really rapidly globally, especially in tropical areas, and losing pollinators
there as well," added Knight.
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Wind Kills Birds


Wind power kills birds- 4,700 Birds on 1 farm

Drisdelle 6 (Rosemary, October 25, http://birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/birds_and_windmills)


Anyone who has investigated the issue of bird mortality and windmills has heard of Altamont Pass, an area
of rolling grasslands near San Francisco studded with 4000 wind turbines. Marching across the landscape
in platoons and columns, the turbines, each with its whirling blades, resemble supersize barbed wire fencing.
Estimates put the number of birds killed annually at Altamont Pass at 4,700, about 1,300 of them raptors
(Golden Eagles, hawks, Burrowing Owls and other birds of prey).
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Birds Key to Biodiversity


Birds are key indicators of biodiversity – key to solving climate change

UN News Centre 8 (May 8,


http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=26605&Cr=biodiversity&Cr1=%20#)
Numbers of migratory birds – considered to be some of the best gauges of the state of global
biodiversity – are plunging in the face of a changing environment, the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) warned today. Marking World Migratory Bird Day, the agency said that the decline is
being recorded for many species along all of the main migration corridors, which birds utilize on their
journeys, spanning thousands of miles, between their breeding and wintering grounds. “Migratory birds
are some of the most extraordinary creatures on the planet and in many countries bird watching is an
economically important leisure and tourism activity,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “But
migratory birds are more than this. Their dependence on healthy habitats and ecosystems makes them
among the key indicators as to whether the international community is truly addressing the decline
and erosion of the planet’s nature-based assets.” The Day – focusing on the theme “Migratory Birds –
Ambassadors for Biodiversity” – will be marked on the weekend of 10-11 May with concerts, films and other
public events to highlight the ever-increasing threat to migratory birds and to global biodiversity. Although
the reasons behind the drop in numbers of migratory birds are complex and are specific to certain
species, the overall decline is a reflection of the larger environmental problem tied to the global loss of
habitats and biodiversity.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 253
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Bats DA
Wind turbines kill thousands of bats a year

USGS 8 (Fort Collins Science Center, June 18, http://www.fort.usgs.gov/BatsWindmills/)


Dead bats are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world. Bat fatalities have now been
documented at nearly every wind facility in North America where adequate surveys for bats have been
conducted, and several of these sites are estimated to cause the deaths of thousands of bats per year.
This unanticipated and unprecedented problem for bats has moved to the forefront of conservation and
management efforts directed toward this poorly understood group of mammals. The mystery of why bats die
at turbine sites remains unsolved. Is it a simple case of flying in the wrong place at the wrong time? Are bats
attracted to the spinning turbine blades? Why are so many bats colliding with turbines compared to their
infrequent crashes with other tall, human-made structures?

Bats control the amount of disease carrying mosquitoes in the US – Continuation necessary

Lesser 8 (Cyrus, Maryland Department of Agriculture Mosquito Control, Accessed 7/18


http://www.mda.state.md.us/plants-pests/mosquito_control/mosquito_info/mosquitoes_disease/index.php)
We fear mosquitoes because of their roles as vectors of disease. Mosquitoes transmit many diseases, many
of them endemic to the United States. The best known mosquito-borne diseases are malaria and yellow
fever. Lesser known but frequently occurring in the Americas are dengue and the encephalitides.
Mosquito-borne diseases affect about one-fifth (one billion people) of the world's population every
year. Mosquito-borne diseases are a growing threat throughout the Americas due to the decline of vector
control programs. For the first time in nearly 50 years endemic cases of dengue fever and malaria are in the
United States. Improvements in world transportation now allow a person infected with a disease to be on
a different continent each day. This enables mosquito-borne diseases to travel from one nation to the
next, increasing the potential for transmission to U.S. residents. The vectors of all major mosquito-
borne disease continue to thrive in the United States. Mosquito-borne diseases have been at very low
levels for one very good reason - mosquito control programs. The United States has the most intensive
and efficient mosquito control effort in the world. This has decreased the threat of disease transmission
in the U.S.. Recently, however, a large number of individuals have immigrated to the United States
from nations with vector-borne diseases. Many of these immigrants are arriving illegally without being
screened for disease. As a result, some of them may serve as a reservoir for diseases such as malaria
and dengue.

Mosquito borne diseases kill over 1 million each year

AMCA 5 (American Mosquito Control Association, http://www.mosquito.org/mosquito-information/mosquito-


borne.aspx#)
Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism -- over one million people die from
mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they
also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. These include
dog heartworm, West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). In addition, mosquito bites
can cause severe skin irritation through an allergic reaction to the mosquito's saliva - this is what causes the
red bump and itching. Mosquito vectored diseases include protozoan diseases, i.e., malaria, filarial diseases
such as dog heartworm, and viruses such as dengue, encephalitis and yellow fever. CDC Travelers' Health
provides information on travel to destinations where human-borne diseases might be a problem.
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Bats K/T Disease


One bat can eat upwards of 3,000 mosquitoes in one night

Egan 3 (Mary-Jane, Sun Media, May 5, http://www.rense.com/general37/wnvsa.htm)


One of our best allies in the war against West Nile virus may be one of nature's most misunderstood creatures
-- the lowly bat. They may not win any beauty contests, but a single bat can eat 3,000 mosquitoes in one
night -- a feat delicate hummingbirds and colourful cardinals can't touch, says Brad Glasman, co-
ordinator of conservation services at the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority in London. And since
mosquitoes spread West Nile virus, bats make a natural way of taking a bite out of the problem. Glasman
and Coun. Ed Corrigan have teamed up to convince a city committee just as we lure birds into our yards with
bird houses, so should we provide bat boxes to attract bats. It could be a tough sell. Bats suffer an
undeserved bad reputation Corrigan blames on Hollywood. "They don't suck blood and the risk of
getting rabies from a bat is minuscule," he says.
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Grid Failure DA
Wind risks unpredictable electricity grid failures
Milloy 7/10/8 (Steven, junk science expert, Fox News, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,379702,00.html)
Even if wind technology significantly improves, electrical transmission systems (how electricity gets
from the power source to you) are greatly expanded and environmental obstacles (such as
environmentalists who protest wind turbines as eyesores and bird-killing machines) can be overcome, the
viability of wind power depends on where, when and how strong the wind blows — none of which is
predictable.
Wind farm-siting depends on the long-term forecasting of wind patterns, but climate is always
changing. When it comes to wind power, it is not simply "build it and the wind will come." Even the
momentary loss of wind can be a problem. As Reuters reported on Feb. 27, "Loss of wind causes Texas
power grid emergency."
The electric grid operator was forced to curtail 1,100 megawatts of power to customers within 10
minutes. Wind isn’t a standalone power source. It needs a Plan B for when the wind "just don’t blow."
This contrasts with coal- or gas-fired electrical power, which can be produced on demand and as needed. A
great benefit of modern technology is that it liberates us from Mother Nature’s harsh whims. Pickens
wants to re-enslave us with 12th century technology.

Even a short term blackout would wreak havoc on the economy


Leopold 5 (Jason, ormer Los Angeles bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswire http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Sept05/Leopold0901.htm, September 1)
Two years ago this month, a blackout plunged 50 million people in Northeastern U.S. and the Canadian
province of Ontario into total darkness for more than a day, wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy.
Now, it’s the devastation in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi wrought by Hurricane Katrina that has
killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of people. The common thread in both disasters is that energy and
environmental experts sounded early alarms about the potential for catastrophes like this unless the
White House immediately took the necessary steps to upgrade the country’s aging power grid to stave
off widespread power failures, and in the case of Hurricane Katrina, backed the Kyoto protocol, which aims
to curb the air pollution blamed for severe climate changes that is no doubt the reason Katrina turned from a
relatively small hurricane to a destructive monstrosity, due to high sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of
Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. While supporting the Kyoto treaty would not have done
anything to prevent an act of God like Hurricane Katrina or the destruction left in its aftermath, it would have
been a step in the right direction. Global Warming isn’t some harebrained scheme cooked up in a
laboratory by mad scientists. It’s an issue that is as real as terrorism. And it’s just as deadly.

D. Extinction -
Lt. Col, Tom Bearden, PhD Nuclear Engineering, April 25, 2000,
http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/042500%20-%20modified.htm
Just prior to the terrible collapse of the World economy, with the crumbling well underway and rising, it
is inevitable that some of the [wmd] weapons of mass destruction will be used by one or more nations on
others. An interesting result then---as all the old strategic studies used to show---is that everyone will
fire everything as fast as possible against their perceived enemies. The reason is simple: When the mass
destruction weapons are unleashed at all, the only chance a nation has to survive is to desperately try to
destroy its perceived enemies before they destroy it. So there will erupt a spasmodic unleashing of the
long range missiles, nuclear arsenals, and biological warfare arsenals of the nations as they feel the
economic collapse, poverty, death, misery, etc. a bit earlier. The ensuing holocaust is certain to
immediately draw in the major nations also, and literally a hell on earth will result. In short, we will get
the great Armageddon we have been fearing since the advent of the nuclear genie. Right now, my personal
estimate is that we have about a 99% chance of that scenario or some modified version of it, resulting.
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***Wind Good***
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A2: No Investment
Investment is high now and won’t slow – Supply and demand ensures

Stigset and Voss 7 (Marianna, Stephen, Bloomberg News, June 4,


http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/03/bloomberg/bxwind.php)
"Wind has the biggest potential to meet renewable energy targets over the next decade, compared with
solar and biofuels," said Philippe de Weck, who started the Pictet Clean Energy fund last month for Pictet in
Geneva. The greatest returns so far are generated by equipment makers for farms with as many as 400
windmills. Each has a tower as high as 135 meters, or 443 feet, and rotor blades with diameters that reach
112 meters. Wind spins the blades, turning a shaft attached to gears and a generator that converts the motion
into electricity. The market value of Vestas, the world's biggest windmill maker, has more than doubled
in the past year, and Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica, the Spanish turbine manufacturer, is up by more
than two thirds. That compares with a 55 percent loss by Pacific Ethanol, whose largest shareholder is Bill
Gates, the chairman of Microsoft. "Wind energy is cheaper than solar - it's a less risky form of
investment," said Michael McNamara, an analyst in London at Jefferies International, which tracks solar and
wind companies. "The demand for quality wind turbines is so high, we won't see supply meet demand
for several years."
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A2: Increase Emissions


A single turbine decreases as much CO2 as 500 acres of forest could absorb, per year

American Wind Energy Association 7 (http://www.awea.org/faq/co2trees.html)


Wind turbines are extremely effective at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the leading
greenhouse gas. A single 750-kilowatt (kW) wind turbine, typical of those now being installed in power
plants around the world, produces roughly 2 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually.
Based on the U.S. average fuel mix, approximately 1.5 pounds of CO2 is emitted for every kWh
generated. This means that an average wind turbine prevents the emission of 2 million kWh x 1.5 pounds
CO2/kWh = 3 million pounds of CO2 = 1500 tons of CO2 each year. According to Our Ecological
Footprint, (Wackemagel & Rees, 1996), a forest absorbs approximately 3 tons of CO2 per acre of trees
per year. Thus, a single 750kW wind turbine prevents as much carbon dioxide from being emitted each
year as could be absorbed by 500 acres of forest. And the roughly 3 billion kWh that are produced each
year by California's wind power plants displace CO2 emissions of 4.5 billion pounds (2.25 million tons),
or as much as could be absorbed by a forest covering more than 1100 square miles.
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A2: Biodiversity- General


No link: Wind turbines save more birds

Drisdelle 6 (Rosemary, October 25, http://birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/birds_and_windmills)


Yet Altamont Pass seems to be the worst of the worst. The environment here supports high populations of
ground-squirrels, and consequently high numbers of birds of prey. It is also situated in a migratory bird
flyway. And because many of the turbines at Altamont are older models, with small rapidly turning blades,
any birds that do fly near are more likely to meet with a sudden violent end. New windmills are much taller,
lifting the blades above the flight paths of many birds, have larger, more slowly turning blades, and
can do the work of four of the smaller turbines. Studies of other wind farms have indicated that Altamont
Pass is unusual – other wind turbines kill an average of about two birds a year. It’s true, too, that millions
of birds are killed every year by automobiles, collisions with buildings and towers, feral cats, and
habitat loss – many more than the number killed by windmills. Even more significantly, there is a high
death toll resulting from oil exploration and drilling, air pollution, and climate change – all the result
of burning fossil fuels. Though total numbers aren’t known with any accuracy, it’s possible that conversion
to wind energy might bring a net saving of bird lives.
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A2: Biodiversity- Altamont Pass


Altamont examples don’t apply to new technology—New turbines save more birds

Drisdelle 6 (Rosemary, October 25, http://birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/birds_and_windmills)


Yet Altamont Pass seems to be the worst of the worst. The environment here supports high populations of
ground-squirrels, and consequently high numbers of birds of prey. It is also situated in a migratory bird
flyway. And because many of the turbines at Altamont are older models, with small rapidly turning
blades, any birds that do fly near are more likely to meet with a sudden violent end. New windmills are
much taller, lifting the blades above the flight paths of many birds, have larger, more slowly turning
blades, and can do the work of four of the smaller turbines. Studies of other wind farms have indicated
that Altamont Pass is unusual – other wind turbines kill an average of about two birds a year. It’s true,
too, that millions of birds are killed every year by automobiles, collisions with buildings and towers,
feral cats, and habitat loss – many more than the number killed by windmills. Even more significantly,
there is a high death toll resulting from oil exploration and drilling, air pollution, and climate change –
all the result of burning fossil fuels. Though total numbers aren’t known with any accuracy, it’s possible
that conversion to wind energy might bring a net saving of bird lives.
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A2: Birds Key to Biodiversity


The view of bird hotspots being key to biodiversity is flawed

Stephenson 5 (Tony, Professor, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose
reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts international attention, August 17,
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/icl-ngb081705.php)
The first full map of where the world's birds live reveals their diversity 'hotspots' and will help to focus
conservation efforts, according to research published in Nature today (18 August). The findings are drawn
from the most complete and detailed picture of bird diversity yet made, based on a new global database of all
living bird species. The map also shows that the pattern of bird diversity is much more complicated
than previously thought. The researchers conclude that different types of 'hotspot' - the most bird-rich
locations on the planet -- do not share the same geographic distribution, a finding with deep implications
in both ecology and conservation. For birds, hotspots of species richness are the mountains of South
America and Africa, whereas hotspots of extinction risk are on the islands of Madagascar, New Zealand and
the Philippines. "In the past people thought that all types of biodiversity showed the same sort of
pattern, but that was based on small-scale analyses," says senior author Professor Ian Owens of Imperial
College London. "Our new global analyses show that different sorts of diversity occur in very different
places." Biodiversity hotspots have a high profile in conservation, but are controversial as their
underlying assumptions remain untested. The key assumption is that areas 'hot' for one aspect of
diversity will also be hot for other aspects. Their analyses now show that surprisingly, this is not the
case - different types of hotspot are in fact located in different areas. "Different types of diversity don't
map in the same way," Prof Owens says. "There is no single explanation for the patterns. Different
mechanisms are therefore responsible for different aspects of biodiversity, and this points to the need
to base conservation strategy on the use of more than one measure of biodiversity."
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A2: Bats DA
No Internal Link: Bats don’t effectively control mosquitoes

Rutledge 8 (Roxanne, U of Florida associate professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida
Medical Entomology Laboratory, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
Accessed 7/18, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN171)
Bats and purple martins eat mosquitoes; however, just like most organisims, they have a varied diet.
Species that rely on one source of food can quickly be eliminated if there is a shortage or complete halt
to their food supply. Mosquitoes make up only a very small portion of the diet of bats and birds. There
is no evidence that any bird or bat can effectively control mosquitoes when they are at or near peak
abundance. It is not prudent, especially during times of high risk of exposure to any mosquito-borne
disease, to rely on birds or bats to control mosquitoes. There is no doubt that they will consume them,
but not in sufficient numbers to demonstrate an appreciable reduction of biting mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are only 1% of bats’ diets

McGinty 8 (Kathleen, DEP Secretary Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus Surveillance Program,
http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/action/myths.htm)
Bats feed on the same insects that turn up in bug zappers and are no more effective for controlling
mosquitoes than their electronic equivalent. Bats feed primarily on beetles, wasps, ants, flies, stoneflies,
mayflies, moths, and grasshoppers. Mosquitoes consits of less than 1% of a bat's diet. The evidence
from stomach analysis and feces examinations show that bats who prey on insects do help regulate
insect populations, but not mosquitoes. Providing habitat to enhance bat populations is an admirable
activity for conservation purposes. Using mosquito control as the reason to initiate public interest is
misleading at best.
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A2: Grid DA
No Impact - Blackouts are not a relevant economic statistic.

Uchitelle 3 (August 16, International Herald Tribune,


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C00E2DB1530F935A2575BC0A9659C8B63)
''Blackouts are economically like snowstorms,'' said Mark M. Zandi, the chief economist at Economy.com,
referring to the 1965 and 1977 power failures, as well as this latest one. ''They are a nuisance, but not a
measurable one in the statistics that record the year's economic activity.''
Airlines, restaurants and retail stores have clearly been hurt. But for the economy as a whole, blackouts
and snowstorms mostly delay economic activity and rearrange it, taking from one sector and giving to
another, economists say. For every suit not sold at Saks, a generator may be sold at Lowe's to someone
newly interested in protection from the next blackout.
The lost power closed retail stores and halted Internet shopping, canceling purchases or delaying them
until next week or next month. The same thing happened after the blizzard in the Northeast on Feb. 17, which
was the Washington's Birthday holiday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year. The lost business was
enough to make national retail sales for February dip by $4.3 billion. But in March they rebounded,
rising by $6.3 billion.
Much of the revenue from canceled airline flights is recovered; the disappointed ticketholders
eventually travel. Their tickets are mostly ''prebooked and nonrefundable,'' said Robert W. Mann, an
aviation industry consultant based in Port Washington, N.Y. What the airlines do not recover, though, are the
considerable sums for hotel rooms and meals for passengers whose flights are canceled, Mr. Mann said.
Restaurants and theaters forced to close suffer a similar loss in revenue. It may be partly offset in several
ways. Thousands of police officers, for example, will get handsome overtime checks, which they will spend,
said Lee Price, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute. Spending is also likely to rise for
flashlights and batteries, and for improvements to the nation's power grid.
''It is a wash, and you really cannot see it in the aggregate statistics,'' Mr. Price said. Or as Chris Varvares,
the president of Macroeconomic Advisers, a St. Louis consulting and forecasting firm, put it: ''The blackout
is going to be lost in the rounding.''
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 265
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***Oil Shale***
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Oil Shale: Not Commercially Feasible - Costs

Oil shale costs even more to produce that crude oil – it’s too expensive

Johnson 5 (Donald, chair of American Association of Petroleum Geologists


http://emd.aapg.org/technical_areas/oil_shale.cfm)
Oil shales ranging from Cambrian to Tertiary in age occur in many parts of the world. Deposits range from small
occurrences of little or no economic value to those of enormous size that occupy thousands of square miles and
contain many billions of barrels of potentially extractable shale oil. Total world resources of oil shale are
conservatively estimated at 2.6 trillion barrels. However, petroleum-based crude oil is cheaper to produce
today than shale oil because of the additional costs of mining and extracting the energy from oil shale.
Because of these higher costs, only a few deposits of oil shale are currently being exploited in China, Brazil,
and Estonia. The amount of shale oil that can be recovered from a given deposit depends upon many factors. Some
deposits or portions thereof, such as large areas of the Devonian black shales in eastern United States, may be too
deeply buried to economically mine in the foreseeable future. Surface land uses may greatly restrict the
availability of some oil shale deposits for development, especially those in the industrial western countries.
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Oil Shale: Not Economically/Environmentally Feasible


Oil shale would hurt the economy and the environment - the US needs to move away from
fossil fuels

Raglione 8 (Joseph http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/51990)


The Bush administration is preparing to open up millions of acres of public land in Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming for extraction and development of oil shale and tar sands. The production of these fossil fuels would
ravage the landscape and produce unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants at a time
when we desperately need to transition to non-polluting, renewable energy sources. The proposed development
comes at a time when our public lands are already bearing the brunt of the current energy boom and significant
population growth across the West and when we desperately need to be transitioning away from fossil fuels and
reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This proposal is not feasible environmentally or economically, and
would result in unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gas and other pollutants. The Bureau of Land
Management should scrap the proposed development completely, choose the No Action alternative, or, at the very
least, develop and evaluate a full range of reasonable alternatives, including alternatives based on energy
conservation and efficiency. The Bureau of Land Management's controversial proposal would fuel an outdated,
fossil-fuel-intensive energy infrastructure and comes at a time when we need to be rapidly transitioning away
from fossil fuels-based energy production. If "business as usual" greenhouse gas emissions continue, over one
third of the world's plants and animals will be committed to extinction by the middle of this century or before.
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Oil Shale: Not Commercially Feasible – Prices


Oil shale will always remain more expensive than conventional oil – its not commercially
feasible

Hatfield 1 (Craig PhD Department of Geology The University of Toledo)


It has been suggested that large volume production of fuel from oil shale or tar sands will be economically feasible
after the price of oil has risen appreciably in response to the beginning of permanent decline in global oil production
rate. But, for several decades, the estimated cost of production of shale oil and oil from tar sands has remained
higher than the cost of conventional oil and has risen with world oil prices (10), because the cost of
conventional oil influences the cost of production of these resources by controlling the cost of materials
required. This raises the fundamental question of the amount of net energy to be produced in exploitation of
oil shales, tar sands, and other potential alternative fuel resources. Some estimates of energy yield from future
development of potential fuel resources are overly optimistic because of failure to adequately consider the amount of
fuel consumed to produce a given amount of new fuel. If the net fuel gain is small enough, the venture is essentially
worthless. Consideration of net energy gained greatly reduces the potential addition to our energy supply from many
prospective energy sources. This factor is altogether unaffected by higher fuel prices and helps to explain why
today, 70 years after the earliest industrial research on and attempted development of United States oil shale,
we still lack commercial shale oil production.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 269
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: No solvency – tech


The tech to successfully extract oil shale doesn’t exist

Hartman 00 (Todd http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/jun/18/bushs-oil-shale-call-draws-critics/)


Democrats and environmentalists criticized President Bush's call to develop Colorado lands for oil shale Wednesday
as "misleading," complaining that the president implied energy development was ripe when industry doesn't yet
fully know how to extract oil from the rock. "I support oil shale development, but it has to be done in a
thoughtful and deliberate way, so . . . if it can be developed, it's done in a way that won't destroy western
Colorado," U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar said in a conference call with reporters. "The obstacles are the same ones that
have been there for a century - the lack of technology for developing oil shale in an economically realistic way
and the challenge of addressing the way commercial-scale development would affect the scarce water on
which all of our communities and industries depend" as well as its effects on air, agriculture lands, wildlife
and local communities, Udall said in a statement. Salazar noted that in recent testimony before the Senate, one of
Bush's top Interior Department officials, C. Stephen Allred, said it could be 2015 before technology to develop oil
shale has arrived. The Wilderness Society issued a statement noting that industry has access to oil shale under
extensive private acreage it controls but isn't developing it because companies don't have the capability.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 270
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: No solvency – Not Enough Energy

Production isn’t realistic – its more costly and contains less energy than crude oil

Udall 5 (Randy, http://www.energybulletin.net/node/11779)


The primary explanation is that oil shale is a lousy fuel. Compared to the coal that launched the Industrial
Revolution or the oil that sustains the world today, oil shale is the dregs. Coal seams a few feet thick are worth
mining because coal contains lots of energy. If coal is good, oil is even better. And oil shale? Per pound, it contains
one-tenth the energy of crude oil, one-sixth that of coal. Historically, oil shale has been mined, crushed and
roasted in large kilns, or "retorts." The slag, swollen in volume and contaminated with arsenic, must then be
disposed. The process is so costly, laborious and polluting that global output has never exceeded 25,000
barrels a day, compared to 84 million barrels of conventional oil production. To produce 100,000 barrels per
day, the company would need to construct the largest power plant in Colorado history. Costing about $3
billion, it would consume 5 million tons of coal each year, producing 10 million tons of greenhouse gases. (The
company's annual electric bill would be about $500 million.) All hype aside, oil shale is the poorest of the fossil
fuels, containing far less energy than crude oil, much less even than hog manure, peat moss or Cap'n Crunch.
A meager amount of energy, tightly bound up in an enormous volume of rock, oil shale seems destined to
remain an elusive bonanza, the petroleum equivalent of fool's gold.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 271
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: No solvency – Not Enough Energy

Low amount of energy and high costs make wide-spread oil shale use impossible: its better
suited for jet fuel

Ehrens 8 (David: “Energy Solutions wont Come from Republicans


http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080710/OPINION/807100317)
Dr. Friedman claims that the Green River region in the Southwest has three times the proven oil reserves in
Saudi Arabia in oil shale. However, a 2006 Congressional Research Service report stated, "... oil shales have not
proved to be economically recoverable, they are considered a contingent resource and not true reserves."
It turns out that oil shale doesn't actually contain petroleum, rather a substance called kerogen, a petroleum
precursor. According to the report, extracting "oil" from shale requires strip mining vast areas, lots of
superheated water for a process called retorting, and results in vast environment destruction and
groundwater contamination. And after all that, the report continues, —¦ unlike conventional crude oil, oil-shale
distillates make poor feedstock for gasoline production and thus may be better suited to making distillate
based fuels such as diesel and jet fuel." Kerogen also has high nitrogen content, making it "problematic in
terms of producing stable fuels." After a number of federally funded oil shale research programs, federal support
for oil shale research ended in 1985 — smack in the middle of the Reagan administration
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 272
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: Warming Turn


Oil shale development contributes to global warming that will lead to extinction of 1/3 of
the species on the planet

Raglione 8 (Joseph http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/51990)


The Bush administration is preparing to open up millions of acres of public land in Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming for extraction and development of oil shale and tar sands. The production of these fossil fuels would
ravage the landscape and produce unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants at a time
when we desperately need to transition to non-polluting, renewable energy sources. The proposed development
comes at a time when our public lands are already bearing the brunt of the current energy boom and significant
population growth across the West and when we desperately need to be transitioning away from fossil fuels and
reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This proposal is not feasible environmentally or economically, and
would result in unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gas and other pollutants. The Bureau of Land
Management should scrap the proposed development completely, choose the No Action alternative, or, at the very
least, develop and evaluate a full range of reasonable alternatives, including alternatives based on energy
conservation and efficiency. The Bureau of Land Management's controversial proposal would fuel an outdated,
fossil-fuel-intensive energy infrastructure and comes at a time when we need to be rapidly transitioning away
from fossil fuels-based energy production. If "business as usual" greenhouse gas emissions continue, over one
third of the world's plants and animals will be committed to extinction by the middle of this century or
before.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 273
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: Warming Turn


Production of oil shale is four times more harmful to the environment than crude oil

Glen 8 (Dr Barry: conservation biologist, political ecologist and president of Ecological Internet
http://forests.org/staff/glen.asp)
Oil shale deposits across 17,000 square miles of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming hold an estimated 800 billion
barrels of oil, more than three times Saudi Arabia's stated reserves. Both mining and processing of oil shale
involve a variety of environmental impacts. The process produces four times the amount of greenhouse gas
emissions compared to normal oil production. Vast amounts of water are required in the mining process, up to 4
barrels of water for every barrel of oil. It would be a reckless and short-sighted to allow full-scale commercial
production of synthetic crude oils from oil shale and other non-conventional sources. Wide scale use of such
oil will result in decades of further carbon emissions from dependence upon fossil fuels, making it impossible
to stop climate change.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 274
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: Warming Turn


Oil shale development increases emissions to the point of no return

Mall 3 (Amy: Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org/land/oilshale.php)


On March 20, 2008, WRA led a coalition of 23 conservation groups in opposing the plan by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) to open up almost 2.5 million acres of public land in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah for
industrial oil shale and tar sands development. The BLM plan would prematurely permit commercial leasing of
public lands for oil shale and tar sands development before completion of industry research to accurately assess the
social, economic, and environmental impacts of these proposed developments, and in the case of oil shale, ahead of
the development of technology that can even extract it. Oil shale and tar sands development, if approved, will
consume great quantities of energy and scarce water resources, compromise air quality, release large amounts of
greenhouse gasses during production, destroy wildlife habitat, diminish recreational opportunities and have
negative consequences that will be felt on a local, regional, and national level. Additionally, large-scale oil shale
and tar sands development would require up to 10 new coal-fired power plants, thwarting efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. These power plants alone would consume almost as much water each year as all of
metro Denver, straining municipal water supplies and permanently altering the agricultural economy of the three
states.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 275
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: Biodiversity Turn


The extraction of oil shale irreversibly destroys ecosystems

EASAC 7 (European Academies Science Advisory Council www.easac.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=78)


Probably the most striking impact of the oil shale industry is the disruption to land use. Mining, processing
and waste disposal require land to be withdrawn from traditional uses such as agriculture, residential areas
or recreation. The original ecosystem diversity with habitats supporting a variety of plants and animals is
reduced. Although efforts can be made to return land to other use once extraction and processing have ceased,
this takes time and cannot necessarily re-establish the original biodiversity. The impact on the land will
therefore be large.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 276
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: Biodiversity Turn


Oil shale development devastates ecosystems- the environmental impacts outweigh the
benefits

Grunewald 6 (Elliot: Geophysics Dept. of Stanford University


http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:81uYm_8rSbkJ:srb.stanford.edu/nur/GP200A%2520Papers/elliot_grunewald
_paper.pdf+oil+shale+damage+environment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us)
Oil shales are one such unconventional resource that has emerged as a possible means to supplement declining
conventional oil production. While it has long been known that oil shale can yield substantial quantities of
petroleum, high operating costs and adverse environmental effects, have prevented significant commercial
exploitation of the resource. Recently however, rising oil prices and growing demand have made oil shale
development more economically attractive, drawing renewed interest from commercial and government entities. Yet,
the local and global environmental implications of oil shale development remain daunting. If we are driven to
use such an inefficient resource, we will likely still pay dearly – though a degraded environment and increased
potential for global climate change. Large-scale oil shale development would carry major environmental costs
that must be considered in any assessment of the resource value. Direct environmental
damage would include ecosystem displacement, groundwater contamination, and air pollution, and it is likely that
even the global climate would be affected due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the minimal
energy efficiency of shale oil extraction means that these costs will more than likely outweigh the limited resource
benefits. While the energy benefit of shale is minimal, the environmental implications of oil shale development
would be tremendous. The most direct obvious environmental impact of an oil shale industry would be the
immediate displacement of ecosystems in land under development. Surface retorting, which requires
underground or surface mining would strongly alter the local ecology and current land uses. Strip mining
would require some of the largest open-pit mines in the world. Both surface and underground mining would
require piling this material above ground, thereby creating an unnaturally elevated landscape and likely causing
decade-long displacement of preexisting flora and fauna.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 277
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale: Warming Turn


Oil shale is inefficient and would increase warming on a global scale

Grunewald 6 (Elliot: Geophysics Dept. of Stanford University


http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:81uYm_8rSbkJ:srb.stanford.edu/nur/GP200A%2520Papers/elliot_grunewald
_paper.pdf+oil+shale+damage+environment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us)
While it has long been known that oil shale can yield substantial quantities of petroleum, high operating costs and
adverse environmental effects, have prevented significant commercial exploitation of the resource. Recently
however, rising oil prices and growing demand have made oil shale development more economically attractive,
drawing renewed interest from commercial and government entities. Yet, the local and global environmental
implications of oil shale development remain daunting. If we are driven to use such an inefficient resource, we
will likely still pay dearly – though a degraded environment and increased potential for global climate change.
Large-scale oil shale development would carry major environmental costs that must be considered in any
assessment of the resource value. Direct environmental damage would include ecosystem displacement,
groundwater contamination, and air pollution, and it is likely that even the global climate would be affected due
to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps most troubling of all is the substantial increase in greenhouse gas
emission that would follow oil shale development. The vast energy inputs required to supply heat in both surface
and in-situ retorting would almost certainly be supplied by fossil fuels. In addition, high temperatures at which
the shale is retorted can cause carbon dioxide to be released directly from mineral carbonates in the rock
(RAND). Therefore, the total carbon dioxide output for a barrel of oil derived from shale would be far greater
than for conventionally produced oil. Greenpeace estimates that from production to combustion, every barrel of
shale oil will produce four to six times more carbon dioxide than conventional oil (Greenpeace, 1999).
Unfortunately, as the United States has yet to commit to significant carbon dioxide emission reduction, greenhouse
gas emissions from oil shale development may be one of the least strictly regulated aspects of the industry. Proposed
oil shale development will likely fail on both fronts of our current energy challenge as it provides a little in the
way of new fuel and will only exacerbate current environmental deterioration.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 278
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale Incr Oil Dependence


Oil shale development would decrease the use of clean energy and increase dependence on
fossil fuels

Grunewald 6 (Elliot: Geophysics Dept. of Stanford University


http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:81uYm_8rSbkJ:srb.stanford.edu/nur/GP200A%2520Papers/elliot_grunewald
_paper.pdf+oil+shale+damage+environment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us)
If oil shale development does proceed, there would be long-term implications for the future of energy use,
including increased dependence on fossil fuels and a momentum towards further development. Cost effective oil
shale technology is still largely unproven and will require tremendous capital investment if it is ever to be
fully realized. It is foreseeable that energy companies directing large amounts of capital into oil shale will have
less capital available for research into cleaner, alternative energy resources. Simultaneously, oil shale retorting
will place increase demand on already stressed energy resources.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 279
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale = Water Shortages


A developed oil shale industry would trade off with water supply to the south-west – water
shortages would be inevitable

Grunewald 6 (Elliot: Geophysics Dept. of Stanford University


http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:81uYm_8rSbkJ:srb.stanford.edu/nur/GP200A%2520Papers/elliot_grunewald
_paper.pdf+oil+shale+damage+environment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us)
In addition to likely groundwater contamination, large-scale development would also require tremendous
quantities of water to be used in production operations. Water is required at various stages of the mining,
retorting, and refining processes. The U.S. Water resources council estimated consumptive water use of around
three barrels of water per barrel of shale oil production (Water Resources Council, 1981). Water resources from
the Colorado River Bain are already very tightly regulated and are in high demand from a growing
population in the arid Southwest. A recent agreement with California water districts will return roughly 8 million
acre-ft/year to the Upper Basin (Bunger and Crawford, 2004). A one million bpd oil shale industry would
consume the entirety of these reallocated water rights (Sura, 2005) – water that could alternately be used to
support a combination of municipal supply, irrigation, ecosystem restoration, and recreation – and would
likely diminish the quality of previously available water supplies.

 
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 280
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale = Water Shortages


The massive amounts of water taken from western supplies will exacerbate water shortages

Glen 8 (Dr Barry: conservation biologist, political ecologist and president of Ecological Internet
http://forests.org/staff/glen.asp)
With crude oil prices at record highs and conventional oil resources diminishing, the US Government's Energy
and Interior Departments want to jump-start oil shale production, with predictably disastrous environmental
consequences. Both mining and processing of oil shale involve a variety of environmental impacts. There is no
oil in oil shale, instead it is a substance called kerogen, which is solid and cannot be pumped directly out of the
ground. The oil shale must either first be mined and then heated to a high temperature, or heated while still
underground and then pumped to the surface as a liquid, a still experimental process. Vast amounts of water are
required in the mining process, up to 4 barrels of water for every barrel of oil, a major problem in the
western USA which already has water shortages. The process produces four times the amount of greenhouse gas
emissions compared to normal oil production.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 281
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale = Water Shortages


Water shortages due to oil shale will have spillover effects on economies and national water
supply

Mall 3 (Amy: Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org/land/oilshale.php)


On March 20, 2008, WRA led a coalition of 23 conservation groups in opposing the plan by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) to open up almost 2.5 million acres of public land in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah for
industrial oil shale and tar sands development. The BLM plan would prematurely permit commercial leasing of
public lands for oil shale and tar sands development before completion of industry research to accurately assess the
social, economic, and environmental impacts of these proposed developments, and in the case of oil shale, ahead of
the development of technology that can even extract it. Oil shale and tar sands development, if approved, will
consume great quantities of energy and scarce water resources, compromise air quality, release large amounts of
greenhouse gasses during production, destroy wildlife habitat, diminish recreational opportunities and have
negative consequences that will be felt on a local, regional, and national level. Additionally, large-scale oil shale
and tar sands development would require up to 10 new coal-fired power plants, thwarting efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. These power plants alone would consume almost as much water each year as all of
metro Denver, straining municipal water supplies and permanently altering the agricultural economy of the
three states.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 282
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Oil Shale = Water Toxicity


Oil shale development would result in toxic water supply for millions

Grunewald 6 (Elliot: Geophysics Dept. of Stanford University


http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:81uYm_8rSbkJ:srb.stanford.edu/nur/GP200A%2520Papers/elliot_grunewald
_paper.pdf+oil+shale+damage+environment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us)
This new landscape would not only be reshaped but would also become toxic and would alter both runoff
patterns and groundwater quality. Spent shale has a higher salt content than raw shale and contains small
concentrations of arsenic and selenium which can be mobilized by water that infiltrates tailings piles (Harney,
1983). Shell’s in-situ method is often touted as a clean alternative because it does not require surface mining or
waste piles, but this approach can still cause groundwater contamination. The “freeze-barrier” would only protect
groundwater during production; once the kerogen has been removed the hydraulic conductivity of the
remaining shale increases allowing groundwater to flow through and leach salts from the newly toxic aquifer
(RAND). Because the Green River formation lies within the greater Colorado River drainage basin, any
surface or groundwater contamination will not only affect the local population but will likely have a
significant impact on water quality for the millions of downstream users.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 283
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

***Tar Sands***
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 284
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: No Solvency – Lack of Water


The massive amounts of water necessary to produce oil from tar sands makes production
almost impossible – global warming will prevent water availability

Mittelstaedt 7 (Martin http://environmental-economics.blogspot.com/2007/05/excerpt-from-choke-point-for-oil-


sands.html)
The amount of water available in Northern Alberta isn't sufficient to accommodate both the needs of burgeoning oil
sands development and preserve the Athabasca River, contends a study issued jointly yesterday by the University of
Toronto and the University of Alberta. The study, written in part by Dr. David Schindler, a University of Alberta
biologist considered Canada's top water expert, suggests that the choke point for the province's oil sands
expansion may not be the huge carbon dioxide emissions arising from mining and processing the sticky,
bitumen containing tar sands, as is widely assumed, but a lack of water. Oil sands plants typically use two to four
barrels of water to extract a barrel of oil from the tar sands, a resource that has given the Northern Alberta
region the world's largest petroleum reserves but made it a global centre of environmental controversy. The
problem of water availability is expected to become acute in the decades ahead because climate change is
likely to cause much more arid conditions, reducing stream flows on the Athabasca River, the source of the
industry's water, to critically low levels during parts of each year.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 285
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: No Solvency – Lack of Water


Tar sand development can’t be increased – there isn’t enough water in the production areas

Nelder 7 (Chris: Policy analyst http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil+sands-tar+sands-peak+oil/508)


Water is another major problem. Tar sands plants typically use two to four barrels of water to extract a
barrel of oil. Currently, the water consumption is enough to sustain a city of two million people every year.
And after it's been through the process, the water is toxic with contaminants, so it cannot be released into the
environment. Some of it is reused, but vast amounts of it are pumped into enormous settlement ponds to be retained
as toxic waste. These "ponds" are actually the largest bodies of water in the region--big enough to be seen from
space--and some of the world's largest man-made ponds overall, with miles of surface area. It may take 200 years for
the smallest particles to settle down to the bottom of this toxic brew, which also contains very high levels of heavy
metals and other health-threatening elements. According to a recent joint study by the University of Toronto and the
University of Alberta, the projected expansion of the tar sands projects will kill the Athabasca River, the only
abundant source of water in the area. "Projected bitumen extraction in the oil sands will require too much
water to sustain the river and Athabasca Delta, especially with the effects of predicted climate warning," the
study said. If that amount of water were used, they warned, it would threaten the water supply of two northern
territories, 300,000 aboriginal people and Canada's largest watershed, the Mackenzie River Basin. With the tar sands
currently producing at the rate of about 1 million barrels per day (mbpd), water levels in the river are already going
down. Given such intense water demands, it's completely unclear how production can be increased to the
target of 4 mbpd by 2020. One of the authors of the study, Dr. David Schindler, who is considered Canada's top
water expert, says that between the climate change-induced reduction in Athabasca flows and the seven major tar
sands plants either operating or planned, the river's water "is fully allocated, possibly over allocated, right now."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 286
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: Not Commercially Feasible – Prices


Fuel from tar sands will always remain more expensive than conventional oil – its not
commercially feasible

Hatfield 1 (Craig PhD Department of Geology The University of Toledo)


It has been suggested that large volume production of fuel from oil shale or tar sands will be economically feasible
after the price of oil has risen appreciably in response to the beginning of permanent decline in global oil production
rate. But, for several decades, the estimated cost of production of shale oil and oil from tar sands has remained
higher than the cost of conventional oil and has risen with world oil prices (10), because the cost of
conventional oil influences the cost of production of these resources by controlling the cost of materials
required. This raises the fundamental question of the amount of net energy to be produced in exploitation of
oil shales, tar sands, and other potential alternative fuel resources. Some estimates of energy yield from future
development of potential fuel resources are overly optimistic because of failure to adequately consider the amount of
fuel consumed to produce a given amount of new fuel. If the net fuel gain is small enough, the venture is essentially
worthless. Consideration of net energy gained greatly reduces the potential addition to our energy supply from many
prospective energy sources. This factor is altogether unaffected by higher fuel prices and helps to explain why
today, 70 years after the earliest industrial research on and attempted development of United States oil shale,
we still lack commercial shale oil production.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 287
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: Not Economically/Environmentally Feasible


Tar sand development would hurt the economy and the environment - the US needs to
move away from fossil fuels

Raglione 8 (Joseph http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/51990)


The Bush administration is preparing to open up millions of acres of public land in Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming for extraction and development of oil shale and tar sands. The production of these fossil fuels would
ravage the landscape and produce unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants at a time
when we desperately need to transition to non-polluting, renewable energy sources. The proposed development
comes at a time when our public lands are already bearing the brunt of the current energy boom and significant
population growth across the West and when we desperately need to be transitioning away from fossil fuels and
reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This proposal is not feasible environmentally or economically, and
would result in unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gas and other pollutants. The Bureau of Land
Management should scrap the proposed development completely, choose the No Action alternative, or, at the very
least, develop and evaluate a full range of reasonable alternatives, including alternatives based on energy
conservation and efficiency. The Bureau of Land Management's controversial proposal would fuel an outdated,
fossil-fuel-intensive energy infrastructure and comes at a time when we need to be rapidly transitioning away
from fossil fuels-based energy production. If "business as usual" greenhouse gas emissions continue, over one
third of the world's plants and animals will be committed to extinction by the middle of this century or before.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 288
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: Warming Turn


Tar sand development contributes to global warming that will lead to extinction of 1/3 of
the species on the planet

Raglione 8 (Joseph http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/51990)


The Bush administration is preparing to open up millions of acres of public land in Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming for extraction and development of oil shale and tar sands. The production of these fossil fuels would
ravage the landscape and produce unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants at a time
when we desperately need to transition to non-polluting, renewable energy sources. The proposed development
comes at a time when our public lands are already bearing the brunt of the current energy boom and significant
population growth across the West and when we desperately need to be transitioning away from fossil fuels and
reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This proposal is not feasible environmentally or economically, and
would result in unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gas and other pollutants. The Bureau of Land
Management should scrap the proposed development completely, choose the No Action alternative, or, at the very
least, develop and evaluate a full range of reasonable alternatives, including alternatives based on energy
conservation and efficiency. The Bureau of Land Management's controversial proposal would fuel an outdated,
fossil-fuel-intensive energy infrastructure and comes at a time when we need to be rapidly transitioning away
from fossil fuels-based energy production. If "business as usual" greenhouse gas emissions continue, over one
third of the world's plants and animals will be committed to extinction by the middle of this century or
before.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 289
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: Warming Turn


Tar sands development increases emissions to the point of no return

Mall 3 (Amy: Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org/land/oilshale.php)


On March 20, 2008, WRA led a coalition of 23 conservation groups in opposing the plan by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) to open up almost 2.5 million acres of public land in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah for
industrial oil shale and tar sands development. The BLM plan would prematurely permit commercial leasing of
public lands for oil shale and tar sands development before completion of industry research to accurately assess the
social, economic, and environmental impacts of these proposed developments, and in the case of oil shale, ahead of
the development of technology that can even extract it. Oil shale and tar sands development, if approved, will
consume great quantities of energy and scarce water resources, compromise air quality, release large amounts of
greenhouse gasses during production, destroy wildlife habitat, diminish recreational opportunities and have
negative consequences that will be felt on a local, regional, and national level. Additionally, large-scale oil shale
and tar sands development would require up to 10 new coal-fired power plants, thwarting efforts to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. These power plants alone would consume almost as much water each year as all of
metro Denver, straining municipal water supplies and permanently altering the agricultural economy of the three
states.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 290
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: Warming Turn


Tar sand development uses more energy that it produces and is the fastest growing source
of global warming

NRDC 7 (Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/naturesvoice/campaign1.asp)


The tar sands found deep beneath Alberta's vast old-growth forests are made up of 90 percent sand, clay, silt, and
water and 10 percent bitumen, a tarlike substance that can be converted to oil. Currently, most tar sands production
relies on open pit mines, some as large as three miles wide and 200 feet deep. Because less than 20 percent of the
oil-producing bitumen deposits are close to the surface, the rest of the deep reserves must be extracted by injecting
steam underground and pumping out the melted bitumen. The amount of natural gas used daily during these
processes could heat about four million American homes. The massive amount of energy needed to extract,
upgrade and refine tar sands oil generates three times the amount of global warming pollution as
conventional oil production. In fact, global warming pollution related to tar sands development is projected to
quadruple from 25 megatons in 2003 to as much as 126 megatons by 2015, the equivalent of putting 15 million
new cars on the road. Even now, tar sands extraction is largely responsible for Alberta's rising levels of air
pollution and is Canada's fastest growing source of global warming emissions.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 291
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tar Sands: Warming Turn


The process of tar sands extraction pollutes three times more than conventional oil

ENS 8 (Environment News Service http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2008/2008-06-28-01.asp)


The resolution calls for the creation of guidelines and purchasing standards to help mayors understand the
greenhouse gas emissions of the fuels they purchase through their entire lifecycle from production through
consumption. "We don't want to spend taxpayer dollars on fuels that make global warming worse," said Mayor
Kitty Piercy, of Eugene, Oregon, who submitted the resolution. "Tar sands oil emits up to three times the
greenhouse gases in the production process per barrel as conventional oil production," Piercy said. "Our cities
are asking for environmentally sustainable energy and not fuels from dirty sources such as tar sands." Tar
sands are deposits of natural bitumen, a viscous oil that must be treated to convert it into an upgraded crude oil so
that it can be used in refineries to produce gasoline and other fuels. Extracting oil from these sands uses more
water and requires larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction, even though many
conventional oil fields also require large amounts of water and energy and emits large amounts of greenhouse
gases.
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Tar Sands: Warming Turn


Fuel extracted from tar sands pollutes 3x more than conventional oil – this fuel production
will exacerbate the effects of warming

Woynillowicz 7 (Dan: senior policy analyst with the Pembina Institute, based in Calgary, Alberta.
http://thetyee.ca/Bios/Dan_Woynillowicz)
The environmental consequences of oil production from Alberta's tar sands are major, beginning with its effect
on climate change. North America's transition to oil from the tar sands not only perpetuates, but actually
worsens, emissions of greenhouse gas pollution from oil consumption. While the end products from
conventional oil and tar sands are the same (mostly transportation fuels), producing a barrel of synthetic crude
oil from the tar sands releases up to three times more greenhouse gas pollution than conventional oil. This is a
result of the huge amount of energy (primarily from burning natural gas) required to generate the heat needed to
extract bitumen from the tar sands and upgrade it into synthetic crude.
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Tar Sands: Biodiversity Turn


Tar sands development destroys critical ecosystems globally

Woynillowicz 7 (Dan: senior policy analyst with the Pembina Institute, based in Calgary, Alberta.
http://thetyee.ca/Bios/Dan_Woynillowicz)
The tar sands are found beneath boreal forest, a complex ecosystem that comprises a unique mosaic of forest,
wetlands and lakes. Canada's boreal forest is globally significant, representing one-quarter of the world's
remaining intact forests. Beyond the ecosystem services it provides (cleansing water, producing oxygen and
storing carbon), it is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bears, wolves, lynx and some of the largest
populations of woodland caribou left in the world. Its wetlands and lakes provide critical habitat for 30 per cent
of North America's songbirds and 40 per cent of its waterfowl. Studies suggest that this scale of industrial
development could push the boreal ecosystem over its ecological tipping point, leading to irreversible
ecological damage and loss of biodiversity. Satellite images readily illustrate the magnitude of boreal forest
impacts from tar sands mining operations. The United Nations Environment Program has identified Alberta's
tar sands mines as one of 100 key global "hotspots" of environmental degradation. According to Environment
Canada, development of the tar sands presents "staggering challenges for forest conservation and
reclamation."
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Tar Sand Plants = Toxic Ponds!


Tar sand plants create massive toxic ponds that can be seen from space and pose a health
threat
Water is another major problem. Tar sands plants typically use two to four barrels of water to extract a
barrel of oil. Currently, the water consumption is enough to sustain a city of two million people every year.
And after it's been through the process, the water is toxic with contaminants, so it cannot be released into the
environment. Some of it is reused, but vast amounts of it are pumped into enormous settlement ponds to be
retained as toxic waste. These "ponds" are actually the largest bodies of water in the region--big enough to be
seen from space--and some of the world's largest man-made ponds overall, with miles of surface area. It may take
200 years for the smallest particles to settle down to the bottom of this toxic brew, which also contains very high
levels of heavy metals and other health-threatening elements. According to a recent joint study by the University
of Toronto and the University of Alberta, the projected expansion of the tar sands projects will kill the Athabasca
River, the only abundant source of water in the area.
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Solar Power Bad – Expensive

Solar energies are the most expensive alternative energy and not economically viable option

Business Week 8 (Business Week. Business Magazine. Investing: Green Business. February 24, 2008.) online:
http://www.businessweek.com/investing/green_business/archives/2008/02/is_solar_photov.html
According to a new study by Severin Borenstein, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and
director of the UC Energy Institute, current solar PV technology is not economic: “We are throwing money
away by installing the current solar PV technology.” Such criticism are nothing new. In any rank
ordering of the cost effectiveness of renewable technologies now being built, solar PV tops out as most
expensive. Yet its proponents maintain that government subsidies are justified. The public money will speed the solar PV’s evolution
and lower its price. This has happened. Improving economies of scale in manufacturing, lower installation costs, and chips which do a
better job of converting more of the sun’s photons in electricity have dramatically solar PV costs. Yet not by enough, or fast enough,
says Borenstein in his January paper, “The Market Value and Cost of Solar Photovoltaic Electricity Product”. Borenstein found that,
even after considering that the panels reduce greenhouse gases, their installation and operating costs
still far outweigh their economic and social benefits. He asks then whether the subsidies would be better spent on basic
R&D to improve solar PV technology rather than paying for more households and businesses to erect more subsidy-choming panels up
on their roofs. “We need a major scientific breakthrough, and we won’t get it by putting panels up on
houses,” he said in a statement. Solar PV players are fighting back. “Borenstein’s recent paper on solar policy is predicated on a
host of faulty assumptions that are simply out of touch with the success of solar market development in California and around the
world,” said Julie Blunden a spokesperson at SunPower, the biggest installer of solar PV in the US, in a written response to the study.
The industry has also grenerated millions of jobs and stabilizes the costs of electricity for those who use it. And to make the point, at the
PiperJaffray solar investment conference in New York in February, SunPower announced it will cut installed solar system costs to meet
equal retail prices by 2012. For Borenstein, the fact remains that though good for the environment, solar PV just
isn’t cutting it economically. His model even gives solar the benefit of the doubt, so to speak, by
factoring in solar PV’s penchant to generate more power on hot, sunny afternoons, when the cost of
power from the grid is highest. Using actual and simulated data from utilities Borenstein tallied up how such peak pricing can
improve the economic case for PV panels. His conclusion: it helps, but not enough. Variable pricing boosts the value of
solar PV power by up to 20%. Indeed, he explains, if utilties ran smarter — leaner, by producing less excess power all the time — solar’s
incremental value could be even higher, say 30%-50%, making a stronger case for the technology. All the same, Borenstein
continues, a long-term cost analysis, including the net present value of power produced over the multi-
decade lifespan of of a PV system, reveals how costly these systems are. Modeling a 10 kilowatt installation,
including the cost of installation and operation, he found costs range from $86,000 to $91,000, while the value of the power produced
ranges from $19,000 to $51,000. That’s a seriously negative ROI for those keeping score. Under more friendly terms, where power
prices rise 5% a year and inflation is a calm 1% per annum, the cost of solar PV is still about 80% more than the value
of the power it generates. Under more typical real-world scenarios, with higher interest rates and lower electricity
cost increases, the price of a solar PV system today is 3x to 4x more than the benefits of the electricity it
will produce over its lifetime. Ok, then. But once carbon emissions have a price, won’t that make solar
PV more competitive by making electricity from coal and gas more costly? Yes, but even then PV is only
competitive when carbon is very, very expensive. Borenstein figures that at solar PV’s current prices, the cost of carbon
would have to hit somewhere between $150 to $500 per ton to make the technology economic.
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Solar Power Bad – Pollution

Solar panel production leads to pollution dumping in third world countries

Salon 8 (Salon News Agency. “Paying the polysilicon piper” March 10, 2008) online:
http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2008/03/10/polysilicon_pollution/
Who is ultimately responsible for the poisonous silicon tetrachloride liquid waste being dumped,
untreated, in open fields near the town of Gaolong, in Henan province, China? The polysilicon foundry
that creates the waste -- four tons of silicon tetrachloride for every ton of purified polysilicon? The lax
government that makes no effort to enforce environmental regulations? The solar power photovoltaic panel
manufacturer that gobbles up the polysilicon? Or the foreign countries that subsidize the purchase of the panels? A superb story in
Sunday's Washington Post, "Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China," by Ariana Eunjung Cha, details how Chinese
attempts to cut corners while boosting production of polysilicon -- a critical ingredient in
manufacturing both semiconductors and photovoltaic solar panels -- are resulting in severe
environmental consequences. Getting a polysilicon plant up and running is costly, technology-intense business -- especially if
one invests in the environmental protection technology necessary to recycle the silicon tetrachloride. (As How the World Works noted on
its very first day of existence, the "production of polysilicon is a fairly toxic process, so even as renewable use goes up, the environment
doesn't come away unscathed.") A five year boom in polysilicon prices has encouraged scores of Chinese
companies to fill the supply gap, but, reports Cha, many are doing so while skipping the recycling stage,
and thus providing polysilicon at prices far under what foundries in the developed world can manage. As
Cha observes, the sorry state of affairs in Gaolong illustrates some of the paradoxes implicit in trying to
move from fossil-based fuels to renewable energy. The environment suffers either way. But there's a kicker, not
mentioned in the Post story, provided by Bill Bishop, the CEO of a Beijing-based online virtual world developer who blogs about China
at Billsdue. He notes that Luoyang Zhongui is described by the Post as "a key supplier to Suntech Power Holdings, a solar panel
company whose founder Shi Zhengrong recently topped the list of the richest people in China." But Shi Zhengrong hasn't gotten rich off
of China's surging hunger for energy. A whopping 88 percent of Suntech's revenues come from just two nations --
Germany and Spain. (The United States is responsible for another 7 percent.) In both countries huge
subsidies and incentives for renewable energy have spurred demand for solar power. But if you follow
the supply chain back to the beginning, those same incentives are resulting in villagers in Henan
breathing toxic fumes and watching their crops die. It's something to think about the next time you travel through the
terminal at the San Francisco International Airport. Those 3000 new solar panels on the roof were manufactured by Suntech. Bishop
suggests that Germany and Spain refuse to subsidize the purchase of products from companies that can't prove their entire supply chain
is environmentally correct. No doubt, some people in the developing and developed world would see any such move as protectionist.
But that group is unlikely to include the Chinese villagers who live near Gaolong.

Companies that produce solar panels displace toxic pollution onto nearby rural
communities

Lawton 8 (EnvironWonk.com Environmental Politics Website. China Introduces "Solar Pollution" to Enviro
Lexicon. March 17, 2008) online: http://envirowonk.com/content/view/108/1/
Solar energy: It's clean, abundant, cheaper than carbon sequestration, and the technology is evolving at a breakneck pace. But as with so
many things in this endlessly connected world, even the greenest tech can have a sickly brown underbelly. In this
case, it's silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic byproduct of the synthesis of polysilicon, the primary
component of a solar panel. Chinese polysilicon plants have been documented dumping the noxious,
bubbling white liquid on agricultural land and in nearby villages without treatment or remediation.
The waste can be recycled and detoxified, but of course that comes with a price - a price that would
hamper the manufacturers' ability to sell the valuable commodity at the lowest possible price. And, of
course, China's environmental agencies are looking the other way, as they are wont to do. In other
words, we now live in a world where the phrase "solar pollution" exists. The Washington Post relates
eyewitness testimony of plant workers driving into the middle of a village, dumping the toxic waste into
a tract of land between a cornfield and a school playground, and driving away without explanation.
Company officials deny the allegation and insist that the waste is treated before it is released. Given
that no Chinese plant has invested in the necessary technology to treat the waste, we're not sure how
that's possible. This isn't necessarily to hate on all solar energy, and there are a large number of responsible, ecologically correct
polysilicon manufacturers. And, for perspective, coal is a lot worse, even in the US where environmental protections are a little more
serious than they are in China. But it's a cautionary tale we could all do well to take to heart - green is only green when the entire
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production process and service lifetime is green, too. And cheap solar panels don't need to come at the very expensive
price of displaced pollution and sickness in China.
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Solar Power Bad – Pollution

Solar panel production leads to dumping of toxic waste in rural communities

China Digital Times 8 (collaborative news website covering China’s social and political transition “Solar
Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China” July 18, 2008) online: http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2008/03/solar-
energy-firms-leave-waste-behind-in-china/
The push worldwide for solar panel production has resulted in a boom in solar energy companies in China.
But the solar energy companies are facing one major problem: where do they dump the toxic waste that
is the by-product of photovoltaic panel production? The Washington Post reports on a company dumps
their waste it in the fields surrounding a rural village in China. The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump
trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn’t believe what happened. Stopping between
the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white
liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their
compound without a word. This ritual has been going on almost every day for nine months, Li and
other villagers said. In China, a country buckling with the breakneck pace of its industrial growth, such
stories of environmental pollution are not uncommon. But the Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., here
in the central plains of Henan Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It’s a green energy
company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world. But the
byproduct of polysilicon production — silicon tetrachloride — is a highly toxic substance that poses
environmental hazards. Villagers have pointed to the toxic waste from solar panel companies for causing
decreased soil productivity and low crop yield last year, but Chinese officials have not followed up with soil
testing.
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Solar Power Bad - Pollution

Solar panel manufacturers for US, Europe, and Japan displace toxic pollution on local
communities in China

ENN 8 (Environmental News Network. The Dirty Side of a “Green” Industry. March 14, 2008) online:
http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/32974
As people worldwide increasingly feel the heat of climate change, many are applauding the skyrocketing growth China’s fledging solar-
cell industry. Solar power and other “green”ン technologies, by providing electricity from renewable energy sources like the sun and
wind, create hope for a world free of coal-burning pollution and natural resource depletion. A recent Washington Post article, however,
has revealed that China’s booming solar industry is not as green as one might expect. Many of the solar
panels that now adorn European and American rooftops have left behind a legacy of toxic pollution in
Chinese villages and farmlands. The Post article describes how Luoyang Zhonggui, a major Chinese polysilicon
manufacturer, is dumping toxic factory waste directly on to the lands of neighboring villages, killing
crops and poisoning residents. Other polysilicon factories in the country have similar problems, either
because they have not installed effective pollution control equipment or they are not operating these
systems to full capacity. Polysilicon is a key component of the sunlight-capturing wafers used in solar
photovoltaic (PV) cells. China is now a global leader in solar PV manufacture. According to the recent
Worldwatch Institute report Powering China’s Development: The Role of Renewable Energy, PV production capacity in China jumped
from 350 megawatts (MW) in 2005 to over 1,000 MW in 2006, with 1,500 MW estimated for 2007. High-profile initial public stock
offerings for several Chinese companies, some valued in the billions of dollars, have focused global attention on how this industry will
progress—having literally developed from scratch into the world’s third largest PV industry in just five years. Most of this development,
however, is driven by global demand, with over 90 percent of Chinese-made solar PV systems being exported to
Europe, Japan, and the United States. Technologies exist to recycle the chemical byproducts of solar-
cell production, but some Chinese polysilicon plants, including Luoyang Zhonggui, are cutting costs and
corners by avoiding significant extra investment in pollution control. The cheaper prices of their products, which
do not currently factor in environmental costs, are projected to fan the rapid expansion of Chinese-made solar PV systems around the
world, especially in industrial countries that can afford the still-expensive units. Although China will eventually benefit from this green
technology as well as costs decline further, for the time being the industry continues to tread the traditional path of
“pollute first, clean up afterwards.”ン At stake are the underrepresented groups in Chinese society,
especially rural farmers who depend on increasingly polluted lands for a living. China’s shining solar
industry, while enabling blue skies elsewhere, is leaving behind a scarred landscape at home. So far, the
environment has been the biggest loser in China’s rapid economic growth. The irony of the recent Post exposé is
that the environment is not even being considered seriously by those Chinese industries that bear a
“green”ン tag, and whose products support progress toward a better environment. As China becomes more
industrialized and strives to meet the insatiable demands of a burgeoning urban middle class, there is every reason to question how long
the current state of affairs can last, and how much time it will take before businesses care enough about their impacts to truly protect the
environment. Yingling Liu is manager of the China Program at the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-D.C. based environmental
research organization.
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Solar Power Destroys Environment

Supposedly “green” solar panel manufactures dump highly toxic pollutants that destroy
the environment

Washington Post 8 (By Ariana Eunjung Cha. Washington Post Foreign Service. Sunday, March 9, 2008; Page
A01. “Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China”) online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2008/03/08/AR2008030802595.html
This ritual has been going on almost every day for nine months, Li and other villagers said. In China, a
country buckling with the breakneck pace of its industrial growth, such stories of environmental pollution are
not uncommon. But the Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., here in the central plains of Henan
Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It's a green energy company, producing
polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world. But the byproduct of polysilicon
production -- silicon tetrachloride -- is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.
"The land where you dump or bury it will be infertile. No grass or trees will grow in the place. . . . It is
like dynamite -- it is poisonous, it is polluting. Human beings can never touch it," said Ren Bingyan, a
professor at the School of Material Sciences at Hebei Industrial University. The situation in Li's village
points to the environmental trade-offs the world is making as it races to head off a dwindling supply of fossil
fuels. Forests are being cleared to grow biofuels like palm oil, but scientists argue that the disappearance of
such huge swaths of forests is contributing to climate change. Hydropower dams are being constructed to
replace coal-fired power plants, but they are submerging whole ecosystems under water.
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Solar Power Bad – Inefficient

Solar power is unrealistic because it is highly inefficient and requires large surpluses of
land

Fox News 7 (Fox News. A Green Sings the Renewable Energy Blues. July 30, 2007) online:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,291071,00.html
Solar power is also quite a land hog. As photovoltaic cells are only 10 percent efficient and have seen no
breakthroughs in 30 years, U.S. electric consumption would require a 150,000-square kilometer area of
photovoltaics, plus additional land for electricity storage and retrieval. The photovoltaic industry
would have to step up its production by 600,000 times to produce the same amount of power as that
generated by single 1,000 Megawatt nuclear plant. Aside from land misuse, Ausubel also raises the other
undesirable consequences of renewables: wind power produces low-frequency noise and thumps, blights
landscapes, interferes with TV reception, and chops birds and bats; dams kill rivers; and solar power would
require that large areas of land be essentially “painted black” with photovoltaic cells. In terms of
resource use, the infrastructure of a wind farm takes five to 10 times the steel and concrete used in a
1970-vintage nuclear power plant. The first part of Ausubel’s heresy closes with a sobering assessment:
“Cheerful self-delusion about new solar and renewables since 1970 has yet to produce a single quad of
the more than 90 quadrillion BTU of total energy the U.S. now yearly consumes. ... Let’s stop
sanctifying false and minor gods and heretically chant ‘Renewables are not Green.’”

Due to increased cloud coverage, the Earth has become 20% darker and Solar panel
efficiency will only decrease with time

Adam 3 (David Adam. Environment Correspondent for the Guardian, Science Journalist for Nature. Earth is 20%
darker, say experts. December 18, 2003) online: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/davidadam
Human activity is making the planet darker as well as warmer, scientists say. They believe levels of
sunlight reaching Earth's surface have declined by up to 20% in recent years because air pollution is
reflecting it back into space and helping to make bigger, longer-lasting clouds. The "global dimming"
effect could have implications for everything from the effectiveness of solar power to the growth of plants
and trees. "Over the past couple of years it's become clear that the solar irradiance at the Earth's
surface has decreased," said Jim Hansen, a climate scientist with Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space
Science in New York. Experts say global dimming is probably down to tiny particles such as soot, and
chemical compounds such as sulphates accumulating in the atmosphere. "Data from 100 stations around
the world show that the amount of black carbon in the atmosphere is twice as big as we assumed," said
Dr Hansen.
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Solar Power Bad - Inefficient

Solar panels too inefficient to be used on a large scale

Hayden 5 (Howard C., Environment and Climate News, The Heartland Institute. June 5, 2005) online:
http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=17185&CFID=6182751&CFTOKEN=40015222
There are not many people left who believe acres and acres of mirrors following the sun will ever
answer any of our energy needs. Some of us still cling to the idea that we can efficiently heat a swimming
pool or hot water for the home with direct sunlight, though the numbers of such solar-collecting devices are
declining. However, because few of us understand the magic of the photovoltaic cell that runs our
pocket calculators, many still hold out hope for them. A short description of the solar problem is that
no matter how you design the system it will always be inefficient and capture only a small,
uneconomical amount of solar energy. The best solar cells available on a large scale have an efficiency
of about 10 percent--they can only capture about 10 percent of the solar energy that strikes the cells.
There is a seductive fallacy about solar cells: that more exotic materials and increasingly clever computer-
type designs will cause the price of the cell to drop dramatically. However--unless you are still dazzled by the
old alchemists’ idea of turning lead to gold--Hayden will easily convince you this just is not so.
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Solar Fails – No economy of scale

The use of solar power will fail because of the lack of economies of scale

Hayden 7 (Howard C., Sept. 1, Environment and Climate News, The Heartland Institute,
http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=21823&CFID=6182751&CFTOKEN=40015222)
That brings us to a problem called "economies of scale." Occasionally, you use a great deal of power,
especially when the electric dryer and the oven are running while lights, the freezer, the refrigerator, the TV,
and the computers are running simultaneously. At other times, you use very little power, as everything is
turned off. Measurements show a house will occasionally use as much as 15 kilowatts for short intervals, but
in a neighborhood of eight to 10 non-air-conditioned houses supplied by a transformer, the power demand
will not exceed about 3.5 kilowatts per house. A substation handles the power for many distribution lines.
The utility usually allocates about 2 kilowatts per household at this level.
From the standpoint of the power station, the utility needs to produce less than about 1.5 kilowatts per
household. In other words, the local system of the off-grid user has to be designed to handle 10 times as
much power as the power station would allocate to a single house.
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Solar Energy Good - Cost


Solar energy could power the entire US for cheaper than gas powered plants

CNET news.com 7 (“Shrinking the cost for solar power”) online: http://news.cnet.com/Shrinking-the-cost-for-
solar-power/2100-11392_3-6182947.html?hhTest=1
Both Dolezalek and Jiang Lin, who heads up the China Energy Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory, said that solar thermal is likely the most promising technology in the entire alternative-
energy field right now. When asked when solar thermal can hit parity, Lin responded "now." Thermal
by the numbers: Conventionally generated electricity ranges between 5 and 18 cents per kilowatt hour (the amount of money to get a
kilowatt of power for an hour) but in most places it's below 10 cents, according to the Energy Information Agency. Solar thermal costs
around 15 to 17 cents a kilowatt hour, according to statistics from Schott, a German company that makes solar thermal equipment. A
solar thermal plant would need a facility to store the heat harvested in the day by its sunlight-concentrating mirrors so that the heat could
be used to generate electricity at night. "You need the kind of system that can run in the evening," Morse said. At some sites, such as
Nevada Solar One, excess heat is stored in molten salt and released at night to run the turbine. The plant, ideally, should be capable of
generating about 300 megawatts of electricity. Those plants can churn out electricity at about 13 cents a kilowatt. That's still a relatively
high price, so utilities would need to group two, three or more 300-megawatt plants together to share operational resources, Morse said.
"They could share control rooms or spare parts," he said. That would knock the price closer to 11 cents a kilowatt hour. "Under 10 cents
is sort of the magic line," he said. Dolezalek puts it another way: the plants need to be around 500 megawatts in size. Most solar thermal
plants right now aren't that big. The 22-year-old thermal plant in California's Mojave Desert is 354 megawatts. Utility company Southern
California Edison is erecting a 500-megawatt plant scheduled to open in 2009. By 2014, solar thermal plants located in the Southwest
could crank out nearly 3 gigawatts of power, estimated Travis Bradford of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, a
nonprofit based in Cambridge, Mass. That's enough for about 1 million homes. Costs can then be reduced further by building the plants
close to consumers. It costs about $1.5 million per mile for transmission lines, according to statistics from Acciona Solar Power, which
owns solar thermal plants. Solar thermal plants work best in arid deserts that get little rainfall. Since some of the fastest-growing cities in
the world are located in sun belts, that's less of a problem than it used to be. But getting to that point isn't easy. Land-use hearings and
permits can drag on for years while construction costs rise. The amount of land required can be an issue too: the 354-megawatt plant in
California occupies 1,000 acres. Larger plants would need more land, while smaller plants result in higher costs per kilowatt hour. Even
if all of these factors could be completely optimized, solar thermal power plants would likely not produce electricity at a level that would
compete with coal plants. Coal plants, however, will likely be hit with carbon taxes in the near future, which will make solar thermal
more competitive. Still, at less than 10 cents a kilowatt, solar thermal would be competitive with electricity
from gas-powered plants. Utilities will also likely work hard to lower the costs of solar thermal in the
coming decades, Morse added. Utilities are under mandates to increase their renewable energy sources.
Citizen groups often complain about wind turbines and the wind doesn't blow at a constant, predictable rate.
Several companies are intent on tapping heat from under the surface of the earth to generate power.
Geothermal power, however, works best only in certain locations. "There is an enough flat, unproductive
land in the U.S. to power the U.S.," Morse said. "We just don't have the wires to get there. Eisenhower built
the national highway system. Some president will build the national grid."
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Solar Energy Good – Commercial Feasibility


Cheap and efficient solar panels have been produced and are ready for mass production
that could supply the Earth’s energy needs while being price competitive with fossil fuels

Industry Week 7 (“New Low Cost Solar Panels Ready for Mass Production”) online:
http://www.industryweek.com/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=14932
Colorado State University's method for manufacturing low-cost, high-efficiency solar panels is nearing
mass production. AVA Solar Inc. will start production by the end of next year on the technology developed
by mechanical engineering Professor W.S. Sampath at Colorado State. The new 200-megawatt factory is
expected to employ up to 500 people. Based on the average household usage, 200 megawatts will power
40,000 U.S. homes. Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of
generating solar electricity and could power homes and businesses around the globe with clean energy
for roughly the same cost as traditionally generated electricity. Sampath has developed a continuous,
automated manufacturing process for solar panels using glass coating with a cadmium telluride thin film
instead of the standard high-cost crystalline silicon. Because the process produces high efficiency devices
(ranging from 11% to 13%) at a very high rate and yield, it can be done much more cheaply than with
existing technologies. The cost to the consumer could be as low as $2 per watt, about half the current cost of
solar panels. In addition, this solar technology need not be tied to a grid, so it can be affordably installed
and operated in nearly any location. The process is a low waste process with less than 2% of the
materials used in production needing to be recycled. It also makes better use of raw materials since the
process converts solar energy into electricity more efficiently. Cadmium telluride solar panels require 100
times less semiconductor material than high-cost crystalline silicon panels. "This technology offers a
significant improvement in capital and labor productivity and overall manufacturing efficiency," said
Sampath, director of Colorado State's Materials Engineering Laboratory. Sampath has spent the past 16 years
perfecting the technology. In that time, annual global sales of photovoltaic technology have grown to
approximately 2 gigawatts or two billion watts -- roughly a $6 billion industry. Demand has increased nearly
40% a year for each of the past five years -- a trend that analysts and industry experts expect to continue.
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A2: Solar Power Expensive


New technological breakthroughs have allowed solar energy to be manufactured at lower
cost and it creates millions of jobs that stabilize the cost of electricity

Business Week 8 (Business Week. Business Magazine. Investing: Green Business. February 24, 2008.) online:
http://www.businessweek.com/investing/green_business/archives/2008/02/is_solar_photov.html
Solar PV players are fighting back. “Borenstein’s recent paper on solar policy is predicated on a host of
faulty assumptions that are simply out of touch with the success of solar market development in
California and around the world,” said Julie Blunden a spokesperson at SunPower, the biggest installer of
solar PV in the US, in a written response to the study. The industry has also grenerated millions of jobs
and stabilizes the costs of electricity for those who use it. And to make the point, at the PiperJaffray solar
investment conference in New York in February, SunPower announced it will cut installed solar system
costs to meet equal retail prices by 2012.
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Solar Power Good – Price Drop

Increase capacity for silicon used in solar panel production will drastically reduce their
cost, making them competitive fossil fuels

Technology Review 8 (Technology Review. oldest technology magazine in the world, independent media
company owned by MIT. A Price Drop for Solar Panels: The silicon shortage that has kept solar electricity
expensive is ending. May 1, 2008) online:
http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=solar&id=20702&a=
Solar electricity is about to get much cheaper, industry analysts predict, because a shortage of the silicon
used in solar panels is almost over. That could lead to a sharp drop in prices over the next couple of
years, making solar electricity comparable to power from the grid. High demand generated by
government subsidies worldwide and a shortage of processed silicon have kept prices for solar-
generated power much higher than average electricity prices over the past few years. Solar power is
more than three times the cost of electricity from conventional sources, according to figures from the industry
tracking firm Solarbuzz and the United States' Energy Information Administration. Solar power cost about $4
a watt in the early 2000s, but silicon shortages, which began in 2005, have pushed up prices to more than
$4.80 per watt, according to Solarbuzz. Crystalline silicon has long been the staple of the semiconductor
industry. But it's also the active material in the most common type of solar panel, and the increased use of
solar power has led to the shortage of the material. Indeed, the growth in silicon production hasn't kept pace
with the rise in solar power. "It takes about two or three years to add capacity," says Travis Bradford, an
industry analyst for the Prometheus Institute. The shortage has been severe enough to drive up silicon
prices to more than 10 times normal levels, to $450 a kilogram, adds Ted Sullivan, an analyst at Lux
Research. The added silicon production capacity is now starting to begin operations. While only 15,000 tons
of silicon were available for use in solar cells in 2005, by 2010, this number could grow to 123,000 tons,
Sullivan says. And that will allow existing and planned production of solar panels to ramp up, increasing
supply. "What that means, practically, is that [solar] module prices are going to come down pretty
dramatically in the next two or three years," Bradford says. A report from Michael Rogol, an analyst at
Photon Consulting, says that demand for solar panels will quickly rise in response to even slightly cheaper
prices, holding the price drop between 2007 and 2010 to a mere 20 percent. But others think that the demand
will have trouble responding quickly to lower prices. That's in part because the market for solar has been
generated by government subsidies, especially in countries such as Germany and Spain, and there are limits
to how fast these subsidized markets can grow. Regardless of the growth in demand, Bradford predicts that
over the next couple of years, production of solar panels will double each year. In a recent presentation,
Bradford said that prices for solar panels could drop by as much as 50 percent from 2006 to 2010. In
areas that get a lot of sun, that will translate to solar electricity costs of about 10 cents per kilowatt
hour, matching the average price of electricity in the United States. That will make solar affordable
and, eventually, will vastly increase the market, Bradford says. "You can't even begin to imagine the
transformation that that's going to create.”
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Solar Power Good – Price Drop

Increased capacity for silicon will dramatically reduce the cost of solar panels and make them
cheaper than current electricity produced from fossil fuels

Business Week 6 (Business Week. Business Magazine. February 6, 2006) online:


http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_06/b3970108.htm
So what's the problem? "Global demand is stronger than the existing supply," says Lee Edwards, president and CEO of BP Solar (BP ).
His company and others can't buy enough of the ultrapure polysilicon now used in 91% of solar panels. The raw
material shortage has slashed growth for the industry from more than 50% in 2004 to a projected 5% in
2006. The shortage has caused prices for polysilicon to more than double over the last two years. As
Economics 101 teaches, that should prompt producers to expand capacity. But for suppliers such as Michigan-based Hemlock
Semiconductor Corp., the world's largest producer, the decision hasn't been easy. For one thing, the company was badly burned in 1998.
It had just built a new facility in response to pleas from semiconductor makers when Asia went into a slowdown. Demand for silicon
plunged, and the factory had to be shuttered. Now the U.S., Germany, and other nations are offering subsidies for solar power -- but
governments can take away incentives as easily as they put them in place. "We did a lot of soul-searching," says Hemlock President and
CEO Donald E. Pfuehler. "Would the incentives go away? Is the solar industry real or just a flash in the pan?" Hemlock finally decided
that the industry is real, but only after solar companies agreed to share the risk by signing contracts to buy the future output. So in
December the company began an expansion worth more than $400 million that will increase silicon production by 50%. Competitors are
following suit. On Jan. 12, Munich-based Wacker started construction on a silicon manufacturing plant. The new supply, however, won't
be onstream until 2008. A JOLT FROM SUBSIDIES In the meantime, companies are scrambling to cope with the shortage. Sharp
Corp., the world's top producer of solar panels, and BP Solar are making panels thinner to use less silicon. First Solar LLC in Phoenix
and others are ramping up nonsilicon technologies. "This is a perfect sector for innovation and new players," says BP's Edwards. One
factor driving demand is Germany's scheme of paying big bucks (more than 55 cents per kilowatt hour) for power from anyone with
solar panels. That "lucrative program caught us all by surprise and gave a lot of push," says Pfuehler. Spain and Italy have jumped in
with similar plans. In the U.S., last year's energy bill included solar subsidies, and "governors are going nuts on renewables," says Scott
Sklar, president of the Stella Group Ltd., a green power consultancy. "The funny thing," he adds, "is that Republican governors, like
California's Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York's George Pataki, sound crazier than Al Gore on this." The most ambitious plan: On
Jan. 12, the California Public Utilities Commission earmarked $2.9 billion over 10 years for solar power. For many nations, solar
offers a hedge against spikes in prices of fossil fuel. In Japan, even without incentives, higher fuel
prices and other costs have made solar electricity almost cost-competitive. And huge potential markets,
such as China, are just beginning to be tapped. That's why analysts predict the growth will surge
when the new polysilicon production lines get going. And the boom should continue for at least 10
years. By then, technological improvements, economies of scale, and competition from new entrants
such as China may make sun power cost-effective without government help. "Prices are going down
every year, and the cost of standard electricity is going up," explains Ron Kenedi, Sharp's vice-president for solar
energy solutions. "There will be a meeting point." When that happens, the industry may finally see growth without growing pains.
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Solar Power Good – Price Drop

New technological innovations have increased the efficiency of solar panels 10 fold

MSNBC 8 (Online News Organization. “Technology could streamline solar power” July 10, 2008) online:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25628993/
A new, compact way to collect sunlight from windows and focus it to generate more electricity could
make those multiple expensive rooftop solar panels a thing of the past. The solar panels that cover the tops of
some buildings today contain photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity. Unlike burning coal, collecting and converting
solar energy releases no greenhouse gases, which warm the atmosphere. Limited efficiency and high construction costs have kept solar
from producing more than about 0.07 percent of U.S. energy needs in 2007, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Energy.
"Solar concentrators" can be used to increase the electrical power obtained from the photovoltaic cells.
But most concentrators in use today "track the sun to generate high optical intensities, often by using large mobile mirrors that are
expensive to deploy and maintain," said MIT's Marc A. Baldo, who led the team that created the new type of solar concentrator. New
approach Instead of covering a large area with solar cells, the new method only requires locating cells
around the edges of a flat glass panel. The MIT solar concentrator involves a mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a
pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, reemit it at a different wavelength and transport it across
the pane to the solar cells at the edges. "Light is collected over a large area [like a window] and gathered, or concentrated, at the edges,"
Baldo said. Focusing the light like this increases the electrical power generated by each solar cell "by a
factor of 40," he added. The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department
of Energy's Office of Science. Old idea Scientists had tried using similar solar concentrators in the 1970s,
but abandoned the idea when not enough of the collected light reached the edges of the concentrator. The
MIT engineers revamped the idea by using a mixture of dyes in specific ratios, which allows some level of
control over how the light is transmitted. "We made it so the light can travel a much longer distance,"
said study team member Jon Mapel, an MIT graduate student. "We were able to substantially reduce light
transport losses, resulting in a tenfold increase in the amount of power converted by the solar cells."
Because the system, detailed in the July 11 issue of the journal Science, is simple to manufacture, the team
thinks that it can be implemented within three years. It could also be added on to existing solar-panel
systems, increasing their efficiency and reducing the cost of solar energy.
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***Other Energy***
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AT: Zero-Point

The people who support Zero-Point energy are not qualified and most physicists think it is
impossible

Gardner 7 (Martin, Science Journalist, Skeptic Inquirer, Jan/Feb, http://www.csicop.org/si/2007-01/fringe.html)


“Dr.” Bearden is fond of putting PhD after his name. An Internet check revealed that his doctorate was
given, in his own words, for “life experience and life accomplishment.” It was purchased from a diploma
mill called Trinity College and University—a British institution with no building, campus, faculty, or
president, and run from a post office box in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The institution’s owner, one Albert
Wainwright, calls himself the college “registrant.” Bearden’s central message is clear and simple. He is
persuaded that it is possible to extract unlimited free energy from the vacuum of space-time. Indeed, he
believes the world is on the brink of its greatest technological revolution. Forget about nuclear reactors.
Vacuum energy will rescue us from global warming, eliminate poverty, and provide boundless clean energy
for humanity’s glorious future. All that is needed now is for the scientific community to abandon its “ostrich
position” and allow adequate funding to Bearden and his associates. To almost all physicists this quest for
what is called “zero-point energy” (ZPE) is as hopeless as past efforts to build perpetual motion
machines. Such skepticism drives Bearden up a wall. Only monumental ignorance, he writes, could prompt
such criticism. The nation’s number two drumbeater for ZPE is none other than Harold Puthoff, who
runs a think tank in Austin, Texas, where efforts to tap ZPE have been underway for years. In December
1997, to its shame, Scientific American ran an article praising Puthoff for his efforts. Nowhere did this article
mention his dreary past. Puthoff began his career as a dedicated Scientologist. He had been de¬clared a
“clear”—a person free of malicious “engrams” recorded on his brain while he was an embryo. At Stanford
Research International, Puthoff and his then-friend Russell Targ claimed to have validated “remote
viewing” (a new name for distant clairvoyance), and also the great psi powers of Uri Geller. (See my
chapter on Puthoff’s search for ZPE in Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?, Norton 2000.)

Zero-Point Energy may exist but because of the scale it could never be harnessed

Visser 5(Matt, Assistant Professor of Physics @ WA University, September 16,


http://zpenergy.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1513)
From a particle physics point of view, however, these limits are extremely stringent: the cosmological
constant is more than 10(-123) times smaller than one would naively estimate from particle physics
equations. The cosmological constant could quite plausibly be exactly zero. (Physicists are still arguing on
this point.) Even if the cosmological constant is not zero it is certainly small on a particle-physics scale,
small on a human-engineering scale, and too tiny to be any plausible source of energy for human
needs--not that we have any good ideas on how to accomplish large-scale manipulations of the cosmological
constant anyway. Putting the more exotic fantasies of the free lunch crowd aside, is there anything more
plausible that we could use the ZPE for? It turns out that small-scale manipulations of the ZPE are indeed
possible. By introducing a conductor or a dielectric, one can affect the electromagnetic field and thus induce
changes in the quantum mechanical vacuum, leading to changes in the ZPE. This is what underlies a peculiar
physical phenomenon called the Casimir effect. In a classical world, perfectly neutral conductors do not
attract one another. In a quantum world, however, the neutral conductors disturb the quantum
electromagnetic vacuum and produce finite measurable changes in the energy as the conductors move
around. Sometimes we can even calculate the change in energy and compare it with experiment. These
effects are all undoubtedly real and uncontroversial but tiny. More controversial is the suggestion, made
by the physicist Julian Schwinger, that the ZPE in dielectrics has something to do with sonoluminescence.
The jury is still out on this one and there is a lot of polite discussion going on (both among experimentalists,
who are unsure of which of the competing mechanisms is the correct one, and among theorists, who still
disagree on the precise size and nature of the Casimir effect in dielectrics.) Even more speculative is the
suggestion that relates the Casimir effect to "starquakes" on neutron stars and to gamma ray bursts. In
summary, there is no doubt that the ZPE, vacuum energy and Casimir effect are physically real. Our
ability to manipulate these quantities is limited but in some cases technologically interesting. But the
free-lunch crowd has greatly exaggerated the importance of the ZPE. Notions of mining the ZPE
should therefore be treated with extreme skepticism.
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Nano = Biopower

Nanotechnology extends biopower’s control over every thing

Jones 8 (Richard A.L., Reporter, IEE Spectrum, June, http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jun08/6271)


How to usher humanity into an era of transhumanist bliss: first, end scarcity. Second, eradicate death. Third,
eliminate the bungled mechanisms that introduce imperfections into the human body. The vehicle for
accomplishing all three? Molecular nanotechnology—in essence, the reduction of all material things to the
status of software. To reduce the splendid complexity of our world to a list of instructions, a mere recipe,
would involve harnessing the most basic components of life. Start with Earth's supply of atoms. Evolution,
the laws of physics, and a big dose of chance have arranged those atoms into the objects and life-forms
around us. If we could map the position and type of every atom in an object and also place atoms in
specific positions, then in principle we could reproduce with absolute fidelity any material thing from
its constituent parts. At a stroke, any material or artifact—a Stradivarius or a steak—could be available
in abundance. We could build replacement body parts with capabilities that would hugely exceed their
natural analogues. The economy, the environment, even what it means to be human, would be utterly
transformed.
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AT: Nano - Grey Goo


Grey Goo that would result from nanotechnology would lead to an extinction in just a
matter of hours, that the earth could never recover from

BBC 2(News Organization, “Nanotechnology and the Grey Goo Problem”, http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/hub/A879933)
Almost all organisms on earth3 depend directly or indirectly on the sun. Food chains have at their base
organisms which convert sunlight into energy. Plants do this using chemicals such as chlorophyll. Natural
selection and fierce competition means they've grown reasonably good at it over the several billion years
they've been doing it - but soon they may have competition they can't keep up with.
A nanotech assembler needs power. It could construct solar panels which absorb all the light that hits
them - no wasteful reflecting the green wavelengths like plants do. It could build these things as small or
as large as it needs to - and since the macroscopic design of plants IS very efficient, it's likely to look like a
plant, with branches and overlapping leaves. But since its small scale design is so much more efficient
than any plant - near 100% efficient use of the light hitting it - it would displace any plant from any
ecological niche. Not a problem if your assemblers are confined to the lab - but an accidental release of
these devices into the global ecosystem could result in a mass extinction unprecedented in its scope,
devastating in its speed, and from which the earth would never recover. Even if molecular assemblers
were only 1% more efficient at turning sunlight into power than organic plants, they'd begin displacing
them immediately. Insects, birds and animals wouldn't be able to eat these machines, so they'd begin to suffer.
The maths of geometric progression alluded to above would mean that this displacement would occur not
over thousands or millions of years, as is usual in nature, but in a matter of hours or days. And
eventually, when all plant life had been displaced, and all animal life died out, a terrible quiet would settle
over the earth. The entire planet would be covered in a film of solar-powered self-replicating
assemblers, all near-identical - a grey goo. And unlike every other mass extinction in this planet's
history, there'd be no way back - no obscure class of organism to rise up and take over as the mammals did
after the dinosaurs, because by their design the nanotech machines would be the very optimum energy users
possible. Nothing could ever compete with them, so nothing could ever replace them, except better
versions of themselves, built by themselves. And since they would, by design, be self-repairing, they'd
never die out. No amount of climate change could affect them, until the sun exhausts its hydrogen fuel,
expands into a red giant and envelops and destroys the earth.
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AT: Self-replicating nano


Self-replicating nanotech is impossible several reasons

Kurtzwiel 8(Raymond, 1988 inventor of the year, http://www.ghandchi.com/iranscope/Anthology/KurzweilDrexler.htm)


Smalley describes Drexler's assembler as consisting of five to ten "fingers" (manipulator arms) to hold,
move, and place each atom in the machine being constructed. He then goes on to point out that there isn't
room for so many fingers in the cramped space that a nanobot assembly robot has to work (which he
calls the "fat fingers" problem) and that these fingers would have difficulty letting go of their atomic
cargo because of molecular attraction forces (the "sticky fingers" problem). Smalley describes the
"intricate three-dimensional waltz that is carried out" by five to fifteen atoms in a typical chemical
reaction. Drexler's proposal doesn't look anything like the straw man description that Smalley criticizes.
Drexler's proposal, and most of those that have followed, have a single probe, or "finger."

Nanotechnological assemblers are impossible because of the laws of chemistry

Smalley 3(Richard, Nobel Prize Lauriat Chemistry, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8148/8148counterpoint.html)


But where does the enzyme or ribosome entity come from in your vision of a self-replicating nanobot? Is
there a living cell somewhere inside the nanobot that churns these out? There then must be liquid water
present somewhere inside, and all the nutrients necessary for life. And now that we're thinking about it, how
is it that the nanobot picks just the enzyme molecule it needs out of this cell, and how does it know just
how to hold it and make sure it joins with the local region where the assembly is being done, in just the
right fashion? How does the nanobot know when the enzyme is damaged and needs to be replaced? How
does the nanobot do error detection and error correction?
And what kind of chemistry can it do? Enzymes and ribosomes can only work in water, and therefore
cannot build anything that is chemically unstable in water. Biology is wonderous in the vast diversity of
what it can build, but it can't make a crystal of silicon, or steel, or copper, or aluminum, or titanium, or
virtually any of the key materials on which modern technology is built. Without such materials, how is
this self-replicating nanobot ever going to make a radio, or a laser, or an ultrafast memory, or virtually
any other key component of modern technological society that isn't made of rock, wood, flesh, and
bone?

The chemical reactions required would be too unpredictable to be operated by simple mechanics

Smalley 3(Richard, Nobel Prize Lauriat Chemistry, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8148/8148counterpoint.html)


I agree you will get a reaction when a robot arm pushes the molecules together, but most of the time it
won't be the reaction you want. You argue that "if particular conditions will yield the wrong product, one
must either choose different conditions (different positions, reactants, adjacent groups) or choose another
synthetic target." But in all of your writings, I have never seen a convincing argument that this list of
conditions and synthetic targets that will actually work reliably with mechanosynthesis can be anything but a
very, very short list. Chemistry of the complexity, richness, and precision needed to come anywhere
close to making a molecular assembler--let alone a self-replicating assembler--cannot be done simply
by mushing two molecular objects together. You need more control. There are too many atoms involved
to handle in such a clumsy way. To control these atoms you need some sort of molecular chaperone that can
also serve as a catalyst. You need a fairly large group of other atoms arranged in a complex, articulated,
three-dimensional way to activate the substrate and bring in the reactant, and massage the two until they
react in just the desired way. You need something very much like an enzyme.
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AT: Assemblers impossible


Mechanical precision is possible in nanotech because of computers

Drexler 3(K. Eric, chairman Foresight Institute, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8148/8148counterpoint.html)


Hence, to visualize how a nanofactory system works, it helps to consider a conventional factory system. The
technical questions you raise reach beyond chemistry to systems engineering. Problems of control,
transport, error rates, and component failure have answers involving computers, conveyors, noise
margins, and failure-tolerant redundancy. These issues are explored in technical depth in my book
"Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation" (Wiley/Interscience, 1992), which
describes the physical basis for desktop-scale nanofactories able to build atomically precise macroscopic
products, including more nanofactories.
These nanofactories contain no enzymes, no living cells, no swarms of roaming, replicating nanobots.
Instead, they use computers for digitally precise control, conveyors for parts transport, and positioning
devices of assorted sizes to assemble small parts into larger parts, building macroscopic products. The
smallest devices position molecular parts to assemble structures through mechanosynthesis--'machine-
phase' chemistry.

The use of “fingers” is not needed instead enzymes work for molecular manipulation

Drexler 3(K. Eric, chairman Foresight Institute, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8148/8148counterpoint.html)


You have attempted to dismiss my work in this field by misrepresenting it. From what I hear of a press
conference at the recent National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) conference, you continue to do so. In
particular, you have described molecular assemblers as having multiple "fingers" that manipulate
individual atoms and suffer from so-called fat finger and sticky finger problems, and you have
dismissed their feasibility on this basis. I find this puzzling because, like enzymes and ribosomes,
proposed assemblers neither have nor need these "Smalley fingers." The task of positioning reactive
molecules simply doesn't require them.
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Nanotech too expensive

Nanotech batteries are too expensive to be produced on a mass scale

Noyes 7(Katherine, Reporter, Techworld News, http://www.technewsworld.com/story/58833.html?welcome=1215731358)


When it comes to mass production, however, expense may be an issue, Peter Kofinas, professor in the
Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, told TechNewsWorld. "Carbon
nanotubes are very expensive, so from the commercial standpoint, this would be very expensive if you
want to make a large sheet out of this material."
There could also be problems with cycling, or the number of times the same device can be charged and
discharged without losing power, Kofinas added. "I am not sure its performance would match other
things currently available in the market, due to significant capacity fade upon cycling, he said.
Nevertheless, "the paper battery is a neat idea," he said. "This is an easy-to-fabricate device, and the proposed
flexible capacitor/battery has potential."
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AT: Grey Goo

The possibility of Grey Goo is extreme there are multiple factors that would prevent it

BBC 2(News Organization, “Nanotechnology and the Grey Goo Problem”, http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/hub/A879933)
Assemblers may take minutes or hours to copy themselves. They will not necessarily have instant access to
all the atoms needed to build a copy - if you only have access to carbon, for instance, you can't make
anything except graphite, diamond and fullerenes. Nanotech machines will not be able to change an
atom of carbon into an atom of boron - that requires an altogether different level of energy expediture.
They may have difficulty cooling themselves sufficiently to operate at those kind of speeds. And responsible
designers will program in safeguards to prevent runaway reproduction. The planet will not be destroyed
within hours of the invention of the first universal assembler
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NanoTech Econ Link

Nanotechnology will lead to economic collapse

CRN NO DATE GIVEN(Think tank for nanotechnology, http://www.crnano.org/dangers.htm#economy)


The purchaser of a manufactured product today is paying for its design, raw materials, the labor and capital
of manufacturing, transportation, storage, and sales. Additional money—usually a fairly low percentage—
goes to the owners of all these businesses. If personal nanofactories can produce a wide variety of
products when and where they are wanted, most of this effort will become unnecessary. This raises
several questions about the nature of a post-nanotech economy. Will products become cheaper? Will
capitalism disappear? Will most people retire—or be unemployed? The flexibility of nanofactory
manufacturing, and the radical improvement of its products, imply that non-nanotech products will
not be able to compete in many areas. If nanofactory technology is exclusively owned or controlled, will
this create the world's biggest monopoly, with extreme potential for abusive anti-competitive practices? If
it is not controlled, will the availability of cheap copies mean that even the designers and brand
marketers don't get paid? Much further study is required, but it seems clear that molecular
manufacturing could severely disrupt the present economic structure, greatly reducing the value of
many material and human resources, including much of our current infrastructure. Despite utopian post-
capitalist hopes, it is unclear whether a workable replacement system could appear in time to prevent the
human consequences of massive job displacement
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NanoTech -> Poverty


Nanotechnology will cause increased poverty

CRN NO DATE GIVEN(Think tank for nanotechnology, http://www.crnano.org/dangers.htm#economy)


By today's commercial standards, products built by nanofactories would be immensely valuable. A
monopoly would allow the owners of the technology to charge high rates for all products, and make
high profits. However, if carried to its logical conclusion, such a practice would deny cheap lifesaving
technologies (as simple as water filters or mosquito netting) to millions of people in desperate need.
Competition will eventually drive prices down, but an early monopoly is likely for several reasons. Due to
other risks listed on this page, it is unlikely that a completely unregulated commercial market will be allowed
to exist. In any case, the high cost of development will limit the number of competing projects. Finally, a
company that pulls ahead of the pack could use the resulting huge profits to stifle competition by means such
as broad enforcement of expansive patents and lobbying for special-interest industry restrictions. The price of
a product usually falls somewhere between its value to the purchaser and its cost to the seller. Molecular
manufacturing could result in products with a value orders of magnitude higher than their cost. It is
likely that the price will be set closer to the value than to the cost; in this case, customers will be unable
to gain most of the benefit of "the nanotech revolution". If pricing products by their value is accepted, the
poorest people may continue to die of poverty, in a world where products costing literally a few cents
would save a life. If (as seems likely) this situation is accepted more by the rich than by the poor, social
unrest could add its problems to untold unnecessary human suffering. A recent example is the agreement the
World Trade Organization was working on to provide affordable medicines to poor countries—which the
Bush administration partially prevented (following heavy lobbying by American pharmaceutical companies)
despite furious opposition from every other WTO member.
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NanoTech -> Terrorism


Nanotechnology leads to increased terrorism

CRN NO DATE GIVEN(Think tank for nanotechnology, http://www.crnano.org/dangers.htm#economy)


Criminals and terrorists with stronger, more powerful, and much more compact devices could do
serious damage to society. Defenses against these devices may not be installed immediately or
comprehensively. Chemical and biological weapons could become much more deadly and easier to
conceal. Many other types of terrifying devices are possible, including several varieties of remote
assassination weapons that would be difficult to detect or avoid. As a result of small integrated computers,
even tiny weapons could be aimed at targets remote in time and space from the attacker. This will not
only impair defense, but also will reduce post-attack detection and accountability. Reduced accountability
could reduce civility and security, and increase the attractiveness of some forms of crime. If nanofactory-
built weapons were available from a black market or a home factory, it would be quite difficult to
detect them before they were launched; a random search capable of spotting them would almost
certainly be intrusive enough to violate current human rights standards.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 323
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

NanoTech Destroys Enviro


Nanotechnology will lead to environmental destruction through nano-waste

CRN NO DATE GIVEN(Think tank for nanotechnology, http://www.crnano.org/dangers.htm#economy)


Molecular manufacturing allows the cheap creation of incredibly powerful devices and products. How
many of these products will we want? What environmental damage will they do? The range of possible
damage is vast, from personal low-flying supersonic aircraft injuring large numbers of animals to
collection of solar energy on a sufficiently large scale to modify the planet's albedo and directly affect
the environment. Stronger materials will allow the creation of much larger machines, capable of excavating
or otherwise destroying large areas of the planet at a greatly accelerated pace. It is too early to tell whether
there will be economic incentive to do this. However, given the large number of activities and purposes that
would damage the environment if taken to extremes, and the ease of taking them to extremes with molecular
manufacturing, it seems likely that this problem is worth worrying about. Some forms of damage can
result from an aggregate of individual actions, each almost harmless by itself. Such damage is quite hard to
prevent by persuasion, and laws frequently don't work either; centralized restriction on the technology itself
may be a necessary part of the solution. Finally, the extreme compactness of nanomanufactured
machinery will tempt the use of very small products, which can easily turn into nano-litter that will be
hard to clean up and may cause health problems.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 324
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Tesla Coils K Heg

Tesla coils make the US completely unbeatable, there is no defense against the Tesla Death
Ray.

Peter 4 (Varsányi, Jan. 15, “Proposing the ‘Death Ray’ for Defense”, http://www.rastko.org.yu/rastko/delo/10913)
Marconi said little about his mysterious ray, nor will Tesla discuss the details of his. It is his secret and he
will not reveal it, he says, except to the United States Government, for he is afraid that it might be stolen by
enemies of America, within and without. But of what it will do, he speaks freely.
"This new type of force," he said the other day, "would operate through a beam one one-hundred-
millionth of a centimeter in diameter. It could be generated from a special plant that would cost no
more than two million dollars and would take only about three months to construct. "A dozen such
plants, located at strategic points along the coast, would be enough to defend this country against all
possible aerial attack. This beam would melt any engine, whether Diesel or gasoline-driven." (Marconi's
partly-perfected beam was said to be ineffective against Diesel engines). "It would also ignite any
explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, as the beam would be all-
penetrating." Four recent inventions, Tesla says, are used in the generation of the ray. Two of them already
have been tested, it is said. One of these is an apparatus for producing rays "and other manifestations of
energy" in free air, instead of in a vacuum.
The second is a process for producing "a very great electrical force." Next is a method for amplifying this
force and finally there is a new method for producing "a tremendous electrical repelling force." This, Tesla
declares, would be the projector, or gun, of the teleforce system. It would operate on a potential of
50,000,000 volts. Dramatically, Tesla describes how this titanic voltage would hurl into space billions of
microscopic electrical particles of matter that would bring down invading airplanes as insects are
dropped by a spray gun.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 325
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

AT: Free Energy

The proponents of Free Energy are scam artists

Krieg 97 (Eric, Electrical Engineer, July/August, http://www.csicop.org/si/9707/krieg.html#author)


Lee's elementary scientific dissertations were laced with errors: He claimed his special electricity-
generating bricks would each put out one volt of energy. Volts are not units of energy. A brick exposed
to acidic soil will generate voltage but at thousands of times less energy than required to light a respectable
light bulb. He had a modified car engine powered by compressed gas which awed the audience by warping a
fixed torque wrench. However, Lee mixed apples and oranges by referring to this torque with units of
power (rather than mere force) and thus claimed his stalled engine to be more powerful than a truck
engine (without explaining that the truck engine torque was rated at a high rpm level). We were also shown a
perpetual-motion machine-which operated briefly and then stopped in perpetuity-and an undemonstrated
small air turbine that supposedly puts out kilowatts of power in a three-mile-per-hour wind. Other
technologies shown were just as underwhelming. The only truly amazing thing demonstrated to me was mass
gullibility. He collected applications from many audience members (myself included) to have their cars
converted to run on little heated cylinders and for free-energy machines to be installed in homes with
the excess power sold back to the nervous electric companies. Although my skeptical colleagues and I
brought electrical measurement equipment and a geiger counter, we weren't allowed to use them.
Nonetheless, I heard someone in the audience remark to a friend, "At least one of those inventions has got to
make it big!" Finally, well past midnight, Lee got around to the inevitable-asking the remaining groggy
spectators to pay $10,000 to become dealers before the price shot up to $25,000. In becoming a dealer, one
waives the right to legal
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 326
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

AT: Free Energy

Free Energy is to small to harness

Stenger 98(Victor J., Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado


Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, http://www.csicop.org/sb/9806/reality-check.html#author)
Physicist Harold Puthoff and others have argued that an inexhaustible supply of “free energy” might someday
be extracted from the vacuum—given a sufficient investment in their research, of course. I took the equation
for the stored energy between two plates, which appears in Puthoff’s papers and has been verified
empirically, and put in some numbers. I calculated that two highly polished metal plates 200 kilometers by
200 kilometers on a side separated by one micron (a millionth of a meter) have enough potential energy
to light a 100-Watt light bulb for one second. If we were to stumble upon 30 million or so of these
structures out in space, we could hook them up to our light bulb and keep it lit for a year.
Unfortunately, astronomers have not yet observed such structures in the space near Earth where they
might be utilized.

The claims of free energy are impossible because they violate the laws of nature

Rothman 96 (Milton, Professor of physics Trenton University, Dec, http://www.csicop.org/sb/9409/reality.html#author)


Numerous marvels were promised: a 318 Chrysler engine, modified to run on heat taken directly from
the air; a heat system that can produce "free electricity" from the air; an engine cycle that lifts 250
pounds a foot high using the air pressure in the room; a gravitational torque intensifier that intensifies energy
from the earth's gravitation; and dozens of other items guaranteed to give you something for nothing. The
feature presentation is a technology that can totally neutralize all radioactive nuclear waste and make it
harmless in a matter of seconds. Professor Yull Brown is advertised as the most important man in the entire
world.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this fascinating exhibit. Apparently, neither were the local newspapers,
because I saw nothing in the news sections following the announced date. How sad that we saw no
reports in the papers of inventions that will solve our impending energy crisis. How sad that we saw no
report of a new and successful perpetual motion machine of the second kind.
We are all familiar with perpetual motion devices of the first kind. These are the commonplace machines that
produce energy out of nothing, violating the first law of thermodynamics. This law, of course, is nothing
more than conservation of energy as applied to heat engines. The second law of thermodynamics is less
well known. This law tells us that it is impossible to withdraw heat from a reservoir (a gas, a liquid, or a
solid) at a single temperature and convert it into mechanical energy (unless the heat travels downhill, so
to speak). A heat engine always needs a hot place (a source, from which heat is extracted) and a cold place (a
sink, to which exhaust heat goes). A device which claims to extract heat out of the air or the ocean (without a
sink, or without supplying external energy) is a perpetual motion machine of the second kind.
Thus, the Better World Technology exhibit is no more than an attempt to sell the public devices which have
been tried without success for many years -- in some cases, for hundreds of years. The only people who will
make money out of this event will be the sponsors who are able to induce the gullible and ignorant to invest
money in their schemes.
The sad thing is that I have been watching inventions like this come and go for the past sixty years, since I
left the childish interests of high school and embarked upon the professionalism of college. Not once during
that time has somebody gotten a Nobel prize for a machine that made energy out of nothing, or for a
machine that could collect the heat of the monster ocean. But my skepticism concerning these endeavors
is not founded on the failure of individual machines. I know that none of these machines can possibly
work because they violate fundamental laws of nature.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 327
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

Bioenergetics = false

There is no scientific evidence for the support of Bioenergetic fields, all their evidence is
misconstrued physics

Stenger 98(Victor J., Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado


Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, http://www.csicop.org/sb/9806/reality-check.html#author)
As modern science developed in the West, scientists sought evidence for the substance of spirit. After
Newton had published his laws of mechanics, optics, and gravity, he spent many years fruitlessly looking
for the living force in alchemic experiments. In the late nineteenth century, prominent physicists such as
William Crookes and Oliver Lodge searched for what they called the "psychic force" responsible for the
mysterious powers of the mind that was being exhibited by the mediums and other spiritualist hucksters of
the day. They thought it might be connected with the electromagnetic "aether waves" that had just been
discovered and were being put to amazing use. If wireless telegraphy was possible, why not wireless
telepathy? While wireless telegraphy thrived, wireless telepathy made no progress in the full century that
followed. But even before the twentieth century saw its first sunrise, the aether was found not to exist. By
1905, electromagnetic signals were recognized as being carried by material particles we now call photons.
Biological science developed within a totally materialistic model in which everything could be understood in
terms of the same material particles and forces that were found in inanimate matter. From all we know in
physics, chemistry, and biology, living cells are made of the same quarks and electrons as rocks. They
interact with one another by the exchange of the same photons and gluons. No carefully controlled,
replicable experiment has ever produced data requiring us to postulate additional components to
organic matter, whether material or spiritual, living or non-living. Holistic bioenergetic fields are figments
of the imagination. Despite complete scientific rejection, the concept of a special biological fields within
living things remains deeply engraved in human thinking. It is now working its way into modern health care
systems, as non-scientific alternative therapies become increasingly popular. From acupuncture to
homeopathy and therapeutic touch, the claim is made that healing can be brought about by the proper
adjustment of a person's or animal's "bioenergetic fields." This delusion has become so ubiquitous that it is
appearing in books and journals that claim to practice scientific standards. For example, Elissa Patterson has
published a long article entitled "The philosophy and physics of holistic health care: Spiritual healing as a
workable interpretation" in the British Journal of Advanced Nursing (1998, 27, 287-293). She relates
spiritual healing to the belief that "we are all part of the natural harmonious energy of the universe."
Within this universal energy field is a human energy field "that is intimately involved with human life, often
called the `aura'." Evidence for this aura is claimed in Kirlian photography. The author is obviously
neither a philosopher nor a physicist. She does not exhibit the high school level of physics knowledge
required to understand that this phenomenon is simple corona discharge, observed as far back as 1777
and completely understood for almost a century. According to Patterson, modern physics is supposed to
"require the acceptance of the concept of interconnectedness of energy, energy continually moving from what
we term subatomic particles to the biosphere, including the planet earth, all forming a `whole'." The physics
described by Patterson seems to have been gleaned from New Age literature. She refers to Fritjof Capra and
Ken Wilber for authority, not any common textbook. She parrots all the common misconceptions about
the nature of relativity and quantum mechanics, and Einstein's role in each, that one sees throughout New
Age writing.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 328
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

AT: Teleportation

Teleportation defies the laws of physics

Stenger 5 (Victor J., Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado


Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, http://www.csicop.org/sb/9806/reality-check.html#author)
According to reports, on October 28, 1943 the Eldridge vanished from Philadelphia and simultaneously
appeared 600 km away at the U.S. Naval base at Norfolk. After a few minutes it vanished again and
reappeared in Philadelphia. The Navy and ship crew denied the whole story, but that is, of course, a cover up
according to proponents, who claim the event was an accidental case of “teleportation,” so familiar to us all
from Star Trek. Here again we can make a quantitative estimate of what would be involved. This year is the
hundredth anniversary of what science writers call “Einstein’s famous equation,” E=mc2 (they all have a
macro for this in their word processors). The famous equation presumably makes it physically possible
to convert mass into energy, propagate the energy through space, and then convert it back to mass
some distance away. Well, if you set m equal to the mass of the Eldridge and multiply it by c2, after putting
in some conversion factors you obtain the energy equivalent of 20 million one-megaton hydrogen bombs.
I think this effect might have been noticed. I invite the reader to make another calculation: What is the total
number of bits of information that would have to be transmitted in order to exactly reconstruct the Eldridge
in Norfolk, and again back in Philadelphia? As is always the case with pseudoscientific cons, the various
terms and concepts that are being exploited can be found in legitimate scientific literature. In this case, we
can read about “quantum teleportation,” experiments in which an unknown quantum state is
destroyed at one point in space and recreated at another distant point using a quantum effect known as
“entanglement.” Here information is transmitted, not matter—just as in any ordinary electromagnetic
communication. The fact that it is quantum information, measured in “qubits” rather than bits holds
the promise of future higher information communication. But that technology is still well in the future
and hardly conceivable in 1943.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008 329
Scholars Alt. Energy Toolbox

AT: Tachyon Energy


Tachyons do not exist

Rothman 94 (Milton, Professor of physics Trenton University, Sept, http://www.csicop.org/sb/9409/reality.html#author)


About 25 years ago, a number of physicists suggested the possibility that there exist particles that
normally travel faster than the speed of light. In order for this hypothesis to be consistent with relativity,
the mass of such particles would have to be imaginary-that is, contain the square root of minus one.
Gerald Feinberg gave this hypothetical particle the name "tachyon" and was most prominent in
publicizing his brainchild, with the aid of an avid press corps. Mind you, the theory was a proper theory in
the sense that it was mathematically consistent, and also because it predicted certain observable
consequences-namely, that if tachyons existed they would emit a certain type of radiation (Cerenkov
radiation) in a vacuum. This radiation was searched for, and none was found. So, after a flurry of
excitement, physicists lost interest in tachyons and went on to more massive hypotheses, such as black
holes. As far as physicists are concerned, tachyons do not exist. (But black holes do!)