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Author Topic: Energy Production and Use Topic - Topic Committee Working Groups  (Read 28816 times)
kevin kuswa
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2012, 08:44:11 AM »

Good work, Dave and Andrea!  Lots of good evidence in here and some solid topic wordings.  A few initial thoughts:

1. we may be able to avoid some of the and/ors.
2. "source" might be better than "resource"--not a big deal, but something to look into.
3. your elegant wording corrects for this, but the first wording allows for any reduction in restrictions while the incentives have to be substantial.  Moving substantial in front of both will help that.
4. The biggest question here is with "production" and "use"--especially if you can do either.  Production can be limited, but there is a big debate there.  Generation may be better--maybe a combination of words like development, generation, and deployment.  "Use" is the one we need to really look at--it could lead to some unintended areas, but it is nice and broad like we are looking for...possibly a good term, just needs a bit more thought.
5. Not sure the domestic sources need specification, but this is a good list if so.

The intent of reducing obstacles and incentivizing is PERFECT--great stuff there and thanks for the head start.  This will undoubtedly make the process better and more accurate overall.  Keep us posted with more evidence/thoughts/etc.
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rwevans
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2012, 10:59:15 AM »

Increase domestic use?

Domestic:  of or pertaining to the home, the household, household affairs, or the family (dictionary.com)

"The United States Federal Government should establish a policy substantially encouraging the production and / or use of domestic energy resources."

Only way to be topical in to increase use/production of the energy resources found in the home.  

"The USFG should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase incentives for the domestic production and/or domestic use of one or more of the following: oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear power."

Don't even get me started on domestic production of natural gas.

Edit
Not only that, but given this wording rural electrification in Tanzania, Peru, Haiti or any other country is topical.  

Also:

Energy:  the capacity for vigorous activity; available power: I eat chocolate to get quick energy. (dictionary.com)
Resource:  a source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.  (dictionary.com)

Increase use or production of domestic energy resources means increase production and/or consumption of food in the home.  Community gardens?  Family farms?  Meals on wheels.  Fast food tax!!!  

And sonme evidentiary support:

Higher rates of obesity are likely to be found in those with the lowest incomes and the least education, particularly among women and certain ethnic groups.11–13 Some authors have viewed this association, with hunger and obesity co-existing side-by-side, as something of a paradox.14 This apparent paradox may be explained by the relatively low cost of energy dense foods,9,15 the high palatability of sweets and fats associated with higher energy intakes,16 and the association of lower incomes and food insecurity with lower intakes of fruit and vegetables. Recent observational studies have found that dietary patterns and obesity rates vary between neighbourhoods, with living in a low-income or deprived area independently associated with the prevalence of obesity and the consumption of a poor diet. Such associations have been consistently reported in countries such as the UK,20–24 The Netherlands,25,26 Sweden,27 Australia,28,29 US30–32, and Canada33. It has been suggested that this may be due to a process of ‘deprivation amplification’,34 whereby exposure to poor quality food environments amplifies individual risk factors for obesity such as low income, absence of transport, and poor cooking skills or knowledge. Environmental influences on diet are partly considered to involve two pathways: access to foods for home consumption from supermarkets and grocery stores, and access to ready made food for home and out-of-home consumption (e.g. takeaways, restaurants). In this commentary we review and assess the role of these two elements of the local food environment in producing the patterning of obesity by socioeconomic status.

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/1/100.full
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 03:48:10 PM by rwevans » Logged
whwatson
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2012, 11:17:56 AM »

This seems like a better version of the "more elegant" wording example in Andrea and Dave's wording paper:

The United States Federal Government should establish a policy encouraging a substantial increase in the production and / or use of ... <insert energy resources, list of resources, etc.> 

My concern at this point with "reduce restrictions" and "increase incentives" (aside from its alliterative properties) is that is seems that it's two topics in one - reduce restrictions for domestic fossil fuel production and increase incentives for nuclear (and/or renewable) energy.  Personally, I'd rather have one or the other...

Nice work Andrea and Dave - an enjoyable read.

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Hester
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2012, 02:50:23 PM »

Thanks to Andrea and Dave for getting their work out to everyone in advance and for doing an excellent job with the paper.

i have a tangential question that is raised by their work, but is really separate from it and more philosophical in nature and i'm guessing will be a substantial issue during the topic meetings:

When explaining why they didn't include renewable energies in their resolution, it is stated "renewable energy will be an inevitable part of the topic either as a disadvantage or counterplan. Making this negative ground seemed to make the balance of ground more coherent so negatives wouldn’t be debating oil and solar good."

My question is not directed specifically at Dave and Andrea as much as it is directed at those who might agree with the position i'm about to question -

If one concedes that renewable energies will have to be researched regardless of whether they are included in the resolution (by becoming NEG ground under that scenario), what is the benefit of making sure "negatives wouldn’t be debating oil and solar good"? Other than research burdens, what does it mean for NEG ground to be "more coherent"?

Since we don't follow the four-person team model in our debate community (each team will have AFF and NEG rounds), won't each team have to research "oil good" and "solar good" (and the answers to these) regardless of whether renewables are included in the resolution? If so, the "added research burden" seems marginal at best. And since the AFF plan that 'does both' is susceptible to the "Pick One" CP, there's not a significant non-risk strategic advantage that only the AFF gets by including fossil and renewable energy sources in the resolution.

once it's conceded that renewable energies have to get researched whether they are strictly AFF ground or not - the argument to exclude them from the resolution boils down to "that ground is too good for the AFF and too hard to debate for the NEG." which is a claim with obvious implications. but having both non-renewable and renewable sources in the resolution doesn't seem to add to research burdens or significantly tilt strategic ground toward the AFF otherwise. or am i missing something? (definitely possible)

open to explanations that persuade me otherwise...
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whwatson
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2012, 03:33:36 PM »

Thanks to Andrea and Dave for getting their work out to everyone in advance and for doing an excellent job with the paper.

i have a tangential question that is raised by their work, but is really separate from it and more philosophical in nature and i'm guessing will be a substantial issue during the topic meetings:

When explaining why they didn't include renewable energies in their resolution, it is stated "renewable energy will be an inevitable part of the topic either as a disadvantage or counterplan. Making this negative ground seemed to make the balance of ground more coherent so negatives wouldn’t be debating oil and solar good."

My question is not directed specifically at Dave and Andrea as much as it is directed at those who might agree with the position i'm about to question -

If one concedes that renewable energies will have to be researched regardless of whether they are included in the resolution (by becoming NEG ground under that scenario), what is the benefit of making sure "negatives wouldn’t be debating oil and solar good"? Other than research burdens, what does it mean for NEG ground to be "more coherent"?

Since we don't follow the four-person team model in our debate community (each team will have AFF and NEG rounds), won't each team have to research "oil good" and "solar good" (and the answers to these) regardless of whether renewables are included in the resolution? If so, the "added research burden" seems marginal at best. And since the AFF plan that 'does both' is susceptible to the "Pick One" CP, there's not a significant non-risk strategic advantage that only the AFF gets by including fossil and renewable energy sources in the resolution.

once it's conceded that renewable energies have to get researched whether they are strictly AFF ground or not - the argument to exclude them from the resolution boils down to "that ground is too good for the AFF and too hard to debate for the NEG." which is a claim with obvious implications. but having both non-renewable and renewable sources in the resolution doesn't seem to add to research burdens or significantly tilt strategic ground toward the AFF otherwise. or am i missing something? (definitely possible)

open to explanations that persuade me otherwise...

possible explanations...?

a) desire for topic coherence (i.e. too complicated/messy to promote fossil fuels and renewables)

b) fears of bidirectionality (this was an issue on ME constructive engagement when I wrote a security guarantee-only topic wording paper that allowed Affs that offered formal security guarantees to Israel...)

c) the Neg research burden claim that you've outlined

Perhaps the energy area authors - Ana, Zive, etc. - can chime in on this issue.
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Malgor
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2012, 05:54:25 PM »

if the topic only has the USFG increase fossil fuels, excluding alternative energy from the debate, we will successfully have created an entire community advocating that the government roll back energy policy 20 years.  still waiting for any sources outside of the lobbying and conservative think tank industries that actually believe this is the core question of US energy policy. 
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kevin kuswa
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Posts: 345


« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2012, 06:03:44 PM »

i don't think we need to specify the list of energy sources.

if we do, we should use renewables and non-renewables in the list.

The controversy paper clearly states:

"In conclusion, our strong recommendation is to include some form of renewable and nonrenewable sources on the ballot of potential resolutions. Including a limit on the types of energy can serve as a clarifying function, but Dylan and I do not think this should be an “only fossil fuels” or an “only renewables topic.”"

The list in Dave and Andrea's paper includes nuclear which is a gesture to the need to have some reach within a list, but there is a big debate over whether nuclear is renewable or not (uranium is limited, etc.).  Some very good cards contend that nuclear is renewable (arguing that ultimately no power source is "infinite"--even the sun), and other authors make a persuasive case that nuclear energy is not a fossil fuel and is not a renewable energy source either--it is its own animal.

We'll continue to flesh this out, but given the controversy paper and what hester and malgor are correctly pointing out, it seems like we should either leave the potential sources of energy wide-open or include renewables and non-renewables on the list.  We also need to find phrasing that avoids R.E.'s hilarious and insightful criticism of the implications of "domestic use."  Stinky already Smiley

good conversation.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 07:06:45 PM by kevin kuswa » Logged
tcram
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2012, 10:22:39 PM »

Another possible argument for a 'consistent theme': there is some (not necessarily always significant) effect on how translatable research is to different sides and circumstances; things are rarely as simple 'good/bad' and we do a lot more than produce files that reflect referendums on different issues and sub-issues.  The policy context and the question framing the issue places a limit on easily otherwise 'inevitable research' can pay dividends for debaters.  Granted, I think those barriers are diminished in an all paperless world when work can be more easily re-directed to account for new situations.

An argument I would float out there for including renewables is the simple utility of having a parachute built into the topic.  A narrow option is all fine and good until our narrow option becomes pretty awful.  Would I trade greater unpredictability to not being shackeled to an idea that grounds out after a month?  Well... I don't know, the unpredictable or bi-directional (which is to not even speak of TRI-directional...) are certainly scary, but after courts, immigration and democracy assistance I would certainly entertain the thought.  If we can make a judgment that there are indeed healthy literature bases that could sustain a ff only topic, perhaps that choice makes more sense.  But I am still not entirely sold on either the general direction of production/use uniqueness for fossil fuels or the nature of the literature (please don't confuse that with saying there are no debates to be had on those areas...I certainly think there are).
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 10:24:30 PM by tcram » Logged
whwatson
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2012, 07:26:03 AM »

Alternative wordings to avoid T randomness (i.e., you aren't household farting) could include "national energy production/use" or "energy production/use nationwide" aren't phrases that appear in the literature... 

"domestic energy production/use" appears to be a phrase of art in the literature.  Common alternative phrases include "total energy production/use" and "U.S. energy production/use/consumption."

"increase domestic energy production/use in the United States" or "increase in U.S. energy production/use" might create another problem - seems to allow single project or single area of the country Affirmatives...

I'm not particularly worried about the T concerns related to domestic, but exploring alternative wordings is worth pursuing if it results in precise wordings that are also consistent with the lit base.
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BrianDeLong
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2012, 08:53:28 AM »

if the topic only has the USFG increase fossil fuels, excluding alternative energy from the debate, we will successfully have created an entire community advocating that the government roll back energy policy 20 years.  still waiting for any sources outside of the lobbying and conservative think tank industries that actually believe this is the core question of US energy policy.

I agree with Malgor and Hester here. I imagine or I at least hope the community at large would NOT want a purely unidirectional pro-fossil fuels topic.

A few concerns about fossil fuel production/use dominated topic:
1) if we focus on increasing production and use, do we miss the depth of the efficiency debate?

2a) Most middle of the road literature seems to advocate a mixed approach. Are we risking severing great solvency literature and topic mechanisms located in the comprehensive national energy policy literature? The risk is that affirmative teams will have to rely on the proliferation of small affirmatives that fail to solve the core advantages. A pipeline affirmative, for example, would have to rely on less than sustainable advantages to beat topic counter plans and advantage thumpers.
2b) We risk throwing out RPS, Cap and Trade, CAFE, and other relevant and timely core of energy policy debates for the purpose of "consistency."

3a) Fossil Fuel Uniqueness: Clean coal research is happening now by the industry and government. Coal usage is happening now and will continue unless the government changes course. Thus, how key is government involvement to assist with the transition to clean coal? Outside of some tek leadership, trade (all likely resolved by the status quo funding), and suspect environmental advantages, what unique advantage to we obtain with Federal clean coal leadership/involvement?

4) In terms of the T debate for domestic "use": I fear a bad T debate over whether an affirmative can ONLY focus on the increase of "use" of X fuel. If a comprehensive policy on say, natural gas cars, includes quality control mechanisms that increases the price of a X fuel's use, is this extra-topical? Mandates that include technology restrictions against natural gas leakage could be an example. A topic that includes "use" as the end, may mean affirmatives are constrained to the least efficient and dirtiest forms of the fuels use.

Conclusion: If we fail to include renewables, efficiency, and/or cleaner technologies I think we will look back at this topic at the end of the year and think about a missed opportunity. I would put it near the level of increase federal control of Indian Country.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 09:09:41 AM by BrianDeLong » Logged
whwatson
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2012, 10:10:46 AM »

if the topic only has the USFG increase fossil fuels, excluding alternative energy from the debate, we will successfully have created an entire community advocating that the government roll back energy policy 20 years.  still waiting for any sources outside of the lobbying and conservative think tank industries that actually believe this is the core question of US energy policy.

I agree with Malgor and Hester here. I imagine or I at least hope the community at large would NOT want a purely unidirectional pro-fossil fuels topic.

A few concerns about fossil fuel production/use dominated topic:
1) if we focus on increasing production and use, do we miss the depth of the efficiency debate?

2a) Most middle of the road literature seems to advocate a mixed approach. Are we risking severing great solvency literature and topic mechanisms located in the comprehensive national energy policy literature? The risk is that affirmative teams will have to rely on the proliferation of small affirmatives that fail to solve the core advantages. A pipeline affirmative, for example, would have to rely on less than sustainable advantages to beat topic counter plans and advantage thumpers.
2b) We risk throwing out RPS, Cap and Trade, CAFE, and other relevant and timely core of energy policy debates for the purpose of "consistency."

3a) Fossil Fuel Uniqueness: Clean coal research is happening now by the industry and government. Coal usage is happening now and will continue unless the government changes course. Thus, how key is government involvement to assist with the transition to clean coal? Outside of some tek leadership, trade (all likely resolved by the status quo funding), and suspect environmental advantages, what unique advantage to we obtain with Federal clean coal leadership/involvement?

4) In terms of the T debate for domestic "use": I fear a bad T debate over whether an affirmative can ONLY focus on the increase of "use" of X fuel. If a comprehensive policy on say, natural gas cars, includes quality control mechanisms that increases the price of a X fuel's use, is this extra-topical? Mandates that include technology restrictions against natural gas leakage could be an example. A topic that includes "use" as the end, may mean affirmatives are constrained to the least efficient and dirtiest forms of the fuels use.

Conclusion: If we fail to include renewables, efficiency, and/or cleaner technologies I think we will look back at this topic at the end of the year and think about a missed opportunity. I would put it near the level of increase federal control of Indian Country.

the controversy paper itself seems to privilege energy production over energy efficiency, does it not?

04-05 "greatest hits" Affs might or might not be consistent with the controversy paper...but they might be with particular wordings that emerge from the topic meetings - we'll have to wait and see

renewable energy promotion also has uniqueness issues - public and private investment in RE has and will continue to increase in the US

"establish a policy" seems a broad enough term to address concerns in #4

the world will not end if a fossil fuel production wording is put on the ballot and the community will not shame itself for having it as an option...

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jzhawk
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2012, 12:48:55 PM »

if the topic only has the USFG increase fossil fuels, excluding alternative energy from the debate, we will successfully have created an entire community advocating that the government roll back energy policy 20 years.  still waiting for any sources outside of the lobbying and conservative think tank industries that actually believe this is the core question of US energy policy. 

I certainly do not want to get  in the way your willingness to make broad generalizations about people and professions you do not know or understand, but this argument is every bit as inaccurate as it is self-righteous.

The core question of energy policy is unquestionably where the US will derive its electricity and/or motor fuels from. This is something that people on both sides agree about, and the question is what the fuel mix should be, and how to induce transitions from one type of fuel to another. Now, if you read my posts I have actually been arguing that topic could focus on driving fuels away from the two largest sources of energy, coal and petroleum for the electricity and transportation sectors respectively.  Now, i suspect that Andrea and Dave have flipped that based on concerns about inherency and uniqueness (and Ana and Dylan took the same stance), of course, none of those  four people are lobbyists or work for conservative think tanks so i am not sure what your point was.

Perhaps you can set aside your obvious and poorly informed disdain and propose an energy policy wording that would better suit your concerns?
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jzhawk
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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2012, 12:59:42 PM »



We'll continue to flesh this out, but given the controversy paper and what hester and malgor are correctly pointing out, it seems like we should either leave the potential sources of energy wide-open or include renewables and non-renewables on the list.



I know am but a lobbyist with no interest in actually assisting with this process, but I shall endeavor to participate in the discussion. I made this point in a back-channel to ErMo, but if you want to debate alternatives I am not sure that you want use the simple renewable/non-renewable dichotomy.  A coherent and long-term energy policy designed to replace coal/petroleum in their respective sectors would likely require significant gas use in over the next two decades, as gas burns remarkably efficiently and cleanly, is abundant, and the renewables aren't up to snuff right now to carry baseload capacity. This is not some sort of agenda driven argument from me, as gas has been what the environmental movement has been pushing for as a tool to shut down older coal generating facilities.

I think you might benefit from a focus on something like replacement or alternatives to coal/foreign oil (not sure oil fits well, honestly) for generation of electricity for residential, industrial, or commercial purposes in the U.S.  as it would focus discuss on the concept of replacement, which is the crux of the debate.

My concern about the general increased production approach (and this is a conenr I raised with Ana when I reviewed the controversy paper) is that outside of oil there really isn't a significant debate increasing the production or use of coal.  there is a debate how much to reduce coal use or, upgrade facilities, do cogeneration,e tc. , but a policy actually increasing coal production would be greeted in policy circles with shock by people on all sides of the issue.
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BrianDeLong
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« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2012, 01:44:59 PM »

the controversy paper itself seems to privilege energy production over energy efficiency, does it not?

Josh Zive's argument about how there are few advocates for energy "production" in terms of increasing coal use hints at what I am getting at here. While I agree the topic paper focuses much in terms of production, we have to at least recognize that in a market of energy an increase comes at the cost of reduction elsewhere. I don't think it would be bad to include coal in the topic, I actually think it was an under researched issue during the reduce FF consumption topic. But if we're going to discuss replacing coal or making it better with clean coal so it is a more sustainable (environmentally) option for the future than we should probably recognize the need for efficiency based mechanisms.

the world will not end if a fossil fuel production wording is put on the ballot and the community will not shame itself for having it as an option...

I receive your snarkiness well and wear it with pride. I was probably a little overdramatic in bringing up the Indians topic. Sure an all "non-renewable" fossil fuel option can be on the ballot, but I (and I hope others) will be more interested in a non-FF exclusive resolution.

Here's a quick poll or way you can test whether issues of new non-ff resources should be included in the topic. Go to your University's energy and policy professors department(s)/school. Take a quick scan of their vitas and see what they are writing about. At SPEA, every professor who claims expertise in energy is zeroing in on sustainability in use and production, renewables, and carbon. While this may just be the school that our debate program is housed, I am willing to bet that the vast majority of academic based research will be in a similar vein.

I wouldn't want to exclude these discussion and their advancements since the last time we debated some of the cases from 05 - from my perspective it IS the debate.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 01:47:07 PM by BrianDeLong » Logged
dylanquigley
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« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2012, 01:48:33 PM »

I'm sorry I don't have the time currently to be more active in this discussion but I did feel like I needed to chime in quickly on one point. It is inconceivable to me that any potential wording derived from the topic paper that Ana and I produced would not include, as a significant component, renewable energy. I do, however, understand there is a good discussion to be had about whether the inclusion of wind, solar, biofuels etc. should be though a list of varying lengths on the slate or the use a broader term.
The paper explicitly defended a large, bidirectional resolution where aff flexibility was paramount. Based on Gordon's advice at last years wording meeting, we tried to be as direct and explicit as possible about the paper's wording mandates so as to avoid community dissatisfaction with the outcome of the meeting. If I thought there was any chance of a potential wording derived from our paper that did not include renewable energy I would not have supported it and I am positive it would not have received our teams vote. I do not think this is something that should be open to debate at the wording meeting.
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