Politics and the E-Cat: How Will Candidates Deal With the Possibility of Clean Cheap and Plentiful Energy?

Most of the discussion surrounding Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat has focused on the scientific aspects, and the future commercialization of the technology. Sooner or later, however, if this device is indeed a new and improved source of energy it will make its entrance into the political realm.

It’s interesting that the E-Cat will be launched in the Autumn of 2011 — just as the United States 2012 campaign season begins to get into full swing. One of the biggest campaign issues in this election cycle is going to be energy policy. American voters are focusing on the economics of energy policy in a big way, with gasoline (and other fuel) prices close to record levels at a time when money is tight, unemployment is high, and the future is very uncertain.

What is a politician to do when faced with a working E-Cat that can produce clean, plentiful energy very cheaply?

If a candidate is trying to get as many votes as possible he or she  will want to know what public opinion is on an issue before they take a firm position. It is highly likely that if the E-Cat works as advertised it will be something that most voters will want, and want quickly. When winter hits, people start getting worried about their fuel bills. If a technology comes along  that promises to provide heat at at least one fourth of current heating costs, who is not going to want that?

And if there is a groundswell of support among the general public for E-Cat technology we are likely to see candidates embrace it also. I doubt that any serious candidate would take a “ban the E-Cat” position if it can be proven by Rossi and his associates to be safe. It may actually come to a point where in order to gain support, candidates might actually try and show that they are MORE supportive of the E-Cat than their opponents, and we might start seeing creative and ambitious proposals put forward to bring about a rapid adoption of this technology.

When it boils down to it, energy issues are at the heart of most economic, and many political problems. If  cheap, clean and plentiful energy were available people would have much less anxiety about how they were going to pay their bills, business costs would decrease, goods would be cheaper, economic growth would be boosted, etc.

In one way it would be a politician’s dream come true — a candidate could make grand promises about a new and bright future, and people might actually believe them.

On the other hand there might be some nightmare-like aspects to a technology like the E-Cat. There will likely be some segments of the population who will be adversely affected by a much better energy technology. People who work in the fossil fuel sector could very well see their businesses negatively impacted. If oil prices drop in the face of a competitive new power source, some boom towns may go bust. If power plants transition to using E-Cats for power rather than coal, we might see the mining industry suffer badly. And what would happen to the alternative energy sector. Wind and solar projects could end up being abandoned.

So it is going to be very interesting to look at how political campaigns and government policies might be affected if there is a successful launch of the E-Cat later this year.

Do you have any ideas about energy policy proposals that would make sense if the E-Cat takes off? If you do, feel free to add a comment below.

And it might be time to start letting our elected representatives and political candidates know about the E-Cat story — they may need to start thinking about how they are going to deal with what could be a very important reality later this year.

  • Stuart

    Your a bit early with talk of political intervention.

    None of the UK or US papers will even publish a link to an E CAT story, let alone openly write about it, considering that if the E-CAT pans out, which is seems to be more an more likely with each day, this is biggest thing since the invention of fire.

    Personally I’m more worried about the OPEC nations and what they will do when the west turns round and say’s stuff your oil.

    • admin

      Yes, it is early — the vast majority of people haven’t heard of this technology yet, and as you say, traditional news sources are not touching this story. However, I think this could change rather quickly. If there’s a successful launch of the E-Cat this autumn, this could become major news right in the middle of US presidential election season. How does a candidate deal with that?

    • Chris

      Oil will always be around since its still used in plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer, etc. Actually oil companies will benefit if they embrace the new technologies (if they have any forward thinking people in their boardrooms) because the uptick in the world economy will mean more business for them. After all, to make 300 million E-Cats is going to take lots of old fashioned energy. Wind and solar won’t be affected all that much because the rising tide of the world economy will raise all boats.
      When are politicians going to start thinking this way? When we, the people, keep repeating it so often that they finally get it!

      • admin

        I agree with you about oil — lots of uses for oil outside of burning it for fuel. Not so sure how well solar and wind will do if they can’t remain competitive with the E-Cat. I would imagine if there is a cheaper and abundant energy alternative people will start wanting to see wind farms removed from the landscape.

  • georgehants

    From the Journal of Nuclear Physics today.

    Wladimir Guglinski
    May 19th, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Dr. Pietro Cambi
    The confirmation of Rossi’s technology by an university was important one year ago, so that to show to investors that Rossi’s technology really works. That’s why the confirmation by the Bologna University was crucial.
    As the E-Cat is already going on the market, it means that it’s working. So there is no need any confirmation by any university.

    There is in general a belief that something can work only when it is confirmed by an university. The scientific community used along the 20th Century such belief in order to fool the people, by convincing them that many experiments which defy the prevailing theories cannot be taking seriously in consideration because they had no confirmation by universities.
    But the own universities refused to repeat the experiments.
    By this way they have created a vicious circle:
    – all the peer review journals refuse to publish the paper describing the experiment, because it violates some principles of current theories.
    – all the universities refuse to repeat the experiment, because it was not published in any peer review journal
    – so the experiment cannot be taken seriously, because it was not published in any peer review journal, it was not replicated by any university, and so its results were not confirmed.

    Tesla’s inventions in the field of free energy are an example.

    It seems such conspiracy of the academics against the scientific method will end in 2012.

    When “scientists” cannot look at anything outside of their deterministic, closed minded, backward world, what hope from politicians or the media.
    People must force these things into the open themselves.

  • cx0r

    Scientific institutions around the world would welcome an opportunity to verify Rossi’s technology, but he is not forthcoming (perhaps wisely) with details or a prototype for analysis by the scientific community. I agree that there is bias in the scientific world, but this is not the case with Rossi’s e-cat.

    • georgehants

      If Rossi had not handled things the way he has, the discovery would never have seen the light of day.
      “science” has had years to develop and perfect cold fusion but their insane, blind, reductionist, self important, arrogant, dead brained, self serving, peer fearing, stupid, outlook, comparable in every way to the worst dogmatic, religious, manipulations in history, has meant that all open minded science has had to overcome the closed minded censoring and persecution of academic administrates and journals.

      There is no excuse, “science” needs an Enema and very quickly.

  • PG

    The demonstration of an almost unlimited, safe and low cost energy source will immediately lift the spirits of most working class people who struggle daily with their energy bills for heating, electricity and transportation. This will have a positive effect on the incumbents. There will be a subconscious association of this perceived new benefit with those currently in power, just as upturns and downturns in the economy are associated with the incumbent politicians. However if this becomes a battle between “believers” and “non-believers” and things don’t work out as expected it will come down to finger pointing and “How could you vote for someone who believed such foolishness”? Also as the price of current fuel sources drop there will be a call for increased subsidies for the failing industries.

  • TJ

    The Japanese would likely be first adopter in terms of a government related energy strategy.

  • wind energy guy

    An over unity device such as the ecat will cause an immediate drop in energy prices when the futures traders abandon the petroleum ship. Supply and demand will react more slowly but all new drilling and wind and solar construction will quickly stop.
    Rossi can’t get a us patent so he’s doing an end run… then watch the lawsuits begin. Hopefully the world governments will make this technology open source and to hell with the patents.

    • Paul Bokor

      The eCat is not an over unity device, and has never been marketed as such.

    • BB

      @Wind energy guy,
      Can I reach you? Like to discuss how financial markets will react, with you…

  • The first policy will be to regulate the E-cats.. The next thing they will do is tax them–not just on the sale, but on the output.

    Our governments take in a huge amount of money from energy leasing, royalties, and taxes. Anything that threatens those revenues will be a serious concern. As the whole U.S. economy is based on petroleum… will be quite an upheaval.

    Will the unregistered use of an e-cat land you in jail? Probably! But I can’t wait to see what happens.

  • I wrote a related essay as a comment on Rossi’s Journal site. I also put a copy here:

    I have been thinking of these issues mostly in terms of cheap computing and cheap robotics changing our economy, but cheap energy may have many of the same effects. From the begiinning of that essay:

    The key point here is that breakthrough clean energy technologies will change the very nature of our economic system. They will shift the balance between four different interwoven economies we have always had (subsistence, gift, planned, and exchange). Inventors who have struggled so hard in a system currently dominated by exchange may have to think about the socioeconomic implications of their invention in causing a permanent economic phase change. A clean energy breakthrough will probably create a different balance of those four economies like toward greater local subsistence and more gift giving (as James P. Hogan talks about in Voyage From Yesteryear). So, to focus on making money in the old socioeconomic paradigm (like by focusing on restrictive patents) may be very ironic, compared to freely sharing a great gift with the world that may change the overall dynamics of our economy to the point where money does not matter very much anymore.

    There have always been four interwoven economies, and the balance of them is shaped by our society:
    * A subsistence economy (“There’s some lovely berries over here.”);
    * A gift economy (“The meat from this deer is going to spoil; let’s share it with the tribe.”);
    * A planned economy (“Let’s put the longhouse here.”);
    * An exchange economy (“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”);
    [* And maybe, as someone pointed out to me since, a problematical parasitical theft/conquest economy (“What’s yours is mine because I’m tougher than you”).]

    Paid human labor has less and less value due to several causes including due to robotics, AI, and other automation, due to better design, due to the accumulation of physical infrastructure, due to cheaper energy (which can often substitute for human labor), and/or due to the emergence of voluntary social networks.

    Mainstream economists try to get around this long term trend by assuming infinite demand, but that is just not in accord with human psychology or social dynamics. See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, or an emerging “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” ethic, or see any of the world’s major religions — including humanism — about moving beyond materialistic values.

    So, we can expect the balance between those four economies to change as our technology and society changes, perhaps with:
    * A subsistence economy through 3D printing and local PV solar panels or other clean energy technologies (like cold fusion or something else);
    * A gift economy through the internet, like sharing digital files to use with our 3D printers;
    * A planned economy on a variety of scales, including through taxes, subsidies and regulation affecting market dynamics; and
    * An exchange economy marketplace softened by a basic income.

  • Ken

    If the E-cat device is for real, there will be a long transition period of ten to twenty years as it is proved, tested, and adapted for routine use. During that transition, consumer and industrial investment in existing energy technologies will continue to have value until they wear out and replacements based on E-cat technology are available.

    Modern, diversified free market economies such as the US and those of Europe and Asia will do best, while dysfunctional countries whose economies are based on energy production — Russia and the Muslim oil and gas producers — will do poorly because they will be hard put to find other forms of production with value to the world economy.

    Among the most significant long term changes across the globe will be more democracy and freedom, more widespread wealth and opportunity, and a reduction in poverty.

  • First off this device is not an overunity device.

    Definition for overunity:
    The term perpetual motion, taken literally, refers to movement that goes on forever. However, the term more commonly refers to any device or system that perpetually (indefinitely) produces more energy than it consumes, resulting in a net output of energy for indefinite time.

    It is a device that creates a LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction). The device has a fuel source of hydrogen and nickel and creates heat with a copper by product. if the fuel runs out the device will stop, hence it not being an overunity device.

    The key points about the device are that:
    – Hydrogen and nickel are cheap and readily available.
    – It does not produce radioactive waste,
    – It is clean to operate

    I hope it is all true as this will change the world. But I will hold off on my opinion until the device is fully tested and has completed its public demonstration later this year.

  • Roger Barker

    I would like to believe the E-Cat is the real deal but I have many doubts about the way Rossi has perfomed his experiments. He should have done a closed cycle test and let that run for a substantial period of time. Then there would be no arguments as to what was creating the energy.

  • vaughan granfield

    Just think of all the old young and infirmed who will benifit from cheaper energy . It will most probably take some time for the larger institutions and multinationals to pull their money out of oil affected investments and to reinvest in the new ones. Is’nt it fantastic that Rossi is still alive,he deserves an award just for that alone .The Internet is such a fantastic tool for getting ideas out as Rossi would never of been permited to do this in the past.It will have massive implications to the deserts of our planet plus a new wave of technology which was previouly priced out.Unfortunatly there is still the old and unchanged problem of the population and the middle man. But with prayer and cosmic guidance it may be Rossi’s next project .