Friday, May 23, 2008

Can Government Fix the Energy Crisis?

Well, maybe. One can, at least, make attempts to push them in the right direction. If the energy/petroleum problem is a supply and demand issue (and it is), the best things we can do are to reduce the country's demand (by using non-petroleum-based energy) and increase the supply (by drilling for more petroleum). I got irritated enough with our government this week that I finally sent emails to my two Senators (Sessions and Shelby) and Congressman (Cramer). It probably won't make a fig's difference, but I can try. See below.

Senator Sessions:

I am greatly disturbed by the government's unwillingness to do the right things to solve the current high price of energy. I consider the "right things" to include:

--Open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and the rest of the U.S. continental shelf to oil drilling.
--Allow more fuel refineries to be built.
--Reduce restrictions on building nuclear plants.
--Mandate that all U.S.-built vehicles be capable of running on gasoline, ethanol, alcohol, or any combination thereof (flexible fuel vehicles).
--Increase funding for research & development on fuel cells, space-based solar power, and helium-3 fusion.
--Reduce or suspend the federal taxes on gasoline.

All of these acts combined would increase the potential supply of oil, keep energy spending at home, reduce uncertainty and volatility in the petroleum markets, and go a long way toward increasing the nation's energy independence.

I urge you and your fellow Senators to work with the House to make these things happen for the good of the nation.

Thank you.

Bart D. Leahy
Huntsville, AL

In addition to their utter inability to set a rational energy policy, I think our rulers (they are no longer our public servants) have lost all sense of national self-preservation. They cannot make reasonable decisions about terrorism, border security, taxes, government spending, or space exploration. And it doesn't matter who becomes president in 2008; we're in for four years of a Jimmy Carter presidency. This is not a good thing. Consider the last Carter administration:

  • Double-digit inflation
  • Double-digit unemployment
  • Baseline federal budgeting (i.e. automatic double-digit increases in federal spending to keep up with the cost of living)
  • Loss of military proficiency/potency
  • Loss of trust among our allies
  • Loss of fear among our enemies
  • Expansion in the power of our enemies
  • Hostage crises
  • National "malaise"
  • Misery Index
  • Energy supply constriction
  • Et cetera

One might argue, "Oh, that was just a symptom of the times." Okay, BUT...if leadership matters, and policy choices matter, and all three presidential candidates in 2008 have the same policies as Jimmy Carter did in 1980, why should we expect anything better from the next four years?

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