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Energy Independence

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Energy Independence

The current energy crisis in this country is the greatest crisis to confront this nation in decades. There is no part of our economy unaffected by our current energy dependence and shortage.

We are taking billions of dollars per year out of our capital formation and sending it overseas to our enemies in the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. This devalues our dollar, devastates our credit markets, real estate markets and strengthens our enemies.

America must make “Energy Independence?our top priority.

We must get to work producing more energy. We must put everything on the table. Do them all; explore them all—solar, wind, nuclear, oil, natural gas, coal, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, hydrogen. Energy is what fuels our economic growth.

Several of our political leaders seek control of our energy production by appealing to people’s emotions, instincts, and prejudices in manipulative and dangerous ways. They offer us empty promises with no true ideas. They preach doctrines they know to be untrue to us because they believe us to be idiots. They mix apples and oranges, use half truths, provide false authority or false dilemmas to further their agendas. They use demonization, straw men, loaded questions and if all else fails personal attacks to keep us from energy independence. In short “Demagoguery?

They deny the existence of supply and demand although supply and demand is perhaps one of the most fundamental concepts of economics and it is the backbone of a market economy.

They say they are for drilling although they want to exclude 85% of the available areas in which we could drill. If they are really for drilling why shouldn’t everything be on the table for environmentally and economically viable development.

They say that even if we open up all areas for energy development it would take ten years to get to market. They are either uniformed or dishonest because the truth is it would take 1-2 years for most offshore development, 6 years for some areas, it would take 3-6 years for oil from ANWR.

They ignore another generally accepted truth of economics, one most recently used by R. Morris and Gary M Pecquet, in their work on “The effect of opening up ANWR to drilling on the current price of oil?where they show that current actions that increase future supplies cause oil producers to bring more oil to market now while prices are high verses the expected lower prices of the future because of the increases in future supplies. The inverse of this economic concept is true as well, which contributes to our high prices. 

They say that we need to eliminate our dependence on foreign energy. Their solution is to raise taxes on domestic energy producers. They again deny the existence of the basic economic principle that provides if you want less of something “Tax It? If you want more domestic energy and less imported energy, reduce taxes on domestic production and increase taxes on foreign energy.

It is time for change. It is time to look beyond party politics. It is time for America to become energy independent. We have to quit demagoguing the issue. We must quit pointing the finger of blame or creating more legislation restricting the production of energy. 

Our energy policy is based on the preservation of scarcity. As we face the worst energy shortage in history we are told to use less. As if running out of energy a little more slowly is a solution. Conservation is of course a wise and productive policy. Maximizing the efficiency of our available energy is to the benefit of all energy users. However conservation cannot be the singular answer to our energy needs. 

In fact there is no singular solution to solving our current energy crisis. All solutions need to be on the table. Our energy problems are critical and unending yet all we hear from our political leaders are more of the same old tired proposals for more government control, regulation and radical ideology—all of which is what led us to this problem in the first place.

We have large amounts of oil and natural gas beneath our lands and off our shores that we cannot access. It seems our government would rather offer the American people more regulation, taxes and controls than energy. 

We have the world’s largest coal reserves. We have massive shale oil reserves with potential greater than all of the Middle East. Nuclear energy offers tremendous opportunities. We could supply electricity for thousands of industries, millions of cars, jobs and homes. It is time we stood up and said no to the tiny minority opposed to economic growth who have found friendly ears in the regulatory agencies for its obstructionist agendas.

Please understand that we must not allow the safety of our people and environment to be endangered, however we need to recognize that the economic prosperity of our nation is a fundamental part of our environment.

We talk of price gouging by the energy producers but we say nothing of the price gouging by the energy deniers. The nearly 50?tax on a gallon of gas is “Government Price Gouging? The endless and many times senseless environmental rules are “Regulatory Price Gouging? The placement of most of our energy producing properties off limits to the production of energy is “Environmentalist Price Gouging?and Legislation that forces us to use so called politically correct renewable resources is “Ideological Price Gouging?

The important thing now is that we shall come to agree on certain principles and free ourselves from some of the errors which have governed us in the recent past. However distasteful such an admission may be, we must recognize we have reached a stage where it is more important to clear away the obstacles with which human folly has encumbered our path and to release the creative energy of individuals than to devise further machinery for “guiding?and “directing?them ?to create conditions favorable to progress rather than to “plan progress.?The first need is to free ourselves of that worst form of contemporary obscurantism which tries to persuade us that what we have done in the recent past was all either wise or inevitable. We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much of what we have done was very foolish.

If we are to become energy independent, we must have the courage to make a new start ?even if that means to take a step backwards to get a better start. The guiding principle that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy which remains as true today as it was in the nineteenth century.

Footnote:

Oil was discovered on the north slope of Alaska in 1968. Construction of the pipeline began in April 1974 and completed in June 1977. Pipeline construction from Prudhoe Bay required transiting a route where much of the right-of-way was on federal and state lands. Legislation (the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act [P.L. 93-153]) was required to end what had become a stalemate over the route. This right-of-way legislation enabled the pipeline to be constructed.

Environmental studies for the pipeline were started and applications for permits submitted in 1968. In 1970 as the oil companies were poised to start construction on the pipeline, suits were filed by environmental groups and others to block pipeline construction, successfully blocking construction for four years.

In October 1973 in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel in the Mid-East Yom Kipper war OPEC imposes an oil embargo. Overnight, the price of a barrel of oil rises from $3 to over $5. Gas at the pumps will soon rise from 30 cents per gallon to $1.20, and drivers will wait in long lines to fill up their tanks.

On November 16, 1973, in direct response to the oil crisis, President Nixon signs the Trans Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law. Nixon introduces "Project Independence" in a televised speech: "Throughout history, America has made great sacrifices of blood and also treasure to achieve and maintain its independence. In the last third of this century, our independence will depend on maintaining and achieving self-sufficiency in energy."

It took six years to get permits to build the pipeline and three years to build it. The same arguments used against the trans-Alaska pipeline are currently being used against ANWR.

The 48-inch special cold-weather steel was ordered from Japan in April 1969. The building permit for the pipeline was issued in 1974.

 

 
 

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