This is an indictment of our national leadership, or rather the lack of it, that has lasted decades and is still continuing yet today through the administrations of several presidents of both political parties and it appears that nothing will happen to address this failure of our national leadership until we have an energy crisis that brings our economy to its knees.
Unless you were buying gas then you really can't understand the energy crisis and gas lines of the 1970s. For me it never reached the point where I had to worry about having gas to get to work or anything like that. But I remember the news reports of people sitting in line waiting to buy gas, usually in major metro areas, and sometimes running out of gas while in line. There was a period of time where I could only buy gas on designated days. And after going through that scare, we basically returned to business as usual as if nothing had happened or at least assuming that it would never happen again. That was the first time that OPEC used oil as a weapon but we have continued to buy more and more oil on the international market while restricting the development of our own energy resources so that today we now have gasoline prices well over $3 per gallon in our area.
How does that make any sense? Instead of achieving energy self-sufficiency, we continue to send billions of dollars annually to oil exporters, some of whom barely tolerate us or are outright hostile to us. Who are the major oil suppliers to the US? Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Angola are six of our top suppliers. That list means that we are dependent on some suppliers that are in very turbulent areas of the globe and some who really don't like us at all, or both.
Our domestic energy supply has been held hostage by the environmentalists and the liberal politicians whom they support. I am not an environmentalist but I am mindful of and concerned for the environment because all of us our part of the environment too and that is all too often overlooked. My biggest environmental concern is a vibrant economy because that it the only way that all of us are able to prosper and achieve our dreams and goals. A growing economy is the engine that provides benefits to all of us enabling us to support ourselves and those who need a helping hand. A vibrant economy also provides the benefits that allow us to afford the resources to protect our environment. But our economy needs energy to do what we need and expect it to do.
I agree that we need to become more energy efficient but we also need to broaden our energy base. Why has it been three decades since a nuclear power plant has been constructed in the US while France gets 80% of its electricity from atomic energy? Why don't we drill on restricted lands and closer to our shores where it is safer and less environmentally risky than in deeper waters? Why are so many energy deposits off limits to development altogether? Unfortunately many environmental groups believe that any energy development is bad and harmful.
Over ten years ago liberals were arguing that there is no point in developing more of our own energy resources because it would take at least five years for them to become productive. Well, duh! Actions (or the lack thereof) have consequences. Have you considered what would happen to oil and gas prices and our economy and everything that depends on it if the Middle East explodes?
Risky Roadmap to $7 a Gallon Gas
We now have an administration that seems to develop energy policies based on beliefs that the US uses too much energy so it is good to restrict production of our energy resources and yet encourage others to accelerate development of their own. Why else would Obama continue to restrict our off-shore drilling and yet applaud Brazil's expansion of their own? Whatever your beliefs on energy and the environment, be willing to back up those beliefs with your willingness to accept the hardships that come with shortages. That means if the worst happens, be prepared for an economy that crashes, a military that will have more difficulty defending us, gas that costs several dollars a gallon if you can get it at all, and limited electricity (probably generated by coal) to air-condition your home and office and power your computers and all your favorite electronic gadgets.
10 Things You Need to Know About High Gas Prices and Obama's Oil Policy (link referred by Jeff Hook)
When it comes to selecting what steps to take to develop our energy resources, I vote for All of the Above. That includes drilling for oil and natural gas (Pickens Plan) on land and off-shore, tar sands, nuclear energy, wind and solar power, and power from tides, all of the above. Maybe I left some out. I am not sold on ethanol but maybe that will become crucial to our energy independence but so far it seems to be another taxpayer-funded atrocity that would dry up without continuing large government subsidies. Even Al Gore has now admitted ethanol is a mistake.
The bottom line is that we and our economy are at serious risk from our dependence on unreliable suppliers of the energy that drives our nation. We can't get converted to solar and wind power overnight. Maybe it will happen eventually, but until then our national interests are served by becoming as energy efficient and as energy self-reliant as we can become by developing all of energy resources. Our economic future and our national security depend on it. Just hoping that everything will work out and just be okay is not a policy.