Friday, March 25, 2011

Do We Know What We Want?

For 25 years politicians and alternative energy advocates have wanted to decrease US dependence on foreign oil.  They have bullied the country into huge capital expenditures on mass transit and given credits and incentives for carpooling, van-pooling and riding bicycles to work.  They have advocated taxing petroleum with the expectation that the tax would allocate the cost of our dependence evenly across our economy.  They have argued that it would be a good thing if petroleum based products, especially gasoline, are more expensive because we would use less of them and turn instead to substitute sources of energy. 

But.  Every time the price of gasoline rises we hear a cacophony of complaints that the associated "pain" is too great.  When the price rises in the winter we have Congressional calls for subsidized heating fuel.  When it rises in the summer we see a Congressional scramble to find a way to salvage summer driving vacations.

And.  Whenever there is a push to develop our own known petroleum reserves in Alaska and our mountain states we hear that more drilling in the US is a problem, not a solution.  We stall and complicate the issue of new permits to drill achieving an effective moratorium on our domestic industry.

Then.  We subsidize off shore drilling in Brazil.  Again.  Several years ago we made a $2 billion loan to Brazil's state-owned Petrobras.  And now the President announces that he is prepared to make another - this time $3 billion.  Is it OK to drill off Brazil but not in our own waters?  Should our deficit-financed economy lower the risk and raise returns for a foreign company when our own industry is sidelined?

We need to make up our minds what we want to do.  I vote for our own industry, in our own waters and on our own lands, protected by the best environmental regulations in the world.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. It's time to explore several options to grow the use of our own resources. What do you think about this: I'd also add a 5 to 10 cents per gallon tax on gas.

    The goal is to discourage the use of oil but encourage innovation. The money would go into a bucket to build infrastructure for electric cars, spur domestic production and fund other new technologies.

    Coffers of countries who dislike America but thrive off our addiction would decrease. And, we'd be closer to our goal of energy independence.