Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We Need "Serious" Energy Solutions.

I was wandering across the political news sites I often hit. Today there was mention of a video and when I go to cross check it with Drudge of course he had already posted it on his front page. It's almost like he gets paid to do this stuff or something.


"The President has failed in his economic policy, and now he wants to say, 'but for drilling in protected areas offshore, our economy would be thriving and the price of gas would be lower.' That hoax is unworthy of the serious debate we must have to relieve the pain of consumers at the pump and to promote energy independence.

From House Speaker Pelosi, we learn that any proposal that is conservatie is not worthy of serious debate and is of course a hoax or lie. The Democratic Congress promised an end to expensive $3 gas when they took office and now we have $4 because of their serious debate and non-hoax solutions.

Obama solution

Obama insists that if we changed our spark plugs and inflated our tires, we need not drill.

So I wanted to see some serious, non-hoax solutions and so I go to to read of how Presumptive President Elect Obama plans to get more energy.

His first proposal... monopoly money....

Provide a Tax Cut for Working Families: Barack Obama has called on the President to enact a second round of economic stimulus to immediately put tax rebates in the pockets of American families to pay for rising energy prices. As president, Obama will enact a tax fairness agenda that provides 150 million workers a “Making Work Pay” tax credit of $500 per person or $1,000 per working family.

Let us just print up some more play money and hand it out. Certainly this will strengthen the dollar.

Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation

He has several proposals, all which purport to put an end to speculation by further regulating it.

It is interesting to note that Bush lifting the executive order on drilling has dropped the price of oil more than $20 per barrel.

Enact a Windfall Profits Tax on the Top Grossing Oil Companies and Ease the Burden on American Families:

I've never heard of taxing your way to prosperity but these apparently are "serious" proposals. While I am certain that price has been showing to influence demand since we have watched driving lessen with higher prices, I don't see how raising the price of running an oil company via taxation will somehow generate more demand to be in the oil business.

End Oil and Gas Industry Tax Breaks

See above.

Require Oil Companies to Use Existing Drilling Leases

I'm certain in the current environment that if this could be done profitably, they would be doing so. However it is strange that the existing drilling leases, which still wouldn't come online for several years, are a "serious" solution, but drilling in places where known large reserves exist are not serious solutions.

Cooperate with Oil Importing Nations to Reduce Demand

I'm not sure how you legislate lowering demand or convince other nations to raise their own costs of energy in line to what we want to pay to ensure their demand doesn't rise. Finally there is the issue of fairness. How are India and China going to convince their populace that they don't deserve cars when we own (several) already.

This line is especially interesting....

Obama believes we should use existing organizations, like NATO, to make energy security a shared global goal.

Using a military defense agreement to bring about energy security? Sounds like a nice version of blood for oil to me. Anyone here is welcome to explain how this doesn't sound like a big bully threatening others into lowering prices. I don't see this bringing much hope or change to the world or tearing down many invisible walls.

Set America on Path to Oil Independence

Obama's plan will reduce oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030. This will more than offset the equivalent of the oil we would import from OPEC nations in 2030.

I could endorse this idea. I have one problem with it though. When we discuss drilling, we are told this isn't a serious solution due to the oil from the drilling not coming to market for five to ten years depending upon the source chosen. Why is a plan by a pre-president who would be in office from 2009-2016 but actually projects out to 2030 somehow "serious" when plans that give results in five years are not?

Having been around the sun a few times I can tell you that no matter the party or president, most of these proposals end up very back-loaded. I'm sure the hardest part of the goals would magically occur after 2016.

Improve Energy Efficiency 50 Percent by 2030

Again shouldn't "serious" proposals actually have an effect and result during the time you are in office? I don't recall JFK asking for us to go to the moon in 22 years. He wanted it by the end of the decade or at most, within a year or two of his leaving office. (presuming he hadn't been killed) All the "serious" proposals of the "new" JFK seem to call for work and sacrifice to occur after he leaves office.

I don't see how this fixes our energy problems. I don't see any serious solutions here at all. Begging others not to use it, drilling on existing questionable leases with time frames several years out, which is used to excuse new exploration, and legislating efficiency standards that happen 14 years after you leave office (I'm sure they ramp up in the meantime, but I'd like to see the shape of that ramp) don't sound like real solutions. Also I don't see how this helps us deal with problems today or even with his first term when everything has a date of 2030. Do we just keep printing magic monopoly money until then? We need real solutions that make get us energy in a short time frame and also make trade-offs between what we can do now and what we will be able to do even better in the future.

If show the world we are serious about energy production, we will stop being exploited or remove speculation about, energy production. We can't beg, print, or HOPE™ our way out of our energy needs. We need to produce.