John McCain On Energy Policy By Mark Noonan


It takes a very short leap in logic to wonder why we produce less and less crude oil, while we use more and more of it, or why politicians talk so much about promoting alternative energy sources, but often do so little to promote these alternatives. A reasonable observer, presented only with these numbers of consumption and production, might draw the conclusion that America has accepted this fate because we have no choice in the matter, or because we have no resources of our own. But just the opposite is true: We do have resources, and we do have a choice.

In oil, gas, and coal deposits, we have enormous energy reserves of our own. And we are gaining the means to use these resources in cleaner, more responsible ways. As for offshore drilling, it’s safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston. Yet for reasons that become less convincing with every rise in the price of foreign oil, the federal government discourages offshore production.

At the very least, one might assume, America had surely been building new refineries to achieve a more efficient delivery of gasoline to market, and thereby to lower the prices paid by the American people — especially in the summer season. But the policymakers in Washington haven’t got around to that, either. There’s so much regulation of the industry that the last American refinery was built when Jerry Ford was president.

As for nuclear energy — a proven energy source that requires zero emissions — we haven’t built a new reactor in 31 years. In Europe and elsewhere, they have been expanding their use of nuclear energy. But we’ve waited so long that we’ve lost our domestic capability to even build these power plants. Nuclear power is among the surest ways to gain a clean, abundant, and stable energy supply, as other nations understand. One nation today has plans to build almost 50 new reactors by 2020. Another country plans to build 26 major nuclear stations. A third nation plans to build enough nuclear plants to meet one quarter of all the electricity needs of its people — a population of more than a billion people. Those three countries are China, Russia, and India. And if they have the vision to set and carry out great goals in energy policy, then why don’t we?

So, taking stock of our energy situation, it is time we draw a few sensible conclusions of our own. In their sum effect on the American economy, the policies of our government could hardly have left us more dependent had they been designed to do precisely that.

There is plenty of blame to go around here – GOPers and Democrats have been remiss in their responsibilities to the nation as a whole as it relates to energy policy. Again and again President Bush proposed various measures we could have been taking over the past 7 years to reduce our dependency on oil and cut our oil imports, but no action has been taken – not under the GOP Congress, not under the Democratic Congress. That $50 you just shovelled into your gas tank is the result of decade after decade of doing nothing – or, worse, actually working against energy independence by over-concern about overblown environmentalist fearmongers and/or the worst sort of “nimbyism” which makes out that everyone wants energy, but no one wants it produced within a country mile of themselves.

It is time for a change – a real change; not more of the same from Obama and not pie-in-the-sky hopes for the future…we have oil, gas, coal and nuclear power sources, and we should be working out ways to maximize domestic energy production, while the high technology change over to new sources of energy is placed on the back burner until we get our energy house in order. McCain proposes to hit the problem head on and deal with it in a realistic manner – in spite of his bows to the global warming zealots, it is clear that he’s not going to allow environmentalist whackos to set energy policy. Clean, yes; but not so clean that nothing gets done. Human activity will always produce waste, and things like this are always a series of trade-offs with no perfect solution possible. Absent a few billion of us dying, we’re just going to have to work with things as they are, not as we might wish them to be.

This content was used with the permission of Blogs For Victory.

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