With gas prices moving to $4 a gallon at the pump, we are again reminded of the words of the beloved Yogi Berra -- "This is like Deja Vu all over again". So after +30 years, why has it been so difficult to develop a National Energy Plan? A major reason is the diversions used by so many competing Ideological, Political, and Corporate Interests to create a fog of confusion to the American Public.
In this battle over public opinion, just a few simple facts could go a long way in at least identifying what America's real energy problem is -- our oil dependency with transportation:
Since only ~1% of our total oil use is for electricity, the U.S. is already "Energy Independent" from foreign oil for power generation. For transportation, the story is totally different as oil provides ~94% of fuel source requirements, where about 50% comes from foreign oil. The overwhelming majority of oil use is for cars and light trucks, with truck freight hauling and air transportation the other two most significant uses.
The Diversion of Global Warming: So if America doesn't use much oil for electricity, why does the energy policy debate (and failed bills in Congress) focus so heavily on electricity generation from wind, solar, and nuclear power?
By looking at the above FACTS, the American Public can see that what has been framed as an "Energy Crisis", is really two distinct issues -- (1) Oil dependency for transportation, and (2) Global Warming/Climate Change through the use of fossil fuels. By combining these two issues in framing the national energy policy debate, public opinion confusion occurs resulting in a "Status-Quo" by:
Conversely, transportation policy initiatives targeted to the three primary uses of oil would be a huge step toward "Oil Independence":
Making Global Warming a focal point in the national energy debate creates a diversion of negative public opinion reactions from increased taxes (carbon tax), even more federal EPA regulation, to destroying the economy and job losses (especially to China). According to a recent national Rasmussen Poll only 33% of Americans believe that Global Warming is man-made from increased levels of greenhouse gases.
But even if Global Warming is the greatest scientific hoax ever created, America still needs to develop alternative sources, uses, and greater energy efficiencies to reduce our transportation dependency problem with oil. We can not simply "Drill, Baby, Drill" our way out of this problem. Americans consume 25 percent of the world's produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.
The Diversion of "Drill, Baby, Drill": To achieve the commonly used "Oil Independence" catchphrase only through drilling, the U.S. would need to develop and sustain new sources of oil production currently equal to Saudi Arabia. Is this possible? According to Energy Information Agency information, Saudi Arabia has oil reserves 14 times greater than the U.S.
The Diversion that Government Shouldn't Choose Energy Winners and Losers: This often heard statement argues that a national energy policy should be based on free market capitalism, not big-government centralized control of providing incentives to "specific" technologies. However, in "Walking the Talk" this principle is only applied to renewable/alternative energy. A recent example of this hypocrisy is Republican members of Congress introducing legislation to keep federal loan guarantees for nuclear power but to eliminate the same guarantees for renewable energy projects. Federal Government intervention into free market capitalism for energy has occurred for decades, including:
Where Do We Go From Here?: America's Energy Policy shouldn't be a Red State versus Blue State issue -- it must be an American issue. From our viewpoint, a national energy policy is being held hostage by two major factions: (1) A Democratic Party overly driven by Environmental Ideology -- especially Climate Change, and (2) A Republican Party driven too much by Corporation Special Interests. Hopefully, the American Public will start to see through the myriad of diversions and demand real change, including:
|"When a business's liability is limited by law, then they make riskier decisions than full liability would allow. For instance, in this case, BP opted for single wall oil pipe casing, as double-wall was "too expensive." Of course, if full liability is incurred, then the definition of what is "too expensive" changes dramatically." -- Rep. Ron Paul.|
In solving America's oil problem of course we need to develop new oil resources in an environmentally conscious way. But we also need more, much more by developing alternative sources (ethanol), uses (electric cars), and greater energy efficiencies (increased car mileage).
Without an intense focus on transportation, America really doesn't have a Plan and as Yogi also said, "If you don't know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else."