End Foreign Oil Dependence: But Let's Not Do it the Hard Way!
Energy is one of the three verticals the Obama administration has identified as a priority along with Education and Healthcare. Although President Obama's campaign rhetoric suggested a more centrist approach to the energy crisis it now appears that he intends to make radical changes in how America obtains and uses energy.
The important question is what will this do to our economy short term? Can we really afford the huge increase in energy costs the "Cap-and-Trade" legislation would inevitably pass on to the consumer? So, in becoming energy independent... do we really have to do it the hard way?
The Obama Administration and the Democrats have an agenda that would include "Cap and Trade" legislation. It requires industries to reduce pollution by capping their carbon emissions to prescribed levels. Many would be required to retro-fit their current facilities in order to meet the new standards. Those who do not choose to retro-fit would be able to purchase the unused carbon emission allotments of those who have. The trading process of these "credits" would create an entirely new private sector marketplace. Whether a company retro-fits or chooses to purchase unused credits, an additional expense to production would be incurred.
That's not all. The Obama Administration and the Democrats are not in favor of developing nuclear energy, drilling off shore or on wildlife reserves such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), or clean coal technology. They want to go "green" overnight. They plan to do this by legislative "brut force." The repercussions on the auto industry, the gas and oil refining industry, coal mining, etc., will be intense and the American consumer will suffer higher prices for practically everything they purchase. Taking an "ends justifies the means" position on this question doesn't play out if we grind the country's industrial production to a halt for lack of affordable energy!
There is a lot more to this than just "going green." This is a power shift. Changes made in legislation like the ones being proposed will cause a power paradigm shift. The energy vertical as we know it today will be unrecognizable. New "green" corporations will be pushed to the forefront at the expense of the consumer and industry leaders burdened with new requirements. Green companies loyal to the Left for "parting the waters" and enabling their path will replace the once powerful.
Yet our current industry leaders do have solutions... solutions that would provide for an easing into green alternatives while providing affordable energy to consumers. Several weeks ago industry leaders met in Houston at the Cambridge Energy Conference. They presented alternatives in their four day oil, gas and power sessions. I highly recommend that you read through the synopsis.
The take away is this. Most would agree that it is important for the United States to move toward green energy. It reduces pollution and provides a healthier environment in which to live. But it can't be done overnight and we must provide for the transition through well-thought-out plans that include nuclear, clean coal and off-shore drilling (within 50 miles of shoreline). We must prioritize. The first priority is to end foreign oil dependence. The second is to go "green." Energy is a national security issue for this country! Let's become independent first. Then we will have the resources and the time to go "green."
This issue should not be allowed to become another casualty of the Obama Administration's attempt to do everything at once. It's not logical and it's not possible.