Saturday, April 16, 2011

Will We Ever Get Serious About Our Energy Needs? Part 4

With Democrats now in control of both Houses of Congress, in the January 23rd, 2007 State of the Union address saw President Bush still calling,

“Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America's economy running and America's environment clean. For too long our Nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists - who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments ... raise the price of oil ... and do great harm to our economy.
It is in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply - and the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power - by even greater use of clean coal technology ... solar and wind energy ... and clean, safe nuclear power. We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol - using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes.
We have made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies in Washington and the strong response of the market. Now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next ten years - thereby cutting our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.
To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory Fuels Standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 - this is nearly five times the current target. At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks - and conserve up to eight and a half billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.
Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but will not eliminate it. So as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must also step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment - and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.”

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was now setting around $2.10, down from $3.10 weeks earlier.

We now have Barack Obama occupying the seat of the Presidency and outlining in his Energy & Environment Policy,
“For decades it has been clear that the way Americans produce and consume energy is not sustainable. Our addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels puts our economy, our national security and our environment at risk. To take this country in a new direction, the President is working with Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation to protect our nation from the serious economic and strategic risks associated with our reliance on foreign oil, to create jobs, and to cut down on the carbon pollution that contributes to the destabilizing effects of climate change.
The President has already made great strides toward changing our energy future. The Recovery Act constituted an unprecedented and historic investment in the clean energy economy. Investments in the development of renewable energy and clean technologies will lead to the energy sources of the future. Investments in high speed rail and advanced car batteries will lead to the transportation systems of the future. Investments in a smart electric grid and energy efficient homes, offices, and appliances will reduce our overall energy consumption as a nation. And all of these investments will lead to the industries of the future, help put America back in the lead of the global clean energy economy, and create millions of jobs over time. As the President said, ‘Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny’.”

Glib words, but as the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline approaches $4, we see the current administration financing off-shore exploration of drilling for oil off the shores of Brazil and expressing that we wish to become their best customer of their oil.

At the same time, we see that the current Secretary of Energy, Steve Chu on Fox News Sunday March 20, 2011 and noted for his 2008 statement, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” saying, “The recent spike in gasoline prices following that huge spike in 2007, 2008 is a reminder to Americans that the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up just because of supply and demand issues.

It’s been nearly 4 decades since the 1973 Oil Embargo and much of the same rhetoric comes from politicians who seek to lay the blame for this ongoing energy mess on oil companies instead of themselves.

We still have billions and billions of gallons of recoverable crude oil within our own borders that just sits there. We have nearly 4 decades now of calling for more and more money thrown towards “alternative fuels” which apparently remain unperfected, but forced on us just the same.

In spite of several calls by past Presidents, the one thing still not allowed in order to decrease our dependency on foreign oil remains drilling and recovering our own.

From where I sit, it is high time the government either got serious on our energy needs, or got the hell out of the way and allows those who are serious to truly end our dependence on foreign oil by using more of our own, while we spend more decades perfecting these “alternative fuel sources.”

Part One, Part Two, Part Three

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