Saturday, January 14, 2012

This Election, “Vote 4 Energy”

Once again, we are faced with an election year. Democrats & Republicans and others will be begging for our vote and for our money while making lavish promises most have no intention of keeping or won’t be able to.

We’ll see and hear each candidate boasting of some record or grand idea to fix our continuing economic struggles. From raising taxes on the wealthy to stopping tax breaks to corporations that create the jobs many have. From making past tax breaks permanent to cries of shrinking the size of government.

We’ll hear promises of how “Green” energy is the answer to our reliance to foreign oil.

We’ll be hearing blame slung around and catchy slogans to grab our attention and vote.

But who will really address issues that have and continue to create economic havoc in our lives? Who will take a stand to the radical environmentalists and bureaucrats who keep us highly dependent upon foreign oil and mired in this elongated “Great Recession” by blocking job creation?

Our energy security is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue. That point is the driving force behind a new advocacy group, Vote4Energy that lists on their homepage, “A Vote 4 Energy is a vote for more jobs, higher government revenues and greater energy security.”

Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, who created the Vote4Energy recently delivered a State of American Energy address (video of the address here).

Early in the address Mr. Gerard noted,
“What we say here in Washington is important because it is here, after all, that policy that affects all Americans is made.”
“But there are millions of other voices across the country, and what happens here should be a reflection of what Americans are saying.”
“And in poll after poll, over the last year, they have voiced their opinions about our energy choices. They have framed the issues in ways that are most relevant to their families, businesses and communities.”

Acknowledging the words heard in the video, Mr. Gerard stated,
“You know, it’s never a bad idea to listen to the American people.”
“Their comments can cut to the heart of things and find clarity—in sharp contrast to the confusion that often prevails today inside Washington’s Beltway.”
“Americans look for consensus, which has become rare in here in Washington.”
“Without question, in this election year, what voters are saying is: give us leadership.”
“Give us leaders who share our vision of a strong and prosperous America, based on our ability to create and innovate.”

If only our elected leaders took the time to remember or even acknowledge that our voices actually do matter. Regardless of party, it seems all too often once seated in their “cushioned seats of authority,” our voices seem lost and ignored to various lobbyists and special interests.

We in Washington State do not have a large presence of known reserves to be recovered, but we do have 5 refineries operating within the state. A study by Wood Mackenzie recently showed that with a smarter policy addressing our energy industry, we could see the addition of “19,805 new well-paying jobs in the state of Washington by 2030.”

Mark Green of the Energy Tomorrow blog reminds of the industry’s ability to create jobs needed to spark a meaningful recovery when he wrote,
“One in seven of today’s recent college graduates live at home today because they can’t find good jobs. In North Dakota, young people working in oil and gas hold jobs that pay more than their parents earn. The average oil and gas salary in North Dakota is more than $90,000 a year – more than double the state average. In Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett’s staff told me that shale gas development generated more than 90,000 jobs between 2009 and 2011. That development has also generated many millions of dollars of revenue to the state treasury.”

Addressing the failure and lack of vision seen from our current leaders in regards to the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, Mark quotes Jack Gerard,
“Frankly, this vision and its policies are disconnected from current economic and energy reality, which is a landscape of global economic struggles and geopolitical challenges. This vision ignores the jobs and the energy that could be produced here in the U.S. Instead, it’s on a course for less energy, not more. These policies are failing us.”

How right they are as we see the highest unemployment America has seen in decades with failed policy after failed policy coming from Washington D.C.

Hopes of alternate energy sources remain short lived as we see idled and rusting wind farms spotting the landscape, alternate energy advocates blocking construction in their own back yards and read of cockamamie ideas like pumping cold water into a central Oregon volcano to generate steam for geothermal energy.

Vote4Energy provides a link to our elected officials in order that we may learn how they voted on matters concerning our energy policies. Maria Cantwell, up for reelection to the senate received a 0% rating for her stand on energy, not surprising considering she joined in with the 5 other West Coast Senators in advocating a “Permanent Moratorium” on all off shore recovery along the West Coast.

Jay Inslee, who would just love to be our next governor, also received a 0% rating for his congressional stand on America’s energy independence and security.

Vote4Energy says,
“There is a straightforward way to create American job loss, tackle the national debt and alleviate concern over our energy future. By increasing access to domestic resources and implementing other pro-development energy policies, the oil and natural gas industry can provide one million new American jobs, contribute hundreds of billions in government revenue and significantly increase our energy security, all by 2020.”

America, we need the energy. We need the security. We need to revenues that could be generated and above all, we need the jobs.

As campaigns unfold and ads hit the airways, I urge you all to question candidates on energy and economic matters. Look at their records and question their claims and promises. Don’t accept any at face value.

Above all, let’s Vote4Energy and begin climbing out of this economic morass several past poor choices has put us in.

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