By Alan Caruba
Every time I hear or read some pronouncement on energy from Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, I think I am trapped in some nightmarish version of Wonderland where up is down and black is white. If anyone or any party could have fashioned a worse plan to meet the energy needs of America, I cannot imagine it.
In an announcement on “Energy Independence” in late June, Speaker Pelosi described it as “a national issue, an economic issue, and an environmental issue” and then immediately identified rising gasoline prices as the cause of much pain. The millions of cars and trucks on the nation’s highways every day are essential to the nation’s economy, but the pain being inflicted comes from the government’s energy policies.
More to the point no nation on Earth is or can be energy independent. Were that the case, there would be no vast matrix of global trade in oil, natural gas, coal and the uranium utilized by nuclear energy facilities. It should be noted that the United States has been especially blessed with centuries’ worth of coal deposits and estimates of enormous untapped reserves of continental offshore oil and natural gas. As this is written Congress continues to deny access to these reserves as well as much of Alaska’s vast oil reserves.
Apparently, too, no one has explained to Speaker Pelosi that oil is a global commodity whose price is set by the exigencies of supply and demand. What, then, does she propose to do to drive down the price of a barrel of oil?
First she would “invest in new energy technologies and innovations” by which she means “the largest investment in history to improve how we grow, produce, transport, and store biofuels that will fuel our cars and trucks.” Translation: more ethanol, whose cost of production and transportation is already increasing the cost of food and gas to all Americans and could well cause worldwide famines if more farm land is converted to this idiotic solution.
She wants to reduce “energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions” at a time when the U.S. population now exceeds three hundred million people and growing. If the late, unlamented immigration “reform” had become law, the U.S. would have instantly added anywhere from twenty to forty millions more, as the relatives of Mexicans and other illegal aliens who already live here joined them. Only the great public outcry against this legislation stopped Congress from this colossal stupidity.
Rep. Pelosi, like many members of Congress, has a hard time understanding that more people means more energy use, i.e. more cars, more trucks, more highway use, more need to repair infrastructure, more commercial flights, more housing, more everything. As for greenhouse gas emissions, she makes no mention about what she intends to do concerning its 95% water vapor content. She is intent, however, on reducing carbon dioxide emissions that scientists tell us play a miniscule role.
She is talking complete and utter nonsense, but that never stopped any politician.
Speaker Pelosi proposes, “tax incentives for hybrids, not Hummers.” All manner of tax credits are suggested to get people to drive vehicles dependent on batteries and “for individuals biking to work”, along with “encouraging mass transit” by promoting “cleaner buses, ferries, and trains.” This is forced social engineering that has nothing to do with actually finding new energy sources.
At a time when we are all dependent on “Big Oil” for gasoline, heating oil, and all the other petroleum-based products, Speaker Pelosi wants to repeal “Big Oil giveaways.” She is advancing a measure that would repeal $16 billion in tax subsidies for Big Oil. She wants to give tax credits to bike riders while taking away subsidies that encourage Big Oil to undertake the enormously expensive and risky business of finding new sources of oil and natural gas.
Moreover, she wants “Big Oil” to “pay their fair share of taxes” but neglects to mention the billions in taxes collected by the federal and state governments from every gallon of gasoline we purchase. Clearly Big Oil is Pelosi’s designated punching bag while distracting voters from her idiotic “solutions” to the nation’s energy needs.
In fact, the Democrats rejected the Gas Petroleum Refinery Improvement & Community Empowerment Act of 2007. No new refineries means less refining capability for a nation that has not seen a new one built since the 1970s. Just watch the price of gasoline rise as that continues.
The Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 (H.R. 2776) totally ignores the fact that oil, gas, and coal will remain the primary elements of the nation’s energy mix and would increase tax burden on U.S. based energy companies by more than $16 billion in the decade ahead. If it becomes law consumers will end up having to pick up the bill.
Speaker Pelosi, her fellow Democrats and some Republicans as well have essentially told Americans to use less energy at the same time the population continues to grow and the growth of the economy is totally tied to the provision of the energy that coal, oil and nuclear power provides.
Meanwhile, as the Speaker continues to blather away about global warming, all around the world, global warming is an increasingly discredited hoax. This does not deter the Speaker from believing that the United States “should lead the global effort on a binding global warming agreement with commitments from all the major emitters including China, India, and Brazil.” The UN Kyoto protocol doesn’t even include these nations. The US Senate unanimously rejected participation years ago.
Just how deluded is the Speaker?
I don’t know, but I do know she scares the heck out of me!
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. His book, “Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy”, is published by Merril Press.
© Alan Caruba, July 2007