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Regular readers of my columns will know that I spend quite a bit of time opining about energy and energy independence. One of the reasons I do this is because to me the issue seems so obvious that I really have a hard time "getting" that not everybody grasps how we could reach energy independence and the amount of good achieving it could do for us. As usual I want to add the caveat that in order to truly reap the benefits of being energy independent we are going to have to solve some of the worst of our other social and political problems. Solving our energy issues without resolving at least some other domestic woes would only change the scale of those problems, not their existence. It will do little good to double our national economy if the government triples spending and debt at the same time, which I would point out is probably a conservative estimate if we don't get control of our out-of-control federal government.
I'm going to be slightly gracious here and say that one of the reasons the left is so dead set against domestic energy is that they want to do away with any form of carbon energy and go straight to "clean" (whatever that is) energy. Personally, I think there's a lot more to the left's continual fight against American energy production, but most of them claim to be fans of clean energy. Sidestepping a discussion of the left's real motives, for the sake of this discussion let's say that if overnight some genius was to come up with a domestic supply of clean energy, the left would be all for us becoming energy independent and throwing off the chains of dependence on foreign oil.
So, granting that we can come up with some form of energy that the left judges environmentally friendly enough to actually let us use it, how exactly would that energy be distributed? Are they planning to broadcast it, whatever it is through the air like radio waves? Is it going to just magically appear where and when we need it? On top of that, is it going to have to be transformed, created, or made in some fashion? If it is, does that transformation, creation, or etc. involve some central location somewhere where people and materials will need to come together to create this unknown force? Even after the first two issues are addressed, is proper use of, or the amount of this clean energy used in any one place or by any person, business, or institution going to need to be monitored or regulated? Hmmmâ€¦, apparently even if we do "find" some perfect form of energy, it seems there may be some side issues.
The point of the above paragraph is that no matter what kind of energy we have used, are using, or will use in the future, the infrastructure to utilize it will have to exist. I want to stress that because the left, and most of the environmentalists, seem to believe that anything and everything having to do with hydrocarbons is just bad. In fact it appears they view the way we create our energy not as a necessary evil, but just as an evil. Personally, I find that an odd stance since energy has allowed us to develop modern medicine, efficient methods of transportation (and when exactly, was the last time Al Gore walked from Tennessee to Washington D.C.?), and pretty much all the benefits of the modern era. If you don't believe me, try powering your I-Phone by rubbing two sticks together and see how well it works.
My point is that if we do ever find a better, cleaner energy source it will be an ongoing development of our existing energy infrastructure. We didn't go from the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk to riding 747 jets around the world overnight, there were a lot of intermediate stages in between. That's exactly how it has worked, and will continue to work with energy.
The Barack has been throwing (I actually mean wasting here, but I did mention graciousness above) tax payer money at different pie-in-the-sky clean energy programs that just don't have a chance. Who knows, wind and solar energy may indeed be the power of the future, but if that's the case, it cannot and will not happen without the absolutely necessary intermediate stages. While the left may think that "putting their boot on the neck" of big oil and coal may be a good thing, in reality, they are stopping real progress and holding back the very people who, know it or not, really are going to solve our future energy needs. I personally see it as quite ironic that clean energy proponents need the help of our current energy industries in the worst way, but just can't seem to see it.
Just for something to put a little perspective on how silly it is for environmentalists to automatically denigrate the oil industry: I would have to say that because one of the main reasons to hunt whales was to render their blubber into lamp oil, it seems the discovery of distilling kerosene from crude oil single handedly did in the whaling industry nearly overnight. Oddly, when I see green peace ships around off shore drilling platforms, they don't seem to be saying thanks for saving the whales.
At this point in time, I feel comfortable saying that in the United States of America, we are probably one of the most, if not the most, advanced countries in the world. On top of that, we enjoy a lifestyle so high above the average lifestyle of the rest of the world that the left continually tries to embarrass us by constantly reminding us of how good we have it (never mind that we are also some of the most generous people on the face of the earth, which usually gets left out of the harangue from the left) in comparison. Do you suppose we would be enjoying either of those things right now if forty years ago our political masters had joined forces with extremists to try and bring down our energy producers? Myself, I seriously doubt we would have done nearly so well. If that's the case, and I believe it is, what do you suppose our current focus on holding back present day energy production is doing to our future?
It's going to be hard to build the energy future of our country and the world by standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before, if we are hobbling those giants.
Bruce Kreitler is the author of Obamageddon (the Culmination of the Progressive Looting of America) and posts this and other articles at BruceKreitler.com.