If you wanted to make a lot of money, you’d bet against the US government in about every endeavor save for war. And even the war on poverty was a big loser. Announced in the mid 60s by President Johnson the “war on poverty” has since sucked 100s of billions of dollars out of the US economy and not appreciably reduced the percentage of poor.
When the government gets involved in managing forests they burn. When the government gets involved in managing the wetlands they dry up. When the government gets involved in education, 12th graders become experts on sex and drugs but can’t find their home state on a map or make change for a $.50 Coke from a dollar.
Now the government is injecting itself into energy. As such you can bet the amount of energy available today will be reduced and the cost of what little remains will go through the roof. How can there be a US “energy bill” that doesn’t encourage more drilling and discovery of oil, the use nuclear power and coal?
Instead the bill focuses on losers like conservation, CAFE standards, the use of renewables and ethanol.
Conservation. We cannot conserve our way to energy independence. It cannot be done. Not by increasing fuel economy in autos to 100 MPG and ripping out every incandescent light bulb in the country and replacing it with a mercury contaminated florescent one. Unless America wants to return to an agrarian culture/economy where we all farm and produce our own clothing, food and shelter we’d better be thinking of finding more energy.
CAFE. Is sheer idiocy. Not only will it not solve our energy problem, it’ll have the added deleterious affect of ruining auto manufacturing in the US. All of the low hanging fruit in this area has been picked. Short of Fred McMurray coming up with a flubber powered car, manufacturers are looking at ever smaller lighter and more deadly cars. You can bet when the inevitable carnage begins as a result of Congress’ idiocy, it’ll be congress hauling car execs up to the hill demanding answers.
Renewables. The most inefficient energy producers on the market today are wind, waves and garbage powered electric plants. This fact proves the opening sentence of this piece. Left to a market economy, they’d have been abandoned long ago.
Ethanol. Is the biggest idiocy of all. Mark Styne has written that we will go down in history as the dumbest humans in the long line of dumb humans for taking food and burning it in autos when there is ready supply of fuel perfectly suited for that purpose. If government gets its way on this one, we can all expect to be subsiding on a synthetic thin grey gruel - that will be discovered to have caused cancer - three days a week and standing in a long line to get our ration of government provided meat.
When it comes to energy, like nearly everything else, the best government action is no government action.