The Energy Debate, still more heat than light

No one thought that the economy and even more so energy would be the center of the debate between the two presidential candidates, certainly not a year ago. And yet here we are debating of all things energy policy. One of the disappointments of this general election has been the way neither candidate has really dealt with this issue candidly. Senators Obama and McCain have cranked up the pander volume and continue to let the same play list roll. 

Senator Obama’s idea seems to be tax the bad guys. Oil companies are bad, so we should tax their huge profits. Not only is this simply punitive, it does nothing relieve what we should be facing, a growing deficit in energy supply versus energy demand. 

Senator McCain apparently lives on the other side of energy fantasy land. Off shore drilling will solve our problems. Adding domestic supply will lower prices globally and let us continue our oil happy ways. Except of course that new oil from new rigs doesn’t come online for 7 to 10 years. Now I’m no expert, but I have a feeling that China and India’s demand for oil will probably outpace our ability to drill for more of it. Especially given that North America accounts for 3% of the world’s oil reserves. 

Both candidates are intelligent people. They know what we all know. There is no easy answer to this. China and India’s demand for oil and energy in general is growing, our own demand won’t ebb any time soon. As such, we will have to deal with this issue in the long term, something no politician seems to be good at these days. I would like to see one of these men stand up straight and tell the American people, “we are going to have to sacrifice through a period of expensive energy to give our children a day of healthy alternatives.” I need one of them to tell us the truth. That this is going to get harder before it gets easier and we might be paying 8 dollars a gallon for awhile. Only that kind of brutal honesty will get people to move on new forms of energy. Removing the impediments to solar, wind, and nuclear power, while getting private industry working can and will get us along way to solving this. So will making so-called “brown” energy expensive, forcing people to curb their consumption. 

Why can’t we have a little honesty in this debate? As always the comments section awaits….

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One Response

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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