Green Update–>Obama’s Energy Plan: Responses and Questions

The President has now restated and reformulated the energy plan that got derailed by economic, political and other circumstances. It took an earthquake to get it back on track.

Last Wednesday at Georgetown University, Mr. Obama set a goal of reducing foreign oil imports by one-third. It was a strong speech, if not a call to arms. From what I can tell, unless he mounts a vigorous, noisy, public campaign against Republican opposition to nearly all his proposals, the program won’t happen.

It should happen, but it’s not enough. Every president since Nixon has promised to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Obama said imports were trending down, a statement disputed by some. To achieve independence, he wants to increase oil and gas production, make more fuel-efficient vehicles, impose more stringent CAFE standards, and encourage biofuel production. All U.S. government fleet vehicles, over 600,000, will be green (hybrid or EV) by 2015.

But there was really nothing about reducing consumption, like instituting a gasoline tax, and we heard much comment from industry sources to the effect that all this had been said before. They want more offshore drilling and harvesting of abundant natural gas supplies.

The Japanese earthquake and ongoing nuclear disaster, combined with the Middle East’s crises, have also made Mr. Obama’s energy plans highly dubious. The Republicans want to strip the EPA of any power to regulate global-warming emissions (greenhouse gases), and there will be House and Senate votes on that next week. Instead of nuclear, many (including some Democrats) seem to be frozen with fear and have gone back to advocating coal.

As others have said, a transformative energy plan would take an effort dwarfing our 1960s man-on-the-moon space program. Such an effort might get the job done, but the political prospects of it happening are just about zero. Mr. Obama is doing what other presidents have done, but the situation grows more dire with every day’s passing.

For now, he’s using a teacup to put out the fire.

Is the Obama energy plan an effective solution to the U.S. energy/climate predicament?

—jgoods

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1 Comment

  1. I can’t argue with the President’s energy plan if it ever gets approved. The only problem is that the President says one thing and his actions belie what he says. He espouses drill, baby drill yet his EPA and Interior departments have only approved 8 applications for drilling and that is 5 months after the applications were filed and the Interior department saying that the oil company safety standards exceeded what Interior asked for. Huh?? He pledged offshore drilling off the East coast and California but not a single well can be seen. Huh??

    I am amazed at the lack of economic knowledge and number crunching among the populace. If you want increased, cheap domestic production, you have to drill here for more oil. If you want more cheap electricity you must use coal, gas, and hydro. The Obama administration and the author of this piece believe that the best way to achieve energy independence is to raise the price of energy itself. So they invent schemes like cap ‘n trade and advocate for higher gasoline taxes to discourage consumption. This is economic nonsense!! Why do you want to reduce people’s standard of living when you can still achieve said independence by using more domestic production?? Their answer and justification for this is based on a fallacious theory of “climate change”. I find it incredible that intelligent people buy into this hook, line, and sinker.

    As a Rooseveltian Conservationist I find it incredible that people still believe that solar, wind, and biomass are viewed as viable alternatives to oil, coal, and gas.
    All told solar, gas and biomass account for less than five percent of our energy production, but people just conveniently forget that these are heavily subsidized to the tune of billions of dollars. The numbers here in no way give any sort of credence for energy independence. Yes we must use all possible mixes of alternative energy if we are ever going to come close to independence and I endorse all of them. I still maintain that conservation is a much better choice than the radical solutions proposed by the environmentalists.

    If people want to maintain their standard of living they are going to have to accept the fact that their air may become dirtier, their water more contaminated, but they will still have a job, provide for their families and still be able to sent their kids to college and finance a new home. If we follow the path suggested by the environmentalists, everything will become more expensive and our incomes and standard of living will suffer.

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