Charles Krauthammer skewers the President’s call in the State of the Union to pursue “energy independence” through government subsidies for ethanol and more regulation of vehicles. As Krauthammer highlights, none of this is new:
“By my count, 24 of the 34 State of the Union addresses since the oil embargo of 1973 have proposed solutions to our energy problem.
The result? In 1973 we imported 34.8 percent of our oil. Today we import 60.3 percent.
And what does this president propose? Another great technological fix. For Jimmy Carter, it was the magic of synfuels. For George Bush, it’s the wonders of ethanol. Our fuel will grow on trees. Well, stalks, with even fancier higher-tech variants to come from cellulose and other (literal) rubbish.”
Krauthammer points out that the worst element of this new proposal is that it allows Americans to believe that there is a magical, painless way to change our pattern of energy consumption and ignore the real policies that have the potential to actually improve the current situation:
“Even worse, the happy talk displaces any discussion about here-and-now measures that would have a rapid and revolutionary effect on oil consumption and dependence. No one talks about them because they have unhidden costs. Politicians hate unhidden costs.
There are three serious things we can do now: Tax gas. Drill in the Arctic. Go nuclear.”
Don’t miss the whole article, available here.