About that “All-of-the-Above” Strategy
Let’s set up an Energy Security Trust that helps us free our families and our businesses from painful spikes in gas once and for all
– President Barack Obama, Lemont Illinois, 3/15/2013
Last week I presented new CBO data showing that President Obama’s energy policy is directed at near-term elimination of fossil fuels.
As if on cue, two days later President Obama made an energy speech slapping an exclamation point onto that data.
In his latest campaign-style speech the President called for a
$2 billion Energy Security Trust fund…
“to shift our cars entirely — our cars and trucks — off oil”.
That’s a clear statement of energy policy intent.
Its a great idea, too… in 30-40 years, according to EIA info.
It’s the right move, made for the wrong reasons, at the right price; paid for in the wrong way.
Energy Security Trust Fund
Developing new future technologies to replace non-renewable fossil fuels is the right move.
It’s a modest investment to. By federal government standards the $2B energy trust fund is barely chump change, given that it is spread out over 10 years.
Heck, the national debt grows by more than that every day! It is to be funded by yet another new tax… this one levied on energy companies.
In his speech Obama said the money would be invested to devise “new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy — like advanced biofuels and natural gas — so drivers can one day go coast to coast without using a drop of oil.”
Specifically, the plan identifies these developments:
- Natural gas fuel tanks
- Advanced batteries for electric vehicles
- Cleaner biofuels
- Hydrogen fuel cells/breakthrough technologies
There is a curious irony over natural gas fuel tanks. It’s at odds with current energy policy. The government has reduced natural gas production on federal lands by 33% since Obama took office.
Global Warming and Economic Recovery
Even the UN’s IPCC has determined global warming models are fundamentally flawed and have badly overestimated global temperature rise.
Global temperatures leveled off 15 years ago. That was 7 years before anyone ever heard of Barack Obama; then an obscure Illinois state senator. The IPCC itself doesn’t expect any further increases until at least 2017. That’s beyond President Obama’s term in office.
The media headlines abnormal weather within the normal course of events. That creates a false sense of urgency that runaway, human-caused greenhouse effects, caused by burning fossil fuels, is destroying the planet.
Given that temperatures have stopped rising while CO2 has not throws the whole theory into question. Settled science, it is not.
A least until after our fragile economy recovers, it’s a non-issue.
Obama energy policy has placed a target over the fossil fuel industry long before its necessary usefulness has run its course. It is jumping the gun.
Fix the economy, then save the planet.
It’s critically important for the government to spur investment in our energy future through R&D. 82% of energy today comes from non-renewable sources. The proposed Energy Security Trust is a modest step in that direction.
Funding the trust through a brand new tax is not the answer. Once enacted, new taxes rarely go away. A proper funding source is to take it out of current tax subsides already given to energy companies. Supporting emerging industries is the whole purpose of a tax subsidy in the first place.
Driving up the cost of energy without extraordinary cause right now is wrong for a fragile economy. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions more jobs, will be created in fossil fuels than will be in exotic technologies for decades to come.
Spending a mere $2 billion over 10 years for energy R&D rates a press release… not a Presidential field trip.
The 4-hour round trip flight time alone, for taking Air Force One to the Argonne National Laboratories in Illinois for yet another campaign-like photo op, cost taxpayers $720,000. That could have kept White House tours open for school groups for nearly two years.
President Obama clearly does not have his priorities in order.