Wasted Energy: Our Failure to Plan


Recently, a news story reported that our neighbor to the north was richer than us. Yes, the average Canadian is worth more now than the average American.

Some claim this is due to lower corporate tax rates in Canada, as the U.S. has now claimed the highest rate in the world. I don’t dispute this argument, but rather I would point out that one of the main reasons Canada is doing so well is the fact that it has a national energy policy while we are the only developed country in the world without one.

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One of the few major job creation events in the U.S. that is happening is the technological advances in drilling for fossil fuels. A national energy policy could create millions of jobs and keep hundreds of billions of dollars at home.

President Obama is the latest president to not develop an energy plan -- every president talks about it, but none have done anything about it.

The Keystone Pipeline can be debated, killed or postponed because we don’t have an energy policy and we’re not sure how, or if, it fits. We just add things when they come, or subtract things as they come.

There are reasons for this; the Republicans hate renewable energy because of the failed loans to unproven technology. The Democrats hate fossil fuels due to subsidies that Republicans have given to their base. This is not an either/or proposition. This is an all-of-the-above proposition.

We need a set standard for fracking. We should make it a priority that we decide what is or isn’t safe, then allow it to proceed. Low natural gas prices are a huge boost to our economy in manufacturing and electricity costs, as well as a future cheap transportation fuel.

We need to decide what is safe in the arctic and offshore, and then allow the drilling processes to proceed.

We need long distance DC lines for renewable energy and to allow the free market to build energy farms knowing that they can get their product to market. These DC lines will both open up commerce and create jobs.

We need a comprehensive energy plan so we know where pipelines fit into the plan, so they  don’t turn into political pawns.

We need a transportation plan for electric, hybrid and alternative energy cars, buses and trucks so that a national infrastructure can start being built knowing there is a plan to support growth.

We need a nuclear policy. Do we continue to pursue things like sodium cooled fast reactors and sponsoring the fusion plant in Europe or not? It changes with political whims -- because we   don’t have a long-term plan for anything.

Wave power is never mentioned by Congress; I doubt many in politics even know much about it. Is it part of our long-term plan? The answer is we don’t know because we don’t have a long-term plan.

This plan implementation alone could create millions of jobs and put Americans back to work, Americans who haven’t been able to find a job because no jobs are being created. This would keep hundreds of billions of dollars in our economy each year (and the tax revenue that goes with that).

A true long-term plan would show us what our bridge is to the future, whether it is renewables, nuclear fusion, a new technology or natural gas vehicles.

We have the most futile Congress in history -- a national energy policy, if done correctly and adhered to, is something even they can’t mess up. The reason a plan isn’t implemented is because it would take away the ability for politicians to be bought off. If we knew where fossil fuels, pipelines and renewables fit into our strategy then lobbyists would lose their jobs and politicians would lose money, because we’d be adhering to a plan. Politicians would not be able to put things in play simply because they have been bought off.

See the problem?