By Alan Caruba
At a time when America’s infrastructure—bridges, roads, seaports and airports—is in need of repair, the nation’s governors are gathering to discuss ways to waste time, money, and labor on something that is impossible, “an energy independent” America. No nation on Earth is energy independent.
On Feb 23, the 2008 National Governors Association will gather for their winter meeting and the primary topic will be making America “a global leader in energy efficiency, clean energy technology, alternative fuels use, and energy research…” I doubt that the subject of building more coal or gas burning, let alone nuclear, electricity generation facilities will be high on their priorities. Indeed, in state after state, governors have expressed opposition this vital necessity.
Saturday’s open session will feature Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presentation, “Securing a Clean Energy Future.” This is code for the increased use of wind turbine and solar energy. At present, these two provide barely one percent of the nation’s energy needs. They are incredibly inefficient and are incapable of replacing coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear energy to meet the needs of the nation.
The term “clean energy” is code for opposition to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide, but CO2 is just 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere and plays an insignificant role as a greenhouse gas. It is the Sun that is the determining factor when it comes to heating or cooling the Earth. The Earth is getting cooler, not warmer.
Former CIA Director, R. James Woolsey, will address “the need to develop and support alternatives to imported petroleum.” I don’t know who Woolsey is shilling for, but I have personally heard his standard speech on this topic and I can tell you he is full of hot air. There isn’t a nation on Earth that can afford to reduce its imports of petroleum. It is a global commodity that is sold to the highest bidder. Oil doesn’t have a nationality—only a price.
The notion that America can, will or should reduce oil imports is a huge misrepresentation of the truth. Energy is the engine of our economy. Reduce or restrict its use and you will see businesses and jobs move anywhere it’s available. And yet Congress refuses to grant access to the vast oil reserves going untapped in Alaska or our continental shelf.
What’s scary about all this hogwash about energy efficiency and alternative energy sources is that these are the people who will shape the future of their individual States and of the nation.
Instead of advocating a better tax structure to encourage and stimulate industries and small businesses in their States, they are wasting time on discussing ways to thwart the building of new electricity generating plants, new refineries, and insuring that our own natural resources go unused.
These are the same governors whose States have been on a spending spree for a very long time, far outpacing their revenues. They have borrowed and borrowed to the point where our grandchildren and their children will be paying off the debt load.
America is in trouble and the governors want to discuss ethanol, wind turbines, and solar panels when they need to be discussing bridge maintenance, potholes, and jobs leaving for places where it costs far less to produce anything.