by Youssef M. Ibrahim
Do you think $140 a barrel is insane? Last week the president of
OPEC Chakib Khelil predicted $170 a barrel by summer’s end. More
sobering, this week the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast
world energy use to grow fifty percent by 2030.
If that pans out, it would mean the world will need to burn more
than 120 million barrels of oil that day. We have it, but can we afford
it? Nope, and that is why the oil domain is crumbling.
I cannot remember when so much argument was so wrong as is the current discusssion of energy and what policies we should pursue. They are of course mostly the same vote pandering argument we have heard since the 70,s oil crisis. It is just the added emotional intensity we hear this time. We have environmentalists for whom no solution which allows continued use of carbon based combustibles is acceptable nor any plan which cannot be implemented everywhere instantly. If it has to be implemented in stages then it is just another conspiracy by "big oil".
Other knock solar, wind, or nuclear for being too far in the future or impractical or useless because we will still need oil. Their argument always comes down to " too hard we might as well not even try".
All of these people have got part of it right but most of it wrong.
We must do all of it and right now. The first step is to significantly shrink the enormous bureaucracy that adds years and millions of dollars to the permitting process. Consumers must start with conserving energy usage where possible.
We must open up offshore drilling in the US. Build modern clean operating refineries capable of using both sweet and sour crudes to enable us to diversify our sourcing. Build and buy more fuel efficient vehicles. Prepare our infrastructure for hydrogen powered clean cars.(Honda will have one for sale by 2010,and I believe Toyota and Mercedes are close behind. ) Subsidize solar power and wind power. Begin the rapid construction of Nuclear power plants nationwide. Remember France gets 70% of her power from nuclear.
This steps are not a list to pick from ; all of those steps must be taken to keep the economy functioning and begin the serious clean up of the air. Which of these sources of energy is the best is not the important issue right now. Taking each energy source and pursuing it to the fullest beginning tomorrow is what is important.
Write your Representatives and tell them to get off their asses, come together and turn the energy producers loose to bring back some semblance of energy independence. If your representatives don't act on energy then throw the bums out in November.
UPDATE: Related from Instapundit.