The Fox News article starts off “President Barack Obama says one answer to high gasoline prices is to spend money developing renewable energy sources.” It also mentions Obama’s knee-jerk reaction to any crisis – “spend money”. OUR money. We wouldn’t need to spend money developing it if it was ready to use. The technology does not yet exist!
Obama does not want to solve the high gasoline prices, and cost of oil imports, by drilling for our own reserves, which are plentiful. Instead he wants to force the entire country to transition to “renewable energy sources”. Obama’s hurdle is how to force us to pay for it. Even those technologies that are currently available are typically much more expensive than oil / gas / coal. So Obama is all in favor of increasing the price of gasoline. After all, when gas prices are high, more people will buy electric cars, which are run on electricity which is, ironically, mostly generated by burning coal or natural gas.
Check out the image above. Obama wants us to run everything on the part of the pie that is nuclear, hydroelectric, and “other renewables”. A total of 30.8% of the pie. He wants us to ditch the other 69.2% of the pie, switching to the 3.6% slice. This obviously is not going to happen.
We have made this huge investment over many decades, in infrastructure designed to provide gasoline as fuel for cars, and we have a huge number of cars (around 250 million) that run on gasoline. We have many, many thousands of people working for companies that provide that gasoline and oil. To switch to something else means scrapping all that, and it would put all those people out of work for some unspecified period of time.
Such a transition would break this country, even if our economy was healthy.
Nonetheless, such a transition does have to happen, eventually, because oil is not limitless. We have reserves in the U.S. that could keep us going for another 100 years, but eventually we will have to make that transition. My point is that we don’t have to do it all at once, or right now. This is something that MUST be economically feasible, i.e. competitive with oil and gas.
We need to drill here, and drill now, and quit buying foreign oil. This will keep many billions of dollars in our economy, and hire many, many thousands of workers. This one emphasis, which would take a few years to implement, would go a long way to solving our economic problems. MANY more jobs, and MANY less dollars going overseas, and less expensive gasoline – how is that a bad thing?
However, we also do need to incentivize development alternative energy, just as Obama wants to do. We will eventually need alternative energies, when oil and gas runs out. The trick is to incentivize that development so that the technology becomes economically feasible.
When we can buy and operate an electric car for costs comparable to a gasoline powered car, without giving up range or other utility, that’s when we will adopt alternative energy sources, and not a moment before.
The difference between Obama’s plan, and mine? He wants to force costs higher until alternative energy is economically attractive. I want to keep using oil and gas until alternative energy gets cheap enough to compete. His plan will, like so many of his actions, be harmful economically; mine will not. That’s the difference.