Declaring War on Inexpensive Energy Sources
When Citizens Against Government Waste exposed the government purchase of a $436 hammer and a $640 toilet seat, late night comedians and television pundits covered the airways with sarcasm.
But when the Navy announced the “success” of its new Department of Defense biofuel costing $27 per gallon, the silence was interrupted only by crickets. Conventional military fuel costs only about $3.50 per gallon.
The project, known as the “Great Green Fleet,” was designed to create yet another market for alternative energy. The problem is that the market was created by taking more than $500 million from the treasury, 40 percent of which, like all federal spending, has to be borrowed from China.
The Pentagon is faced with a possible cut to its readiness of $259 billion over the next five years. Yet, Democrats in the Senate are defending $27-per-gallon military fuel.
Many argue that our country is vulnerable to outside interruption of the petroleum supply. The argument continues that it is a good idea to develop new fuel from cooking oil and algae as a strategic alternative.
But strategic alternative fuel technology is not something new. The ability to create “petroleum”-based artificial fuel from coal, America’s most abundant and one of its most inexpensive resources, is nothing new. The technology has been known since the early 20th century. Synthetic coal-based fuels became the cornerstone of the German “war machine” during World War II. Use of this technology was abandoned after the war only because of the abundance of cheap, natural petroleum.
The point is that the current administration has as its goal the creation of “new” but unnecessarily expensive “green” technology. This singular focus spends with abandon, no matter how many people have to pay more taxes, and no matter how many bonds have to be floated onto our grandchildren’s future.
The position of the White House is interesting on this point. It refuses to invest money into more reliable and better tested coal-based fuels for an armed services emergency because such fuels, it says, fail to meet “environmental requirements,” according to The New York Times.
It is strange for the Obama Pentagon to place the issues of global warming ahead of national survival.
The House of Representatives, led by Republicans, has voted to place the $27-per-gallon biofuels program beside the trash heap reserved for the $7,600 military coffeemaker. Democrats controlling the Senate committee overseeing the project have voted to keep on buying environmentally friendly weapons fuel no matter what the cost.
For many, their jobs will depend on whether the Pentagon thinks it important to prepare for only an environmentally friendly thermonuclear war.
Will the coal fields of West Virginia be abandoned to be replaced by algae farms and recycled grease from McDonald’s? And will the job prospects in shale oil-rich North Dakota evaporate with the rise in fuel prices from an environmentally friendly war machine?
From the Great Green Fleet to Solyndra, there is a Democratic quest to manipulate energy markets in order to replace comparatively inexpensive oil and gas products with extremely expensive “alternative” fuels, all in an attempt to satisfy an environmentalist lobby and with little regard for the effect on both the poor and the taxpaying middle class.
Mandates for expensive electricity from renewable energy drive up the price of turning on the lights in a single mother’s apartment. Keeping petroleum products off the market by refusing to approve the Keystone Pipeline and refusing to allow oil drilling on public lands drives prices up by keeping supply down. The result is that farmers and manufacturers pay more to get their goods to market, and families pay more for food.
The success of America is based, in large part, on its success in exploiting inexpensive energy. Creating an oil industry from a few “rigs” in Pennsylvania to a worldwide phenomenon that can send a family car 30 miles at about the cost of a gallon of milk has allowed the American middle class to thrive. Replacing that fuel with “alternatives” at 10 times the cost taxes the middle class and oppresses the poor, the constituency about which liberals claim to care most.
It is about time that Americans embrace inexpensive energy rather than envy its success and abandon the very benefits it has given us.
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican Party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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