by Mel Griffith
It seems everyone has an energy plan these days. Recently Thomas Friedman, who writes books and articles was on TV promoting his. He thinks gas prices aren't high enough. He seems to admire the fact that in Denmark gas is $10.00 a gallon. His plan is to raise taxes to increase the cost of gasoline. That would soon reduce most of the population to poverty and since poor people can't afford much energy, we would have enough without having to produce more.
Now I am all for reducing Al Gore to poverty so he will quit wasting huge amounts of energy on his numerous mansions and flitting around the world by private jet while cynically telling the rest of us to do without. I am afraid that multi millionaires like Gore and Friedman aren't the ones who will get hurt by high gas prices. That will be the average citizen who will have to spend money on gas instead of trading cars, maintaining their homes, and sending their children to college. I don't think I like Friedman's plan.
Senator Obama has a two-part plan. The first part is for all of us to keep our tires properly inflated. The flaw in that plan is that most of us were already doing that so a few more people doing it won't make much difference. The second part of his plan is to raise taxes. This is in keeping with the standard Democratic belief that any problem can be solved by a tax increase. When they raise taxes and it doesn't work they think it was because the tax increase wasn't big enough. Obama is only going to tax businesses. Of course they just add the cost of the tax to the prices of what we buy, so we are the ones who actually pay the tax, but that's a detail Obama doesn't think it worthwhile to mention.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi also has an energy plan. Her plan for getting more gas and oil is to drill holes in the 68 million acres where they have already determined that there is no gas or oil. If she were running for office anywhere except San Francisco the voters would already have noticed that she is insane. But in San Francisco, where they cling to sin and socialism instead of guns and religion, insanity is the norm and only sensible people look strange to the voters.
The only plan that seems worth trying is being promoted by multi millionaire T. Boone Pickens. I don't fully understand his plan but anyone who has made millions in the risky oil business should be taken seriously and listened to carefully.
No matter how many plans we have we are not going to make much progress until we fix the basic cause of the energy shortage. That's not China or India or Saudi Arabia. It's the lunatic fringe of environmentalists who have brought progress to a halt for the last 30 years in this country.
They are against burning coal because it smokes, against nuclear plants because they are afraid of them, against drilling in Alaska because it might annoy a moose, against wind turbines because they don't like to see them against anything else you can think of. Until we change our laws and courts so they can't stop every project indefinitely we are not going to get much done.