Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ain’t No Reason Things Are This Way

The Sunday New York Times included an article, American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot. The article outlines high oil prices and what was done (and not done) since the 1970s to reduce our oil consumption: “Over the last 25 years, opportunities to head off the current crisis were ignored, missed or deliberately blocked, according to analysts, politicians and veterans of the oil and automobile industries.” In addition, biofuels are now inextricably intertwined with food and oil prices—the World Bank apparently says biofuels have raised food prices by 75%.

It’s time for long-ranging and forward-thinking policies for both food and fuel. And yet, in this election year, we instead hear a lot of talk about attempts to lower prices at the pump as soon as possible. As such, rather than instituting long-range plans, and making hard decisions, political leaders are seeking policies to extend the status quo. That would be another in a long series of mistakes.

With oil and food prices outpacing inflation and causing hardship both here and abroad, U.S. policy is hard to explain.
There ain’t no reason things are this way
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way,
We do it everyday.


Blogger Anthony Schutz said...

"Walkin' a tight rope on a razor's edge" it sounds like to me.

Awesome song.

7/08/2008 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Senator, Senator Lamar Alexander has sat on the energy committee for some time. 3 Years ago when the oil problem looked like it was going to be big (and it is) I asked through his staffer what the committee planned to do about the mess on the horizon. I asked him (oil was low then but the risks were gathering) what he was going to do about oil. His reply was "Use it up".

While this might be a reply that you might expect from an oil company executive, it shows how little the Congress is actually planning with good policy goals how we are going to deal with a world without cheap oil. You might think he had a plan to develop the science behind basic cellulostic ethanol. You might think more solar incentives, a better review of nuclear, and a push to make us more efficient via higher energy efficiency requirements, but no, just "Use it up".

After oil zoomed up over a hundred dollars a barrel Senator Lamar Alexander was going to all the think tanks CNN covers spouting the energy solutions he so carefully hid before oil zoomed up. Structural change in an economy takes time. Politicians playing their games and not doing their job in developing good strategies for our country's future should not be tolerated. We might as well have sent Alexander to a Redskin's game instead of sitting on such an important committee on our national future. Parading in front of the TV after the fact acting like you had been at your job the whole time is a little disingenuous. It is what we have come to expect, unfortunately, from our politicians.


7/12/2008 8:36 PM  

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