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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So tell me if you've heard this one before...

The leader of a great country going through hard times has promised to improve the business environment and energy independence, to make it easier for the citizens to make a decent living. This great country currently serves a large portion of its energy needs by buying oil from distant lands, mostly where the inhabitants don't much like the great country. This country has also not built a new nuclear energy plant in  three decades and all the existing ones are nearing end of life, not being economical to keep repaired for much longer.

This country has, within its borders and just offshore, perhaps a century or more worth of petroleum products. There are many companies willing to invest in the infrastructure to retrieve this oil and natural gas, they are just waiting for permission to build the pipelines and drill the wells. To do this would cost the government nothing and the government would be able to tax the products sold from these wells and pipelines.

A neighboring country, with which this great country has had a long-standing positive relationship, also has large reserves of energy (oil, natural gas, even timber) and has offered a partnership. They will produce what the great country needs and the great country provides money and transportation (actually, private companies offer this, but you get the idea). In this case the great country would get tariffs on the imported products and taxes on the products, again, when the are sold within its borders.

Private companies have also offered to build nuclear energy plants, which would be taxed by the local governments and employ thousands of workers nationwide, who would all pay income taxes to the great country. These plants would reduce the amount of electricity the country buys from the good neighbor and possibly allow the electricity (and money) to reverse direction.

Other ways to generate electricity are available but all have other issues that, while not insurmountable, make them less desirable. Wind power, while environmentally clean, is not steady, requiring a backup system, and has been shown to interfere with the flight patterns of birds and bats. Solar power, again environmentally clean to produce power, also requires a backup system due to weather conditions, is most definitely not clean to make the infrastructure and requires large areas to be productive.Hydro-electric power interferes with fish, requires damming rivers (which causes problems for residents) and there is not enough vertical drop on all the rivers to supply more than a small fraction of the power needs. Fossil fuel plants are very reliable, but not environmentally friendly, although they are improving. There are others but they are still experimental and may bring other issues when scaled up, such as wave power (what does it do to the sea life and birds that depend on it?), fusion (has been 10 years from being ready for at least 25 years) and biofuels (currently requires more energy to produce than is recovered)

So what does the leader of this great country do about the energy independence he has promised to work towards? He has the bureaucracies that control permitting for all of these deny every application to produce more energy, no drilling for oil/gas, no nuke plants and, for good measure, let's throw hard earned tax money at unproven technologies being offered by unproven companies who will (not) produce their (non) products in this country, sending those possible jobs overseas. He also tells the good neighbor thanks, but no thanks we don't want to build a pipeline. This makes the neighbor, who still needs money, contact another country (who also doesn't like the great country much) to sell the petroleum to them. The net effect is to drive up the price of energy, including fuel for vehicles, which in turn drives up the price of everything else (you need energy to produce everything and to move it to market, so the price of everything is related to the price of energy) which makes the leader say "rising gas prices are a sign of a healthy economy".

What, you don't like this story? Not funny enough for you? Find politicians who did not learn their philosophy at the feet of Marxists and statists, like Saul Alinksy. Elect politicians who don't have as their closest advisors "former" terrorists like Bill Ayers. Defeat politicians who feel that your rights, as defined in (but not granted by) the Constitution, are unimportant but feel that entitlements (which are not listed anywhere in that most important of documents) should be listed as rights.

Now for the real humor. The left thinks that they have a good chance to regain control of the US House of Representatives, even with the economy in the toilet (with the president having his foot on the flush handle) while the people are finally waking up to what is happening.

Notice I have not mentioned party lines. I believe the two party system we have suffered under for far too long needs to go away. Let those who would lead run on their records and philosophies and not on the back of an elephant or a donkey. Make people think about who they vote for by listing ballots alphabetically, not by party.

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