“In fact, much of the “pain at the pump” Americans are now feeling is due to federal policies designed by environmental alarmists to punish traditional energy production – like oil, coal, and natural gas – in hopes of making energy sources they favor more “economical.”
Sadly, even with $4.00 a gallon gasoline, many are attempting to make our energy crisis even worse by working to impose job-destroying carbon taxes, or a “Cap and Tax” system.
As long as we allow federal regulations and bureaucratic red tape to get in the way of energy exploration, our country will never solve its energy crisis, and Americans will continue to pay the price in high costs.”
“We should start by ending subsidies for oil companies. And we should never, ever go to war to protect our perceived oil interests. If oil were allowed to rise to its natural price, there would be tremendous market incentives to find alternate sources of energy. At the same time, I can’t support government “investment” in alternative sources either, for this is not investment at all.
Government cannot invest, it can only redistribute resources. Just look at the mess government created with ethanol. Congress decided that we needed more biofuels, and the best choice was ethanol from corn. So we subsidized corn farmers at the expense of others, and investment in other types of renewables was crowded out.
Now it turns out that corn ethanol is inefficient, and it actually takes more energy to produce the fuel than you get when you burn it. The most efficient ethanol may come from hemp, but hemp production is illegal and there has been little progress on hemp ethanol. And on top of that, corn is now going into our gas tanks instead of onto our tables or feeding our livestock or dairy cows; so food prices have been driven up. This is what happens when we allow government to make choices instead of the market; I hope we avoid those mistakes moving forward.”
November 20, 2008: Interview with Freakonomics.com
Specifically, should we subsidize, enforce mandates, or give tax credits and deductions to industries like ethanol and natural gas? Having a thriving energy market domestically is a good thing and something the government should not hinder. Not only would decreasing our dependence on foreign oil simplify our foreign policy, but it would greatly enhance our anemic economy at home. Of course, the government should neither inhibit nor subsidize any particular type of energy.
June 27, 2011: Texas Straight Talk, Energy Independence