“We can’t have an energy strategy that traps us in the past,” President Obama proclaimed in March 2012. “We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the Twenty-First Century that develops every source of American-made energy.”
At first blush, this sounds like common sense. The U.S. economy and lifestyle “depend on inexpensive and plentiful energy,” the Congressional Research Service noted in a 2005 report, but people tend to forget this until world events cause gasoline prices to spike. Then Washington reacts, CRS continued – passing the Energy Policy Acts of 1992, 2005 and 2007. However, the U.S. still does not have a “comprehensive long-term energy policy” that balances increasing supply with conservation and defines the proper interplay between government and market forces.
In too many cases, the policies, strategies, laws, programs and regulations are crafted to promote specific ideologies, benefit companies and organizations with the best lobbyists, and secure tax breaks, subsidies and preferential treatment for political cronies, campaign contributors and politically correct ideas.
America does not need “comprehensive” energy policies devised and dictated by Washington. It needs policies that unlock our creative genius and allow free enterprise and private sector innovators to operate on a level playing field – one that applies the same reasonable, responsible environmental, endangered species, tax, subsidy and other laws and standards to all companies, investors and energy technologies.
We need simple laws and policies that let our ultimate energy resource (our creative intellect) work – without ideologues, pressure groups and regulators promoting failed, subsidized energy schemes, while continuing to block affordable, dependable energy that actually creates jobs and generates revenues.