The Big Question: What is the key to passing an energy bill this year?


Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at U.C. Irvine, said:
The key to passing an energy bill is for both our politicians and electorate to understand this: Our oil import dependence is at one of the two key drivers of our economic stagnation over the last decade (the other being our China import dependence).  If we want to increase our growth rate and cut unemployment, we need both energy reform and trade reform.


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:

The key to passing an "energy bill," i.e. a bill that details all the ways the government can and supposedly should intervene in the energy realm, allegedly for the "public good," is to corral all the special economic interests -- Big Oil, the government-subsidized "green" industry, the environmentalist movement  (a coalition involving elements of the first two), and lawmakers eager to be reelected -- and hand out goodies to everybody.


Hal Lewis, professor of Physics at UC Santa Barbara, said:

No energy bill that can be passed by this Congress this year can help the nation confront its energy problems, which are all too real. Non-solutions, like wind and ethanol,  have powerful constituencies, but solutions do not.


John F. McManus, President, The John Birch Society, said:

Passage of any energy bill shouldn't be the goal.  The goal should be passage of a measure that will help our nation to become less dependent on foreign suppliers of the energy that is vital to continued national independence.
 
The oil spill in the gulf is indeed catastrophic.  But it must not be cited as reason to shut down other offshore oil exploration and development.  Indeed, if the known deposits of oil nearer to shores than the ruptured well had not been declared off-limits, the remarkably deep well spewing oil into the gulf may not have been created.
 
A sensible energy bill would unleash developers to exploit known resources along all of our nation's coasts, certainly including Alaska's northern coast and in ANWR.  A sensible energy bill would overturn whatever restrictions are keeping our nation from building and benefiting from nuclear power stations.  A sensible bill would cease pouring taxpayers funds into solar and wind projects that produce minuscule amounts of useable energy and even take many years to recover the amount of energy used to manufacture the equipment these projects require.
 
It can't be said too often that the Department of Energy was created in the 1970s supposedly to address our nation's importation of 30 percent of the oil we were using.  After untold billions have been spent and countless regulations have been created by the energy bureaucrats, the U.S. now imports nearly 70 percent of the oil we use. Meanwhile, competent analysts continue to note that, if energy producers were free of various federally mandated impediments, we soon would not have to import a drop of oil.
 
The only kind of energy bill our nation needs will address the issues noted above.  Anything else will keep America mired in dependence on others and steer the nation into total loss of national independence.