Posted By RichC on March 22, 2012
It’s easy for someone like me with a fiscally and socially conservative ideology to disagree with President Obama and his expansion of government. I disagree with his irresponsible deficit spending, his liberal social philosophies and adding new entitlements. As he approaches re-election he has also returned to blaming someone else for problems, even after 3+ years in office (2 with a Democratic congress) … which I know is probably just “campaign mode,” but he should at least take the credit or blame for those things he did accomplish (or destroy, depending on your perspective).
That’s not necessarily the reason for my angst in this post, because not everything spawn from my irritation with President Obama, the Democrats or those further left. I’m also frustrated with those from those within the Republican party. I’m sure that I’m not a lone GOPer … as one who is a believer in smaller government, a strong defense, self-responsibility and the basic Republican platform, … but some politicians get caught up in the attack everything the opposition supports. For example, whenever alternatives to oil are brought up as a way to make us less dependent, more self-sufficient and someone is focused on something “renewable” … it is satirically attacked and joked about – as with the latest belittling of growing algae for fuel. It is as if leaders in the Republican party are as blind when discussing energy (only see drilling as an answer) as Democrats are when talking about deficits and debt (only wanting taxing and spending more).
Drill Baby Drill – a parody of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode
When Newt Gingrich belittles the potential of a renewable such as algae as part of the “all of the above” solution for energy independent, he does a disservice to reasonable Republicans (for the record I voted for Romney in our Ohio GOP primary). When those on the right repeat the “drill baby drill” mantra, I get as irritated as watching the Alexandra Pelosi documentary “Obama Bucks” in the below HBO YouTube clip. Both our dependence on just “drilling” and this growing of the entitlement society has to end; I can’t believe that 50% of Americans receive more money from the government than they pay in … and that’s not even counting the services offered by government such as securing our nation.
Back to GOP primary hopefuls and energy, instead of using there position as candidates to educate why some options aren’t an immediate solution they go with the rhetoric of “just drilling.” Candidates like like the intellectual Newt Gingrich make comments that all but derail support alternatives to petroleum. His 1-5 points are misleading and overly assuming when he discounts the potential of creating a new American industry (in turn a job creator) that could expand around high volume algae to oil production on desert land that is currently unable to produce other crops. Algae to oil isn’t has far fetched as it is being portrayed – intellectually dishonest and harmful to advancing our nation’s energy independence.
GINGRICH: “… fuel from algae costs anywhere between $140 and $900 a barrel to produce today. As most Americans probably understood intuitively when they heard the President’s speech, there’s not much indication algae can ever overcome its fundamental problems to be competitive with oil and natural gas, of which the world also has plentiful supplies.”
While I don’t disagree with natural gas as an accessible and immediate energy option, those who study economics can tell you that adding cars and trucks to the additional power plants (nuclear are being replaced by NG) along with existing homes and industrial heating will push up demand and therefore prices. Eventually our currently cheap natural gas won’t be the perfect solution either … we better be adding a few more arrows in our quiver … especially renewables that can create jobs and an entirely new industry.
As a nation (a world), we need a variety of energy sources that can compete fairly with each other. I have no disagreement with stopping the subsidies, combatting oil cartels, unfair trade and shining the light on the congressional favors given to select energy sectors. (BTW, I’m ok with a few dollars of non-profit, non-commercial research — key point: few $ and not the Billions to hand picked industries – Solyndra comes to mind). We do need the next generation of scientists and the innovations that keep the U.S. competitive when it comes to energy use and production. So let’s not politicize everything energy. It doesn’t have to be one or the other when is comes to petroleum verses alternatives … it can be all of the above competing and co-existing.