On Energy: An Absolute Must-Read

Barbara Lerner in National Review Online has a piece every American should read. A sample:

We already use natural gas to create much of the heat and electricity in our homes, and we could use more. But, with a little help from government, we could also create the infrastructure necessary to replace gasoline and diesel fuel in the millions of trucks and buses that travel over our roads every day. That would make a real dent in the amount of oil we need to import, helping to create a surplus in the world market that would greatly reduce the amount of money our Islamist enemies can spend on their war against us.

Williamson’s claim that this would have no impact on the war is, to say the least, uninformed. Box-cutters and underpants are cheap, but it takes enormous amounts of capital to reach into every corner of the globe and aggressively propagate the evil Islamist creed that calls for our destruction, and to fund, train, and transport the growing multitude of Islamist terrorists, Islamist infiltrators, and Islamist propagandists who work to make our defeat a reality. Williamson’s apparent failure to grasp any of this doesn’t prove he’s stupid, but it does raise questions about the depth of his knowledge in this area.

Those of us who do “get it” need to press our government to act, now, not only to make maximal use of the new natural-gas bonanza American ingenuity has opened up to us, but also to drill for oil in all the American locations currently ruled off-limits, and to build at least as many nuclear power plants as the French have. If we take all these perfectly feasible steps now, energy independence is no pipe dream. It’s a reality we have the power to create, not in the 22nd century but in the next decade or two, and it will bring our ultimate victory in the war for freedom much closer. Along the way, it offers two additional bonuses: It will create many thousands of much-needed new jobs — not make-work government jobs, but genuinely productive ones — and it will give us a cleaner environment, because natural gas creates much less pollution than oil. And that is anything but dumb.

Lerner’s piece largely refutes an assertion made last week in NRO by Kevin Williamson, who amid a litany of solid arguments why many Republican policies have become out-of-date or no longer serve the party’s or America’s interests throws in an objection to rhetoric about energy independence. Williamson points out that “foreign oil” includes Canadian oil, that energy independence is impossible and that Islamic terrorism doesn’t come from oil.

All three of Williamson’s assertions are wrong, as Lerner expertly clarifies. The question isn’t whether American energy independence, or perhaps more intelligently an independent energy common market with Canada (and perhaps Mexico), is possible. It unquestionably is, provided increased use of coal and natural gas as transportation fuels are explored and we as a country finally put away our infantile objections to nuclear power to run our grid the same way the French and Japanese do. As for the assertion that since box cutters and plane tickets aren’t cheap, Lerner knocks that one out of the park with the quote above. Further, as blogger Mark Silverberg notes:

Reza F. Safa, author of Inside Islam, estimates that since 1973, the Saudi government has spent an unbelievable $87B to promote Wahhabism in the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. According to official Saudi information, Saudi funds have been used to build and maintain over 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges, 210 Islamic Centers wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia, and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia.

In other words, one way to fight Islamic terror is to reduce by a significant amount the demand for oil from places like Saudi Arabia and Iran (and even Venezuela, if one considers the overall national-security picture); ideally the ability even to BOYCOTT oil from such countries would be a lever available in American foreign policy. Particularly with respect to Venezuela, which through its U.S. affiliate CITGO is totally dependent on the American market. That isn’t an immediately practicable option, but it’s a worthy goal which should be pursued by our government in its energy policy.

Lerner identifies natural gas as a colossal piece of America’s energy future, and here in Louisiana we are well aware of how correct she is. But as we discussed in this blog last month, the hydraulic fracturing technique used to create the staggering gas plays like the Haynesville and Marcellus Shales, which industry insiders believe are only the tip of the iceberg, is now under the congressional microscope and subject to invasive EPA regulation. “Fracking,” as it’s called, is a time-honored practice in its sixth decade of use and it has proven itself both non-threatening to underground aquifers and perfectly compatible with regulation by state entities without the stupidity and clumsiness of the feds entering the picture. Nevertheless, within the next three months we will see hearings by George Soros stooge Edward Markey (D-MA), of Waxman-Markey fame, to examine the process – likely complete with a host of environmental demogoguery, scare-mongering and demonization in the legacy media in advance.

The question is whether Lerner’s sound advice will be heeded in the corridors of power, or if the same suicidal fairy-tales will inform those in control of American energy policy – at least for a while until the public gets a chance to make itself heard on the subject this November.

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