He says we have plenty we can do about it, which is exactly what we say on this site over and over and over again.
1. In three years, move the truck fleet to natural gas. That 2-3 million barrels of oil a day of foreign oil we can replace.
2. Drill in ANWR. That’s a million barrels a day.
3. Hybrids and electric cars, which he says is a million barrels a day (he’s full of it here, but we’ll give him a mulligan).
4. Drill in the Gulf. That’s a million barrels a day.
5. Drill in what he calls slate. He means oil shale in the Rockies. He says that’s a million barrels a day.
The numbers probably aren’t quite what he says. But what matters is the direction we’ll move in if we get serious about producing our own oil.
Still waiting for someone to suggest that the 600,000 vehicles in the federal government’s fleet be converted to natural gas. If you did that, you would create a mass market for conversion kits that would allow the manufacturers of those conversion kits to realize economies of scale and price them such that they’d pay for themselves within a year. And if you did that, you’d immediately create the demand for a commercial infrastructure – namely, CNG fueling stations – in the area around Washington, DC where the federal auto fleet is most heavily concentrated.
Natural gas is ultimately the best way to get this country off foreign oil. We can’t move to it fast enough. When gasoline goes to $6 or $7 a gallon, you’ll be talking about cutting fuel costs by two-thirds, with a domestic fuel source we won’t run out of anytime soon. Everybody talks about China and India overcoming us economically; yeah, well, if gasoline goes to $6 a gallon here you can bet it’ll be at least $4 a gallon in China and India where they don’t have a lot of domestic supply. When we’re paying $2.50 GGE for natural gas and they’re paying $6 for gasoline, plus their fuel costs go to the Middle East while ours stay domestic, this business of China being the next dominant economic power goes away sharpish.
But it takes some vision and some balls to stand up to the Luddite environmental mob, whose fantasyland ideas about biofuels and windmills have done nothing but put us in further thrall to foreign exporters of oil. The current president doesn’t have either the vision or the balls for this; in fact, he’s in league with the Luddites.
And that’s why the single most important characteristic we need to be looking for in a 2012 GOP nominee is a determination to get the government out of the way so that industrialists and entrepreneurs can fix the energy problem. Fix that, and our economic issues will clear up faster than a case of the clap after a penicillin shot. But it takes some leadership, and we damn sure don’t have that right now.