Home > posts > Sorry, but Energy Independence is a Pipe Dream
April 2nd, 2010 7:35 pm
Sorry, but Energy Independence is a Pipe Dream
Posted by Print

I guess there had to be at least one negative aspect of the Reagan legacy. It’s temperamental. The Gipper was famous for the sign on his desk reading “It CAN be done”. What a great American sentiment: sweet-tempered, optimistic, tenacious. It helps, of course, when the goal in question CAN be done.

Not so “energy independence”, which has become something of a Fox News shibboleth the last few years. While there’s a strong case to be made for allowing increased domestic energy production, the idea that it will free us from the vagaries of the global energy market is a pipe dream. But don’t take my word for it. Noted conservative economist Irwin Stelzer (a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a regular contributor to the Weekly Standard) makes the point in a very judicious analysis of President Obama’s push for increased oil exploration published in today’s D.C. Examiner:

More important, and this is no fault of the president’s, even if these offshore areas are eventually opened up, their development cannot eliminate the security threat and economic consequences of our dependence on foreign oil. Fuel autarchy is not in our future.

There just isn’t enough oil offshore to replace our imports from unfriendly countries such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. No matter what happens in the newly permitted areas, we will need their oil.

Sober, but entirely accurate. Call it Coolidge Conservatism.

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