It’s probably not going to come as a big surprise to most of us, but, our energy policy, if we even have such at thing, is a complete disaster. Through no one’s fault but our own, the United States finds itself in a position of diminishing oil and gas supplies at a time when the world prices for oil and gas is accelerating by the day.
How could this be? Just over a year ago the nation was energy independent, and was a net exporter of oil and gas. In addition to being profitable and helping off set a trade imbalance, it gave us huge leverage in world politics, and was important to national security.
What happened in only one year to reverse this? In a four words “The Green New Deal.” Driven by the far left progressives, the Biden administration on Day 1 began a war on fossil fuel. With little forward planning and no regard for the consequences, they charged forward to shut down as much oil and gas production as they could as fast as they could, and now much to our dismay, we are finding out just how successful that they were.
In January 2021, when Mr. Biden took office, the world price for a barrel of oil was $53.60; one year later in February of 2022 the price was $97.13. The national average price of gas in January 2021 was $2.67; the average price in February 2022 was $3.54. This was all before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Almost everything that we eat, drink or consume is tied directly to the price of oil and gas, and when these prices go up, the price of everything that we need to live our daily lives goes up accordingly. We now have an inflation rate that we have not seen in 40 years, and it’s not getting better any time soon.
The Biden administration is now spinning this as “Putin’s Inflation,” but anyone who does not live in a cave somewhere in Mexico knows that it started long before Russia invaded Ukraine. If it’s not “Putin’s Inflation,” then what is the cause? I have the answer. It’s nasty, greedy “Big Oil” taking advantage of the situation and gouging the public.
However, if you think about it, “Big Oil” was probably just as nasty and greedy before January of 2021 as they were after. Somehow that one doesn’t wash either.
It’s been pretty well established that the world is going to be dependent on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. So what do we do about it? Scrap all efforts to move away from dependence on fossil fuel, do away with wind, solar, and other forms of “green energy?” That’s also a bad plan.
The common sense answer is to develop a long term comprehensive plan to gradually move from fossil fuel to cleaner forms of energy. There are some very interesting new concepts out there other than solar and wind, such as small plant nuclear reactors that are safe, efficient and clean.
There are hydrogen cells that can power large trucks, buses and stationary power plants. They are in wide use today in warehouses to power forklifts, and there is even research to use them to power airplanes. Water is the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe on these machines, and hydrogen is the most abundant gas in the universe.
How do we make this happen? Stop letting the far left drive energy policy. Put people in charge who understand what needs to be done; and make a long term plan to make it happen. They are out there, we just need to listen to them and let them do their work. The United States can become the world leader in “green energy” and still maintain our position of strength and prosperity that is the envy of the world.
Born, raised and educated in the Southwest, Jim Dickson served in the U.S. Navy Reserve in Vietnam before a 35-year business career. Retired to St. Helena Island, Dickson and his wife are fiscally conservative, socially moderate and active in Republican politics, though they may not always agree with Republicans. Having lived around the country and traveled around the world, Dickson believes that the United States truly is the land of opportunity.