Does The US Have An Energy Policy?

If we do have an energy policy, would someone please explain it to me. Oh, wait a minute. Google can help me with this.

And sure enough, Google had the scoop. It appears that President Obama and Steven Chu do have an energy plan for America. Here is part of a report by Steven Chu, Secretary of the US Department of Energy, issued in 2009:


The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. Our addiction to foreign oil doesn’t just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment — it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. President Obama and Vice President Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.


Energy Plan Overview

Provide Short-term Relief to American Families

  • Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation.
  • Swap Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.

Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years

  • Increase Fuel Economy Standards.
  • Get 1 Million Plug-In Hybrid Cars on the Road by 2015.
  • Create a New $7,000 Tax Credit for Purchasing Advanced Vehicles.
  • Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
  • A �Use it or Lose It� Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases.
  • Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas.

Create Millions of New Green Jobs

  • Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source � Energy Efficiency.
  • Weatherize One Million Homes Annually.
  • Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.
  • Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.

Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050

  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
  • Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change.

How is that plan working out for you, Dr. Chu? Better yet, hows is that working out for you, America? Not so good, is it? So, do you have a better plan, Jim?

I’m glad you asked. How about this:

America’s oil shale reserves are enormous, totaling at least 1.5 trillion barrels of oil. That’s five times the reserves of Saudi Arabia! And yet, no one is producing commercial quantities of oil from these vast deposits. All that oil is still sitting right where God left it, buried under the vast landscapes of Colorado and Wyoming.(Source)

Read that again, five times the reserves of Saudi Arabia. And that is just one deposit! Oh, you don’t like oil. Okay, try this article by Al Fin at titled “Growing Shale Gas Reserves Compensating for Obama’s Energy Starvation Policies

The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) is reporting in its Annual Energy Outlook report that shale gas reserves are growing to compensate for losses of offshore gas brought about by Obama’s de facto moratorium on new deepwater production in the Gulf.
The technically recoverable unproved shale gas resource is 827 trillion cubic feet (as of 1 January 2009) in the AEO2011 Reference case, 474 trillion cubic feet larger than in the AEO2010 Reference case, reflecting additional information that has become available with more drilling activity in new and existing shale plays. This larger resource leads to about double the shale gas production and more than 20% higher total lower-48 natural gas production in 2035, with lower natural gas prices, than was projected in the AEO2010 Reference case.

Our Reference case projection shows the growing importance of natural gas from domestic shale gas resources in meeting US energy demand and lowering natural gas prices. Energy efficiency improvements and the increased use of renewables are other key factors that moderate the projected growth in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. EIA Administrator Richard Newell _GCC

This news will be greeted with dismay from lefty-Luddites, faux environmentalists, peak energy doomers, and others who feel ill will toward the US and the US economy. Those who acknowledge and accept the vital role of energy for the well-being of a society, on the other hand, will welcome the growing resource.

The Obama administration has shut down significant US coal production, has shut down most new or planned offshore oil & gas production, is working on stopping the importation of Canadian oil sands, and has plans to limit shale oil & gas production — or stop it entirely. New safer, cleaner, less expensive nuclear energy reactors are dead in the water under Obama’s foot-dragging NRC. Mr. Obama always intended to institute a comprehensive plan of energy starvation over the US economy, but he had not counted on the recent explosion in unconventional energy resources.

Some estimates I’ve read are that the US has oil equivalents od gas in shale sufficient to supply all of the country’s energy needs for hundreds of years. If these estimates are off by half, there is still no reason the we can’t be energy independent. All we lack is the will. Bush prefered we line the pockets of Iowa corn farmers by insisting that we use ethanol.  Obama wants us to pay through the nose for electricity from windmills and solar panels and to drive around in electric hybrid cars. I have no problem if some of you want to drive around in modified golf carts. More power to you. Just don’t ask the rest of us to subsidize you.

All these government proposed energy plans are more costly than energy from $100 per barrel oil. Me, I would prefer my energy at the equivalent of $40 per barrel, which is what the experts estimate for shale gas. What are your thoughts?

12 thoughts on “Does The US Have An Energy Policy?

  1. I like John Stossel’s view on the subject. Why do we need an energy policy at all. Why not let the market handle it? The government does a horrible job at picking the winners and losers. The free market would provide us the cheapest energy possible and would conserve our resources (how is government control of water doing these days, chronic shortages you say?) better than the government ever could.

    Of course, then you get into the problem of pollution, but that is because government ignores property rights and lets polluters pollute with no penalty. Once again the government is portrayed as a savior when they are the ones who created a problem. Let people sue for property damages due to pollution and you’ll have a much fairer way to handle the issue. We’d probably see air pollution then localized to regions of extremely low population density. We’d then have cheap goods and less pollution.

    Sorry for the rant about pollution, but I just knew that would be the first response to the proposal about getting rid of the Department of Energy.

    1. I like John Stossel’s idea. The only reason government should have a policy is from a strategic standpoint. Pollution wouldn’t be an issue if we concentrated on natural gas from shale, nuclear and, possibly super clean thorium reactors. As it is, the hybrids need coal fired power plants to provide their electricity (not very green).

  2. Great job… true…Nat gas is the way and there are clean burning coal plants as well that could easily be converted/used. There is no reason for us not being 100 percent independent. Add your nukes and bingo. But then that would not allow the government to control our lives.

    1. Yup! Imagine the US, energy independent. Chavez, Putin, and a bunch of Mid-east sheiks would be out of business. Now there is a pleasant thought. And, there’s the bonus of US prices falling and the economy booming. I could live with that.

  3. Great post, Jim. I’ll try not to get long winded with my reply, but there is a lot that I could say.

    I have nothing against cleaner energy that comes from different sources than we are used to using. Wind, solar, or bird feathers, it’s all the same to me, as long as it works. The trouble is, the technologies President Obama wants us to use either do not work or are so expensive as to be completely unaffordable to the average American citizen. He doesn’t seem to understand or maybe he just doesn’t care, that so much of what he wants to do is not a viable option.

    Given the fact that most of the goods and products that are sold in American stores are transported by trucks, how does he expect to move said goods if all the diesel trucks are sidelined because he wants more clean energy. I think he is being more than a little unrealistic about the entire clean energy scenario.

    There is much talk in Washington about how the United States needs to be free of foreign oil and to that end, President Obama is proposing ever so many clean energy policies. If our federal government wanted us to be free of foreign oil dependency, it could happen, but the way it could happen is unacceptable to them. It’s not clean, you see. I think it is high time we pulled they pulled their heads out of the sand and performed a reality check on where our energy policy has brought us and where it will take us, if we continue to refuse to make positive changes.

    Sorry for the rant.

    1. No apologies are necessary, Larry. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I believe that some day solar cell technology will be developed that will allow a significant portion of our energy requirements to be economically produced in that manner. That day appears to be a long way off. But even if 30+% can be produced from solar, we still have the other 70% to worry about. Windmills are a very expensive joke in my opinion. As far as clean energy is concerned, natural gas is much cleaner than coal or gasoline. And, thorium reactors are super clean and super safe. I’m convinced that our policy is being driven by a small minority of environmentalist with the support of the MSM and by government crony friends that have bet heavily on green energy.

  4. Like Larry I have nothing against finding realistic alternative energy sources, the more forms of energy we have the better. But if the Obama regime were serious about exploring al optioins they would allow us to harvest the resources that we are sitting on and they just won’t do it because of the politically correct environmentalists and I find this mindset to be very short sighted and ignorant.

    1. The environmentalist are a sub-set of the liberals in this country. According to various polls, the liberals only represent like 27% of the population. Yet this minority has extraordinary influence thanks to the support of the MSM. The squeaky wheel effect.

  5. Current energy policy is Cloward-Piven, because it is set up to limit growth, if not, as the “Science Czar” says, to de-develop the US. Notice that drilling is not on the list? It’s all very telling to me.

    1. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy nut, The current policy is not rational. It appears that the Obama administration is hiding behind the green movement to cover-up their true intentions of crippling the American economy. Obama’s hate for America has leaked through more than once.

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