The honors for this week’s response to the President’s radio address for the Democrats fell to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire. In her remarks, according to this CNN story, she said that the federal government needs to create a national energy policy to address rising costs. (She might’ve been so busy with her recount that she missed word of the energy bill that passed a few months back which did exactly that.) She cited her work and that of other Democrat Governors who are, she said, “controlling rising prices and reducing our use of foreign oil by embracing alternative energy sources.” Guess it’s fair to ask, “How’s that going….?”
Here’s what irks us about Gov. Gregoire’s call to action: the refinery bill passed the House a month or so ago without a single Democrat voting in favor. We’ve not built a refinery in this country since right after the Ice Age. Next up — expanding the supply equation for domestic energy by opening up a 10 mile x 10 mile area in Alaska (which Alaskans support) to unleash a million barrels of oil a day. While we’re at it, how about tapping the 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf — 85% of which is now under a federal moratorium — while we pay the highest natural gas prices in the world. And remember, natural gas prices are set on a local, not world, market. Tapping that enormous reserve will immediately have an impact on prices. But opposition to opening up ANWR and OCS has been led in the Congress by the Democrats. Our coal reserves exceed in BTU’s all the world’s oil reserves. And, we’ve not begun construction on a nuclear plant since the 70’s, while both France and China have been building them at a frenetic pace. The environmental movement has worked almost exclusively with Democrats to thwart coal and nuclear technology.
We’re all for new sources, all for conservation. But this is not a zero sum game. That only gets us so far. In the meantime, we need to be doing everything in our power to tap into the enormous supply of energy that we have in this country. We remain the only country in the world that limits access to its own natural resources and now the poor and those on fixed incomes are quite literally going to pay the price for it. Anybody cover supply & demand in Economics 101…?
So that’s why it chaps us a bit to hear Gov. Gregoire cry crocodile tears for the nation’s energy woes. Here’s an energy strategy laid out a few weeks go by NAM President John Engler. The Congress has the ability starting next week to begin to drive down domestic energy prices. Drop them a note and tell them to get to work. Spurred by Gov. Gregoire’s call to action, maybe even the Democrats will listen.
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