Here’s an AP story on the Dems’ plans for energy. On some of it, we certainly agree. There is no doubt that we need to push for efficiency and alternative fuels, but as we’ve said many times before, manufacturers are at the leading edge of efficiency (we have to be, trying to stay competitive in the face of soaring prices) and we are the ones inventing the new technology on alternate fuels. So mark us down as in favor of those.
But as we’ve also said, efficiency and new sources are not mutually exclusive with tapping our own resources. We actually need to do both. Our competitors are not wringing their hands and declaring their own resources off limits. We shouldn’t either.
However, the most troubling idea is their apparent punitive stance when it comes to the energy industry. They promise a price gouging bill, which is nothing more than political theater. Every investigation of price gouging — in any party’s Administration — has turned up nothing. So be it. But their tax plan has serious consequences. When even the WaPo speaks out against heavier taxes, you know it’s a bad idea. It will only penalize the companies that are doing the research and exploration. Simply put, higher taxes mean less money to invest in research and exploration. That, of course, translates into higher prices for us all.
If the Dems want to drive down energy prices, they can begin by opening the Outer Continental Shelf to exploration. That would have a near-term impact on the middle class and, more importantly, on those on a fixed income, all of whom are paying the (high) price for a long-outdated federal moratorium on natural gas. Just doesn’t make sense.
We look forward to working with the Democrats on the array of energy issues. However, they’d be wise as they take the reins of the Congress to remember Hippocrates rule, which applies to energy as well as medicine: First, do no harm.
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