Are The Three Stooges Running Our Energy Policy?

Gas is down to $1.65 a gallon here in South Carolina, and dropping.

It seems like only yesterday we feared industrial nations would need more oil than could be produced, and that we might even run out of oil.  The price of oil spiked upward, motivating scientists and entrepreneurs to search for new sources and methods for meeting the world’s growing need for affordable energy.

rusty-wind-turbinePressed by our federal government, and rewarded with huge taxpayer-funded subsidies, domestic energy providers tried wind power, but that was a bust.  It quickly became evident that windmill farms are horribly inefficient, difficult and expensive to maintain, and damaging to birds.  Not to mention they are an eyesore.  Now thousands of rusting, inoperative windmills blot the American landscape, and the ones that still work require ongoing federal cash infusions.

Solar power didn’t work either.  The cost per unit of power produced was even worse than wind, requiring financial support from taxpayers to bring it to market.  Solar panels take up too much real estate, are subject to weather, and could only provide a small part of our electrical needs even in the best of circumstances.  In the scramble for easy government money, corruption in the solar power industry was rampant.

The government even forced us to add ethanol to gasoline, despite estimates by scientists that corn ethanol production uses six times more energy than it produces.  The push toward ethanol threw a monkey wrench into the agricultural industry.

But while the federal government (like always) failed miserably to solve the problem, the free market (like always) came through with flying colors, finding a way to affordably meet our current and future energy demands.  Guess what?   It’s still oil and natural gas.  Thanks to new high-tech methods of finding and tapping oil and natural gas reserves with a small and ecologically benign footprint, we now have an overabundance of available energy.

So now we can get rid of the expensive, corrupt, and unproductive taxpayer subsidies for solar power, wind generators, electric cars and ethanol plants, right?

Sigh.

Today our congressmen and women are voting on yet another bloated omnibus spending bill which includes:

  • a five-year extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC)
  • a five-year extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC)
  • an increased allocation to the Department of Energy, most of which gets used for subsidies and contracts to politically-connected cronies
  • a three-year extension of the land and water conservation fund (LWCF), which will result in even more government ownership of resource-rich land

The uber-rich will still get $7500 from taxpayers for each $100,000 Tesla electric car they buy.  The owner of Tesla will rake in millions more in subsidies.  Meanwhile your own ten-year old Chevy will die prematurely from burning 10% ethanol while the prohibitive price of The-Three-Stooges-1beef erases steaks and roasts from your grocery list.  And the pure gas you buy for your boat, which can’t use ethanol, costs 70 cents per gallon more than the stuff with ethanol added.  Huh?
I think I know who is in charge of our energy policy.  Larry, Curly, and Moe.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Hey Moe!  Hey Moe!
Well, nyuck nyuck nyuck nyuck!
La da dee, la da dee!
Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!

The Curly Shuffle – Jump N’ the Saddle Band

 

 

GOP Congressmen – Time To Take A Stand!

take-a-standHave you ever had to tell the boss he’s wrong?

One of the stupidest things I ever did is something I am still proud of.  Way back in the day I was a sophomore on the junior varsity basketball team, hoping to move up to the varsity squad.  The first week of practice we were struggling to adjust to our new coach, who operated in Bobby Knight mode with a lot of yelling, cursing, and finger-poking-in-the-chest intimidation, but without as much knowledge and strategy as the famous Hoosier coach.

We were running a drill called the “three-man weave” where three guys pass the ball back and forth while running a weave down the court without dribbling, and the last one shoots a layup.  Only instead of a basketball, we were throwing a huge 15-pound medicine ball.  Coach charged up and down the sidelines, voicing his displeasure with our lack of manhood.  My friend Larry and I were next up, and we charged off the baseline with another guy.  Now, Larry was a great little player.  But he couldn’t have weighed 90 pounds dripping wet wearing clothes, shoes, and a winter coat with bricks in the pockets.  My pass was a little bit too far in front of him, and Larry didn’t have the strength in his sharp-shooting but skinny little arms to haul it in.

Coach lit into Larry like he had just sold his sister to a cannibal tribe, with maximum volume and vigorous finger-poking-in-the-chest.  And I popped.  “Come on coach, he couldn’t catch that!”

You could have heard a pin drop.  Coach walked over to me, red-faced, eyes bugging out.   I can still see that face, but I don’t remember what he said, because my entire life was whizzing before my eyes.  Needless to say, I didn’t make the varsity squad.  Hell, he hardly gave me any playing time on the junior varsity, and nothing I did on the court was going to change that.  But Coach did seem to mellow a little after that episode, and Larry actually was doing pretty well, until his hard-scrabble itinerant family moved on halfway through the season.

I remember that snapshot event like yesterday because for one moment as a geeky kid I stood up and said “hell no” to the boss, knowing I was right and he was wrong, and that it mattered.

Our newly-elected Congress was sent to Washington, DC to stop the damage our nation has endured under the Democrats for the past six years.  Poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans oppose Obamacare, support energy development, and want our southern border secured.  The majority of us think it’s wrong for our government to choose winners and losers based on political party, gender, or race.  We are terrified that our children face a national debt that has grown by $7 trillion dollars under President Obama. 

And now President Obama’s unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional grant of amnesty, featuring work visas and eligibility for taxpayer-paid benefits to tens of millions of illegal immigrants (and millions more who will flood the untended border gates upon hearing the news) will cost the taxpayers another $2 trillion according to the Heritage Foundation.

Sadly, even as Republicans are staged to take majority control of the House and Senate, the party’s leadership does not seem willing to hear or follow the voice of the People.  Next week Congress will vote on funding the government’s budget in the form of either a continuing resolution (CR) or an omnibus spending bill, providing them the leverage they need to defund executive amnesty.   Despite the polls and the landslide election victory, the GOP leadership cites a list of imaginary roadblocks.  “We don’t want to get blamed for ‘shutting down the government'”, they wail, despite the total lack of evidence that this tactic has ever had lasting repercussions.  Another excuse offered is: “We can’t defund an agency that operates on fees rather than funding from our discretionary budget,” a claim which was totally debunked by the Congressional Research Service.

Then, according to Congressman Louie Gohmert, the House Republican leadership pulled a “bait and switch” on its members, making unannounced changes to Congressman Ted Yoho’s defunding bill moments before 216 Republican congressmen voted in favor of it.  The last-minute additions may actually grease the skids for the president’s amnesty.  This is the tactic made famous by Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when she said, “We have to pass the (ObamaCare) bill to know what’s in it.”

Conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh says there is only possible reason for the Republican leadership to oppose the will of the majority of voters and their own members: they must actually support the President’s amnesty plan.

62 Congressmen, including my own South Carolina representative Mick Mulvaney, showed courage and resolve by signing Congressman Matt Salmon’s letter to the house appropriations chairman, Harold Rogers, requesting a defunding rider.  On a Facebook Town Hall meeting on Friday, Mulvaney said, “I have already told my leadership that I will vote against the Omnibus spending bill if it doesn’t contain defunding language.

To those Congressmen and women who refuse to tolerate the bullying and finger-poking-in-the-chest, I say, “Good on ya.”  And I encourage you to demand the same courage from your counterparts on the hill who know it’s the right thing to do.  Sometimes you just have to take a stand when you know the boss is wrong.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideIf you are confused check with the sun
Carry a compass to help you along
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around

Stand – R.E.M.