In a post election article from Bloomberg.com, Kateri Callahan is quoted as saying President-elect Obama “will put forward an energy bill ahead of a climate bill.'' Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, an energy advocacy group in Washington that represents 3M Co., Areva SA and Dow Chemical Co went on to say the “ bill will stimulate the economy toward development and use of energy efficiency and clean energy sources and technology.''
I’ve been covering energy related issues for a long time and I know most of the immediate problems we have no are solely political. We shouldn’t be having an energy crisis, failing economy, or facing severe climate problems. In fact the solutions to all three are connected to a hand full of simple solutions that could be implemented by simply drawing attention to them. We don’t have to actually pass any new laws or create expensive governmental institutions to force them out of the dark closets on Capitol Hill they’re hidden in. All we need is to know what they are so the people who stand between our understanding the truth about their possibilities become transparent and vulnerable to the winds of change our new President promises.
These are solutions that do not require subsidies or mandates but simply for the American consumer to know what kinds of fuel products we’re being forced to buy over better choices that we aren’t being told about. Educated consumers are the best regulators of a free market. That’s how a free market economy supported by a democratically elected government is supposed to really work, the government tells us the truth and we act on it. The outgoing administration thinks capitalism means people with lots of money should be able to make more of it by selling us anything they want without the government standing in their way by honestly informing us about what our choices are. Democrats think the government should administer every aspect of our daily lives which only leads to corruption and tyranny.
Conservatives think they should be able to sell us whatever they want without bribing the government to be allowed to do so. Democrats think the government should be paid off first. But a real free market is controlled best by the consumer as supported by an open an honest government. It’s how our economy got so strong over the last two centuries under this American experiment we call freedom. The opposite is true for why it came apart so fast.
It seems that ever since 40K retirement funds were invested as a way to make sure Wall Street has enough money to guarantee all the graduates of Harvard and Yale they’ll be able to become rich without working for a living where we’ve all become investors in the other teams game-plan for us, we don’t like to question what we consume for fear of hurting a market our future depends on. It seems we’ve taught ourselves as a society to allow the basic principles of a free market economy to fall by the wayside in favor of supporting conflicting interests in our investments in the stock market. We now accept that it’s OK to be ripped off without question by the people we’re supposed to demand quality products and services from while holding back our hard earned dollars from them when they don’t live up to our expectations. But with the economy failing, we’re forced to look at the true cost of what we’re paying for while most of us are losing what we thought they had in our 401K plans.
This is the same kind of conflicting interests the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has with administering our renewable ethanol fuels program while at the same time it is suppose to provide regulatory outsight to the same programs that are supposed to be run by the United States Department of Energy. I remember back to the first months of the ethanol program beginning in May of 2006 when the EPA waived ethanol refinery emission regulations allowing them to pollute twice as much. It wasn’t something they had to do. China builds ethanol production plants that don’t pollute. It was only done as an matter of convenience for an industry that the EPA has partnered with while at the same time is also supposed to be an environmental regulatory agency it as well.
There are a lot of other problems with ethanol with regard to how bad it is for the environment and human health that are being systematically ignored because the EPA’s mission has changed from insuring we have safe air to breath to being our new energy providers. So now they use their authority over the environment to allow their pet projects to be successful at any cost. It’s no different than if we allowed EXXON/Mobile to police refineries to decide what’s safe for our environment.
But bad news is not what this article is about. It’s about how Barack Obama can show what he’s truly made of, that he is a leader and not a follower of big money donors that he abstained from taking money from while setting records for the amount of campaign money he raised. This story might help him steer clear of a few dips and bad turns in the road that he might not know about which could throw him off his balance if he blindly runs into them.