Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Solving the Energy Crisis in 30 Days or Less

Since the media loves words like "crisis," I will use it; but it is certainly over used. Furthermore, our problems are not in energy but in policy. We have plenty of energy to fuel our cars and we could cut our prices by close to half in about a month if our elected officials had the courage and desire to do so. The majority in Congress have neither.

Thirty days seems ridiculously short and cutting prices in half, ambitious, but I sincerely believe these are goals that are realistic and should be pursued today. How?

* Congress could simply open a serious debate on making the hundreds of years of oil available in this country subject to drilling (in Alaska, the Dakotas, Florida, etc.).

* A few liberal Senators with a history of opposing drilling in this country, coming out in favor of such.

* Hearings on the subject in which Members of Congress strategize with oil industry leaders rather than lecturing them as if they were poorly behaving school children.

If these simple things happened -- without a single drop of new oil being pursued in this country -- the drop of oil prices would be exponential. The threat of the US becoming energy independent would be enough to throw the market into a tailspin. The world knows our ability to produce is legendary and the last thing out international competitors want us to do is produce in this area. A serious debate alone would drive our competitors to making sure it is a moot point. A similar debate in the 1980s led to a dramatic reduction in the price of oil per barrel.

So why isn't it happening today?

* The current Congress has a majority of members who actually want gas prices to be higher. Yes, you read that correctly. Many talk about America's desire for fuel as if it were an alcohol problem. In an environment such as this, you will never get actions that will drive prices down.

* This is going to sound a little conspiratorial, but I believe the majority of this Congress wants high prices, lost jobs, and economic downturn. It is the politics of "us vs. them" and economic decline that makes them believe they could have a more sizable majority in 2009 and one of their own in the White House. The Democrats need economic decline and they are our economy's woes biggest advocates.

I said at the very beginning of this post that the problem isn't energy, but policy. It isn't scarcity (which is caused by nature), but shortages (which is due to poor policy). We need to hold this Congress accountable. Tell them to stop lecturing the executives that represent the energy industry and support the owners of them (the many individuals of all economic groups that own stock in these publicly owned companies). Finally, sign the petition to get this problem solved today. Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. A serious discussion alone could change everything.
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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous james baldwin said...

There is only one way to stop the cash drain at he top of the energy problem. this country was doing fine on the trickle down theory until corporate decide to siphon off huge salaries and bonuses primarily for cost savings due to outsourcing -plain old outwright buying from foreign countries -tax eliminationin by moving oprtations to offshore countries and other thithings ex spinning off subsidiaries etc.
Then along comes the devil(speculators and investors)Invested money does notcirculate it merely rolls over and makes more money for investor who may be one of these tax shelterd corporations or indivudials.So how do we stop it? Stay HOME!On say jully 14th everyone stay home including the people on stock exchange floor. only exclusions to be fire emergency and medical staff. Let these people who are controlling cash flow and all products find out where it comes from.If that doesnt work august12th do it again sept10 same story.

3:32 PM  

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