COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama ventured down to Miami to try wrestle with the energy crisis that is looming on the horizon, according to the Los Angeles Times. He spent most of his speech, though, attacking Republicans.
Obama dismissed the calls by Republicans, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to expand oil and gas production as “bumper sticker” solutions. Then, according to the Washington Examiner, he offered a solution that could easily fit on a bumper sticker.
Biofuel derived from algae, using technology such as being developed by Solix Biosystems, is an interesting idea that, sadly, unlike the sort of oil and gas that resides in the ground, is not commercially viable yet. Like fusion, solar and wind, algae derived biofuel is an energy source that needs more research and development before the president should boast about it as a solution for the energy crisis.
Obama, in fact, admitted that his alternative energy solutions are long-term, which might not come into being for as much as a decade. That means that people looking at $4 or $5 gas are out of luck.
One would think that after the Solyndra scandal and the Chevy Volt disaster, Obama would be a little more hesitant to publicly drink the alternative energy Kool-Aid. Instead the president has decided to prove the definition of insanity by trying the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different outcome. At the same time, Obama is attempted to hammer the oil companies by canceling tax breaks that incentivize oil and gas drilling.
Those with long enough memories are no doubt thinking that a replay of the last days of Jimmy Carter is in store. Indeed, Carter’s energy crisis started with misbehavior in Iran. Carter’s response was to impose a windfall profits tax on oil, maintain the Nixon era price controls on the same, and indulge in fanciful alternative energy projects like synfuels.
As gas prices exploded and lines of cars filled with angry, frustrated drivers lengthened at filling stations, President Carter seemed to be clueless. The American people took matters into their own hand and replaced him with someone who knew what to do.
President Reagan ended price controls on oil and, eventually, the windfall profits tax was repealed, though not before collapsing oil prices made it little more than an accounting headache for oil companies.
Thus, the solution to high gas prices is in the hands of the voters.
Sources: Obama goes on offense over gas prices, Kathleen Hennessey, L.A. Times, Feb 23, 2012
Obama: Use ‘algae’ as substitute for oil, Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, Feb 23, 2012