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Morning Bell: Supply Matters

Posted By Conn Carroll On August 6, 2008 @ 9:21 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

Political experts across the country keep asking why Barack Obama continues to conspicuously fail to cross the 50% threshold against John McCain despite the fact “Democrats enjoy the most favorable political winds since at least 1976 [1].” It may have something to do with the fact that the top issues on voters’ minds this year are energy and the economy [2], and voters just are not buying the left’s solutions.

Look closely at the laundry list of plans the left has put forward (from both Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House and Barack Obama’s campaign): higher taxes on oil companies, new restrictions on oil commodity markets, forcing oil companies to drill where there is no oil, releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, free money for everybody, increased fuel efficiency mandates, increased infrastructure spending, government investments in electric cars, etc [3]. What do all of these “solutions” have in common? None of them increase our energy supply.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) numbers show the U.S. currently has 986,000 megawatts [4] of capacity to supply the nation’s demand for electricity. EIA predicts that over the next 20 years, the U.S. will need another 292,000 megawatts [4] to keep the economy running. To meet that demand, EIA sees 54% and 36% of that new capacity coming from coal and natural gas power plants. Currently, solar, wind and geothermal power contribute only 1% of our nation’s energy [5]. There is simply no way these sources can produce enough electricity to meet the energy needs of a growing U.S. economy.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is telling reporters that the left has just recently “found our sea legs [6]” on the energy issue. Schumer’s favorite new tactic: “a new theme portraying GOP support for drilling as a giveaway to big oil companies [6].” Like all the other tactics the left has tried on energy, this one also does nothing to increase energy supply. But Schumer does have a point, the United States needs a lot more than more oil drilling to meet its energy needs. But only conservatives are offering solutions that include more energy.

The plans coming from John McCain and congressional conservatives have their differences (McCain still does not support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), but they both share one thing in common: they take an “all of the above [7]” approach to expanding U.S. energy supply. Many conservatives are less than impressed [8] with McCain’s arbitrary target of 45 new nuclear power plants (we prefer a free market approach to reviving the nuclear industry [9]), but at least McCain is paying more than lip service [10] to nuclear’s future.

Obama’s energy plan calls for “1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars” by 2015. Where does he think these cars will get the electricity needed to run? We suggest he start looking in all the federal lands that his environmental allies have restricted from natural gas production. The EIA estimates there are 83.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in these areas alone [11].

Quick Hits:

  • President Hugo Chávez has enacted a slew of presidential decrees that formalize the creation of a popular militia and further consolidate state control [12] over key areas of the economy such as agriculture and tourism.
  • According to the New York Times [13], despite wishes by Americans and Iraqi civilians alike, Iraqi soldiers admit they still need American help to ensure security.
  • Hollywood insiders are threatening to “black list [14]” Jon Voight in retaliation for this Washington Times op-ed criticizing Barack Obama.
  • George Clooney will host a $10,000 per person [15] fundraiser for Barack Obama in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • According to the New York Times [16], one-third of Barack Obama’s record-breaking fundraising total came from donations of $1,000 or more. Obama has raised $112 million more than John McCain from donations over $1,000.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/08/06/morning-bell-supply-matters/

URLs in this post:

[1] Democrats enjoy the most favorable political winds since at least 1976: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12334.html

[2] energy and the economy: http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

[3] higher taxes on oil companies, new restrictions on oil commodity markets, forcing oil companies to drill where there is no oil, releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, free money for everybody, increased fuel efficiency mandates, increased infrastructure spending, government investments in electric cars, etc: http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/factsheet_energy_speech_080308.pdf

[4] 986,000 megawatts: http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/infosheets/electriccapacity.html

[5] Currently, solar, wind and geothermal power contribute only 1% of our nation’s energy: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energy_consump/table1.html

[6] found our sea legs: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=news-000002931778

[7] all of the above: http://www.gop.gov/energy/americanenergyact/

[8] less than impressed: http://www.foundry.org/2008/06/19/the-costs-of-not-allowing-nuclear/

[9] free market approach to reviving the nuclear industry: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/bg2149.cfm

[10] lip service: http://www.foundry.org/2008/06/25/obama-pulls-back-on-nuclear/

[11] 83.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in these areas alone: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm1990.cfm

[12] further consolidate state control: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121798058478615151.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news

[13] New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/world/middleeast/06soldier.html?ref=todayspaper

[14] black list: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12330.html

[15] $10,000 per person: http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2008/08/obama_fundraiser_in_switz.php

[16] New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/us/politics/06bundlers.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=todayspaper&adxnnlx=1218017693-GsIfRnktclOhG38QyTpcGQ

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