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  • An Energy Plan with More Energy, Lower Prices

    Republican leaders released their budget alternative yesterday, and it came under much criticism since it failed to include any hard numbers. On the bright side, though, the Republicans’ energy budget proposal doesn’t require much funding.

    The difference between the budgets is quite simple. Although both parties want to keep energy prices low, they have a different means to an end. President Obama’s budget taxes the nation’s reliable sources of energy, limits access to America’s energy resources, and “invests” in expensive and unproven renewable sources of energy – all to supposedly save the planet. The Republican budget would empower the private sector to expand access to America’s energy resources.

    President Obama’s Budget

    The most onerous element of President Obama’s budget is that it would institute his CO2 cap-and-trade proposal to reduce carbon emissions 14 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and approximately 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

    The budget includes a number of provisions that raise costs on domestic energy production. Overall, $31 billion in additional revenues would be collected, yet the oil and gas industry already has effective tax rates as high or higher than the industrial average.

    When gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon, the American public demanded the government produce policies to increase energy supply in the United States and ultimately lower prices. The Department of Interior’s budget proposal for new excise taxes on offshore oil and gas production, termination of funds to coal states to clean up abandoned mines, and user fees for oil companies for processing oil and gas permits on federal land do the exact opposite.

    And for nuclear energy, The Department of Energy eliminates all funding for Yucca Mountain operations and only funds activities related to answering Nuclear Regulatory Commission inquiries regarding the commission’s review of the Yucca Mountain construction permit. Yucca is the geologic repository mountain to store nuclear waste. Consequently, progress on building the repository would be stopped.

    The GOP’s Budget
    According to the GOP budget,

    Republicans recognize the importance of exploring for American oil and gas in an environmentally-sound manner and support immediately leasing oil and gas resources in the OCS through an expedited and streamlined procedure. The Secretary of Interior should be required to offer new leases in the OCS, and ensure royalty revenues from OCS development are shared with coastal states in an effort to incentivize energy development.

    Republicans also support opening the Arctic Coastal Plain to energy exploration and development and intend to carry out exploration in an environmentally safe manner, utilizing a small geographic footprint. Republicans propose streamlining the leasing process and mandating a first lease by the Interior Department within a few years. In addition, Republicans support expediting judicial review of energy development by making the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia the sole venue for review and limiting complaints to a finite period—reducing frivolous anti-energy litigation.

    In order to bring online a safe, inexpensive, and clean American energy source quickly, Republicans support removing government barriers to new nuclear reactors as long as they meet strict security and safety criteria. Efforts to streamline the hearing and judicial review process for nuclear permitting to place reasonable limits on arduous anti-energy litigation would be pursued as well.”

    Furthermore, alternative energy should not be synonymous with renewable energy:

    “Republicans support promoting the leasing of federal lands which contain alternative energy such as oil shale. The Interior Department should provide lease sales of oil shale in an environmentally-sound manner, rather than hinder leasing plans. Republicans also support enabling federal agencies to take the lead in spurring a market by using fuels derived from oil shale, tar sands, and coal.”

    Surely wind and solar can play a role in America’s energy portfolio if able to compete in the market. The same can be said for any source of energy. But government “investments” in energy is generally code for taxes that lead to higher prices for energy consumers.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to An Energy Plan with More Energy, Lower Prices

    1. Barb -mn says:

      Guess what, Mr. President? Your idea is inefficient, preposterous, irrational, unreasonable, senseless, frivolous, wasteful and horrendous. You're a liar, thief, fear mongerer, freedom hater, race hater and (if everyone plays their cards) soon to be busted! Why are you so selfish and hypocritical to set your thermostat at 78 degrees? Taking advantage of taxpayers everywhere you can!

      Natural resources must continue to be used in the manner it is to substantiate human survival. If alternative fuel was efficient, the private sector would take it on without government intervention.

      I'm missing out on all the proper intelligence some people bragged to say you have…

    2. Sol Shapiro, Aurora, says:

      Coal-to-liquid should be a part of our NOW energy policy; to offset imported oil. A proven technology used by Germany during WW2 and currently producing 150.000 barrels per day in South Africa, it can be produced for about $60 per barrel. Loan guarantees for first of a kind plants are needed – including a Baard plant in Wellsville, Ohio seeking $2.3 billion.

    3. Leslie Hollenbeck,Wi says:

      The opening of all of our government lands and offshore areas to immediate exploration and environmentally safe drilling is in the best interest of our country. The income, through leasing fees,taxes and royalties, over time will go a long way to pay for congress's financial foolishness in reguards to sub-prime mortgages and the bailouts.

      Why is no-one pushing this idea?

    4. William, Louisiana says:

      I live in Louisiana and I know that there are over twelve hundred producing oil rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. There are also many new exploration rigs down there that are producing oil from huge new finds, some as much as 6,000 barrels a day. But because of Federal regulations these producing wells cannot go into full production because that would require the owners of the well to take out a different kind of license and a bunch more money paid to the government. Nancy Pelosi has already told the producers no new wells will be allowed to go into full production. There are three, maybe more, wells down there that could produce over a million barrels a day between them if they could only get permission to go into full production thus sending much needed oil to our refineries lowering the cost of gasoline at the pump for millions of motorist. This restriction of access to America's natural resources is the biggest travesty in our history. And it is also a direct attack on the livlihoods of not only the oil producers but ordinary small businesses that would benefit directly from this oil production. Further restriction of the creation of people's livlihoods by the government does nothing but purposely reduce the money available to those oil producing states that could lower individual taxes that have to be made up somehow without the oil revenues that could come in from these wells if the government would allow them to fully produce. It would also bring in more Federal tax, but appearently the present administration wants to tax us in other nonproducing ways that do nothing but take us further down the road to debt and loss of liberty.

    5. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    6. Mel Shapiro, Eastsou says:

      When the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics are understood it becomes obvious that the entire concept of "alternative energy" is a cruel hoax.

      The only "alternative" to fossil fuel based energy is nuclear energy. The only alternative to nuclear energy is fewer people, far fewer people, consuming fossil fuel.

    7. Sol Shapiro, Aurora, says:

      First: Why has my comment of March 28 not been posted?

      Second: For Mel Shapiro (no relation): For electric generation solar thermal with storage and geothermal can provide all U.S. electrical energy; generate in the southwest where least expensive and distribute on a national grid – which would include midwest wind.

    8. Dan Ulseth says:

      First: For Sol Shapiro – "midwest wind" would be predicated on the radical environmentalists reneging on one of their cherished planks – namely, "open spaces". They will no sooner allow the deployment of thousands of wind generators over hundreds of thousands of acres, no matter how unproductive, unsightly or otherwise underutilized than they will acknowledge that nuclear power, emitting NO CO2, is the most energy dense, reliable, consistent, abundant and safe form of energy currently available. And I don't buy into the CO2 = pollution scam, either.

      I say the previous in light of the fact that I stand to benefit handsomely when our new, more efficient solar panels are brought to market. Morally, I cannot justify my personal financial "windfall" at the expense of my fellow Americans paying more for their energy, not to mention the delay in advancing less-developed nations with their energy grid.

      Second: To follow this path of restrictions, limitations, and handcuffing of our domestic energy producers – who are under the watchful eye of any number of agencies and environmental groups – is equivalent to national suicide. Government cannot mandate new technologies into existence, no matter how much money you throw at inventors!

    9. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Mr. Sol Shapiro, let us do little math. A 260-MW solar collector based power plant on the drawing boards of Arizona Power will require 3 Square miles of collectors in the AZ desert. It can only support that load during part of the day!

      If we assume that the plant can handle 8 hours at full power (generous assumption)every day, 365 days a year, it will require over 6000 square miles to equal the entire power production of the US. The only trouble is we have to be able to produce that power continuously day and night. May be we can import power from Australia at night?

      What is the environmental damage as a result of absorption of so much power without some of it naturally being reflected back into space?

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