AN ENERGY POLICY

Jul. 20, 2012

AN ENERGY POLICY

 

        I haven't heard any politicians who disagree that we need an energy policy for our country.  Well, I've got one.  Now, understand I don't have a research department and any aides to help do the calculations so I'll have to frame it and as Nancy said, "We'll find out what's in it after it's passed".

 

        First, we have to set some objectives for the plan and to limit future legislation so that we don't alter course.  Second, we have to establish "benchmarks" so that progress can be evaluated and adjustments made. 

 

        Our plan will have to be careful to develop incentives for the private sector to "want to play the game".  Because demand is a function of marketing and requires the individual purchasers to have the means, ability, and desire to purchase we have to be careful to have a plan that will generate demand from the population and because that is a function best generated when a profit motive exists incentive and stimulus actions will have to be directed at the industries.  This will allow each industry to market their product in the most efficient manner to generate consumer demand. 

 

        O.K. objectives.  Our objectives can be easily outlined by simply saying that we want to achieve an energy policy that ensures efficient self-sufficiency (the prime objective) while addressing environmental concerns.  While simply said-- a myriad of special interest goals will rear their ugly head.  It must be established that once the policy is set each special interest will only be allowed to modify the concept IF it meets the "prime objective".

 

        I believe that we can meet both of these goals and project improvement in both- over time while assisting the economy to expand without major incremental shocks.

 

        First, as it is now evident that the "old technology" oil and gas are no longer seen as desperately scarce and much of the availability is present in North America we have to address this first.  To reduce energy dependence and provide for a "bridge" to new technological development we must begin opening various federal lands to exploration and reexamine our development of transporting these assets. (Keystone Pipeline)  More importantly we should direct the Epa and other agencies to direct focused attention toward approving, inspecting, and getting on line no less than 10 refineries before 2020 strategically located throughout the U.S. in locations to be determined through joint development corps including both these agencies and the petroleum industry.  ( This should relieve the immediate problem of refined crude and even provide the capacity to export this commodity as we wean ourselves)

 

        Second, Natural Gas is cleaner burning and abundantly available.  To create a demand for this asset the following should be part of the package.  Because the government CANNOT create demand and private industry can and will use marketing and various other methods when it is in their self-interest we will make it in their self interest.  NO subsidies will be given to the purchaser.  Subsidies will be directed toward the auto industry and Natural Gas Industry through the year 2030 as follows.  Automobile dealers will be allowed a $1000 per unit subsidy for each vehicle that is sold equipped with a dual fuel carburation system using either Gasoline or Compressed Natural Gas.  This technology currently exists and will allow customers to purchase these vehicles and benefit from the price variance between the two fuels and still have access to fuel sources as the infrastructure develops.  This subsidy will increase to $5000 for every vehicle sold between 25 and 100 per individual location.  Again it will be  increased to $10,000 for vehicles sold from 100 up.  All Vehicles developed with BOTH this modification to the fuel systems AND hybrid electrical technology will immediately receive the $10,000 subsidy. This will encourage the auto industry to market these vehicles and no government money will be expended until the benefit is seen. At the same time the Natural Gas Industry will be granted a subsidy (to be determined) for every Natural Gas Refilling station established within a specified distance of population centers. Again this will encourage the Natural Gas Industry to market this type of vehicle and no funds will be expended until the benefit is received.

 

        Third, all subsidies for Wind, Solar, and Ethanol will be phased out.  With vehicles being produced to benefit from the hybrid + technologies these programs will have to demonstrate their ability to profitably attract investment capital.   Wind and Solar have been unable to meet the profitability test and Ethanol faces maintenance issues and a subsidized floor placing unnatural pressures on the corn industry.  In addition, The Ethanol regulations have developed an entirely new import industry of beet ethanol to meet the current demands.

 

        Fourth, The current electrical grid will be upgraded utilizing a portion of the states internet sales tax revenue.  this tax is yet to benefit the states and the resultant electrical grid updates will result in universal improvements in energy management and provide for the eventual need as electrical transportation becomes more demanding upon the system.

 

        Fifth, Cities and States will be subsidized for transitioning their entire fleets to fit in the multi-fuel/hybrid or purely electric categories.  An additional subsidy will be available for any municipal government that works with the CNG industry to establish a pubic natural gas refill facility.

 

        Sixth, Over the road trucks will have to meet the multi-fuel criteria with diesel/CNG conversion. (this technology is already available)  While all vehicles crossing the U.S. border must either meet these standards or be designed to be piggy-backed aboard rail cars at the border.

 

        Seventh, Current funds designed to be directed toward high speed passenger rail lines will be redirected.  Strategic rail lines, e.g.: Chicago>Atlanta will be designated for development into high speed freight lines.  There may be a possibility of combining some runs with both passenger and freight.  This will reduce the fuel expenditure for freight transport while upgrading a rapidly degrading rail system and increasing national security potential.

 

        Eigth, Any Wind or Solar facility that can demonstrate a profitable return on investment for a period of five consecutive years will be eligible to apply for tax deductions on a yearly basis if they remain profitable.

 

        Ninth, In the year 2050 all of these subsidies will be removed.

 

There you go.  It took 30 minutes without any aides or research facilities.  I did no research on these items and relied on daily observations.  Now, I'll ask you--why can't we have a national energy policy. With thousands of researchers and administrative assistants I would estimate that within 30 days a comprehensive policy could be generated and passed through congress.  I propose that Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, instead of paying more taxes, offer every congressperson $100,000 if they can generate a policy. Wanna bet we'd get one.

 

A GRUMPY OLD MAN