NOW FOR some good news: Over the past four years, every high-profile energy policy championed by the Obama administration has failed. The “clean” coal promised during his first campaign? Sent back to the primordial swamps from whence it came. Five million green jobs? Never happened. Electric cars? Sales have faltered for the over-hyped and over-subsidized Chevy Volt, causing GM to shutter the plant for weeks at a time. And don’t get me started on the billions taxpayers lost on bankrupt firms like Solyndra, A123, and Evergreen Solar.
But back in the land of competitive markets, where honest investment and innovation still matter, something very interesting has happened. According to the US Energy Information Agency, America’s natural gas reserves logged their biggest gain ever last year, reaching record levels. Oil production increased in 2012 for the fourth straight year, and America became a net exporter of refined petroleum products, including gasoline. Last August, the agency projected that by 2020 the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids.
So as you might imagine, a collection of think tanks, do-gooders, and policy scolds are now swarming Capitol Hill with a solution to this “problem”: they want to empower a team of Washington’s best bureaucrats to fix things. Really. And like anything unnecessary in our nation’s Capitol, it comes with a self-important title: the National Energy Strategy Council. Scratching the veneer, however, quickly reveals the failed policies of the past.
No doubt, proponents of the council, which would develop a national energy policy, have convinced themselves that their ideas are unique and bold. They are sure that we never had a national energy policy in the first place. In fact, America has had energy policies — lots of them — and they all stunk. Dusting them off, rolling them into one ball, and handing it off to a newly formed council won’t change that history. But perhaps reviewing the history will change a few minds.
Read more at The Boston Globe. By John Sununu.