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Category — Energy Megatrends

Energy Free-Market Megatrend: George Will Speaks

George Will, the masterful voice of intellectual conservatism (and almost libertarianism), turned to energy in a recent Washington Post column. In Ringing in a Conservative Year (December 30), Will considered the underlying economic reality that will help shape 2012 politics. Obama or not, Will sees technological/economic trends as powerful if not controlling.

Will’s essay draws upon a startling fact: “In 2011, for the first time in 62 years, America was a net exporter of petroleum products.”

He continues with a play off of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto:

For the indefinite future, a specter is haunting progressivism, the specter of abundance. Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people and because progressives believe that only government’s energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing — by them — that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans’ behavior.

Rationing: the government did just that during World War II with tickets for petroleum products, almost did the same during the Jimmy Carter era, and proposed CO2 cap-and-trade auctions for all carbon-based energies (oil, gas, and coal) just two years ago. California is mimicking Europe and starting a CO2 cap-and-trade program. Whether by ticket or by taxation, it meant/means less energy that the unregulated free-market would produce.

Will continues by reporting on the fossil energy boom:

Imagine what a horror 2011 was for progressives as Americans began to comprehend their stunning abundance of fossil fuels — beyond their two centuries’ supply of coal. Progressives responded with attempts to impede development of the vast, proven reserves of natural gas and oil here and in Canada. They bent the willowy Obama to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil from Canadian tar sands; they raised environmental objections to new techniques for extracting gas and “tight” oil from shale formations.

And that left one wearisome, problematic rationale for energy planning: [Read more →]

January 12, 2012   8 Comments