The Cap and Trade (Tax) energy plan, which narrowly passed in the House of Representatives last week, is a farce. It passed with a 219 to 211 vote, which included eight turncoat republicans voting for it. This bill would substantially raise energy prices and would destroy millions of jobs. It would implode an already shaky economy. Not surprisingly, President Obama heartily supports it. He seems to be for everything that goes against our national interests. Saving and creating real jobs (not imaginary ones) does not seem to be a priority for this administration. Over 2 million jobs have been lost since President Obama took office. The only jobs that he seemingly wants to create are those in an ever- expanding, overreaching federal government.
The President had the audacity to announce that this bill would be a job creator. He claims that it will create new "green" jobs but there is no proof to support his claims. However, there is existing evidence which disproves his claims. The Wall Street Journal published an article on 4/16/2009 which was entitled, "Green Joblessness." In the article data provided by the Spanish government and the European Union was used. This information indicates that for every "green" job that has been created by the green policies of the Spanish government, 2.2 other jobs have been lost. It would be absolutely foolish to follow a failed pathway which has already been blazed by someone else.
The U.S. has the resources to be energy independent. We have a plentiful supply of cheap coal, and we have the technology to cleanly use it. Existing clean coal technology sharply reduces air emissions and other pollutants. Emissions have been reduced 1/3 in the past thirty years, and with newer innovations, which now exist, they can be reduced even more.
Coal produces over 50% of the electricity in the U.S. It is mined in 27 states, and several state economies depend on it. In the state of West Virginia the coal industry provides approximately 40,000 jobs. The coal industry also pays over 60% of the business taxes paid in that state. Over 90% of West Virginia's electricity comes from coal powered plants. The Cap and Tax bill would decimate West Virginia's economy, and there are several more states which are comparable.
The U.S. has access to some of the richest oil deposits in the world. The Gulf of Mexico, the coastal areas of California, the coastal areas of Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Green River formation (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming) and the Bakken Formation (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana) all contain vast amounts (hundreds of billions if not trillions of barrels) of untapped oil. We would be wise to adopt Speaker Gingrich's plan of drill here, drill now, pay less.
It should be noted that the technology exists which would allow us to tap these oil reserves with minimal intrusion on the environment. Horizontal drilling and slant-hole drilling are just two of several environmentally sound methods which are available to access these reserves.
More oil refineries are needed. The last new U.S. refinery was built in 1976. And the cost of refining oil into gasoline has skyrocketed because there are over 50 different blends of gasoline which are mandated by the federal government and different state governments. The process should be simplified. Pick the blend which is the most efficient to refine and make it the national standard. Simpler is always better.
The U.S. was the forerunner in clean, efficient and affordable nuclear energy. We have let environmentalist whackos and one propagandist Hollywood movie, The China Syndrome, derail the nuclear power industry in this country. France, the nation over which all American leftists drool, imported our nuclear technology. They now use it to produce over 87% of their electricity. And President Obama thinks that it's perfectly okay for the rogue nation of Iran to produce nuclear weapons, uh, I mean nuclear power.
Alternative sources of energy are fine for supplementing more viable traditional methods of energy production, but the technology does not exist and may never for solar or wind power to be our primary energy suppliers.
We should be good stewards of what God has blessed us. We should conserve energy and protect the environment as best we can, but common sense should always be our rudder. God has provided the resources and the technology for us to be energy independent. And it could happen in a relatively short time period. It would take away much of OPEC's influence and power. We just need a focused, common sense national energy policy.
A vibrant growing economy thrives on plentiful low-cost energy. It helps to reduce the cost of production, shipping and operating in general all across the spectrum of industry, agriculture and business. All would benefit from it, and it would fortify our national security and our standing in the global economy. So let's hope and pray that there are enough sane members in the Senate of both parties to stop Cap and Tax when it comes up for a vote. Contact your senators and let them know how you feel.