In a less tumultuous historical moment, energy policy would be the issue of the day. The United States, for reasons that remain unfathomable, continues to be the only country in the world that refuses to develop its own energy resources. As a result, our economy is competing in the global marketplace with one hand tied behind its back. Washington ostensibly is focused, above all else, on restoring our economy and creating jobs, yet our politicians perversely refuse to take the most obvious steps to bring down costs, make our economy more competitive, and create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs.
Today the Institute for Energy Research brought more bad news from the political front:
As our chief global competitors continue to expand their access to job-creating, economy-strengthening energy resources, the U.S. Senate Environment Committee held another hearing today focused on subsidizing inefficient, intermittent, and expensive energy sources, while discouraging access to affordable and reliable ones.
Following the hearing, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued this statement:
“Another week, and another missed opportunity by Congress to address our nation’s growing energy crisis. Russia is brokering a deal with communist Cuba to drill just miles from the Florida Keys. The Chinese are voicing interest in partnering with Canada to expand energy production. And Brazil is moving at breakneck speed to develop their oil and gas reserves offshore. But in Washington, our leaders sit idly by, debating misguided policies that will increase the cost of energy, cripple our economy, and make us less competitive.
“Energy rationing and taxpayer-subsidized ‘green jobs’ have been experimented with on the local, state, and national level. And universally, they have delivered higher energy costs, and less economic growth. Spain’s experience has led to an unemployment rate approaching 20 percent in its country. Denmark, often touted as the world leader in wind energy, gives away electricity at a loss. And in the Lone Star state, Austin residents pay almost three times more for their ‘green’ energy.
“Our national energy strategy is upside down. Instead of advancing meaningful, supply-oriented policies that keep energy affordable for all Americans – like the ones China, Russia and Cuba are advancing – our leaders are hard at work restricting access to our vast domestic supplies, taxing our affordable carbon based energy sources, and showering the “green” energy brokers on Wall Street with subsidies (tax dollars) and mandates. Increased domestic energy production creates good-paying jobs here at home. Washington must focus on creating these good jobs, not exporting them offshore.”
Someday historians will try to decipher how it was that the United States decided to outsource its energy production. In the meantime, here is more from Investors Business Daily on Russia’s new initiative to drill for oil in the Caribbean:
Two Russian nuclear attack submarines have taken up positions along our East Coast in recent days, another sign of renewed assertiveness by the former communist giant. The move comes as Moscow inks a deal with the communist relic of Cuba to drill for oil we refuse to go after. …
Drilling will be done off America’s coast soon enough. But thanks to a treaty signed by President Carter, the new oil and gas resources that will be discovered in the region will be discovered by Russia and Cuba to their economic benefit.
Normally, economic zones extend 200 miles off a country’s coastline. In some cases, conflicts can arise based on resources and geography. In 1977, Carter signed a treaty with Cuba that essentially split the difference and created for the communist country an “exclusive economic zone” extending from the western tip of Cuba north virtually to Key West. Cuba has divided its side of the Florida Straits into 59 parcels and put them up for lease.
Foreign countries, including China and India, have acquired the rights to develop 16 of them.
“This is the irony of ironies,” complained Charles Drevna, executive vice president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. “We have chosen to lock up our resources and stand by to be spectators while these two come in and benefit from things right in our own backyard.” …
It is certain that at least some of Cuba’s wells will tap oil pools that straddle the boundary separating our zone from Cuba’s. In other words, Havana will get oil that should be ours. … If Russia, Cuba and others can drill off the coast of Florida, why can’t we?
That’s a question our legislators are too busy to answer; they are occupied trying to ram government medicine down our throats.