The problem? Well it may not be government, but government isn't helping.
By my count, 24 of the 34 State of the Union addresses since the oil embargo of 1973 have proposed solutions to our energy problem.So much for energy policy. You want to fix our addiction to oil? Do 3 things: Tax gas, drill for oil in the US, and go nuclear. Ethanol my sound good to the farmers, but it is not likely to work anymore than Jimmy Carter's synfuels came to anything in the 70s.
The result? In 1973 we imported 34.8 percent of our oil. Today we import 60.3 percent.
Just look at last summer. Gas prices spike to $3 -- with the premium going to Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez and assorted sheiks, rather than the U.S. treasury -- and, presto, SUV sales plunge, the Prius is cool and car ads once again begin featuring miles per gallon ratings.Domestic Production:
No one pretends that this fixes everything. But a million barrels a day from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 5 percent of our consumption. In tight markets, that makes a crucial difference.Nuclear:
What about nuclear waste? Well, coal produces toxic pollutants, as does oil. Both produce carbon dioxide that we are told is going to end civilization as we know it. These wastes are widely dispersed and almost impossible to recover once they get thrown into the atmosphere.How come the Global Warming crowd isn't screaming for nuclear? Do they want to freeze in the dark? [Hat tip to Ink Well]
Nukes produce waste as well, but it comes out concentrated -- very toxic and lasting nearly forever, but because it is packed into a small manageable volume, it is more controllable. And it doesn't pollute the atmosphere. At all.
There is no free lunch. Producing energy is going to produce waste. You pick your poison and you find a way to manage it.