Skousen: Government Keeps Energy Bottled Up (Including Solar)

World Affairs Brief, July 4, 2008. Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.

Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief

GOVERNMENT KEEPS ENERGY BOTTLED UP

Despite public outrage on the obvious manipulation of gas and oil prices, the government does nothing to prosecute this collusion. It also is doing nothing to open up US oil reserves either offshore or in Alaska. While the President made a token call to open up the Arctic National Wilderness Reserve (ANWR) he did so only to make a political statement, knowing that the Senate would reject it–which they did. The footprint of the proposed drilling site is so small and in such a barren area of the ANWR that no credible argument can be made that this will lead to an environmental catastrophe. See ANWR.org for details on the bogus environmental issues. Even shale oil reserves, which have become viable for oil extraction at current prices, are still locked up by government.

All this may seem excusable given elected politician’s fear of offending the powerful environmental lobbies (supported by both the public purse and major corporate donors trying to make themselves look green). But now we find the government further hindering solar development on raw desert land–prime locations for solar farms.

Dan Frosch of the NY Times writes that “Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years. The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states —- Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.” That’s bogus. Such environmental studies have long been done on desert land, and it doesn’t take two years to factor in the slight variations from one desert locale to another.

“‘It doesn’t make any sense,’ said Holly Gordon, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs for Ausra, a solar thermal energy company in Palo Alto, Calif. ‘The Bureau of Land Management land has some of the best solar resources in the world. This could completely stunt the growth of the industry.'” Is this conspiracy or stupidity? The government uses emergency powers to blast through anything they really want to do, and yet with energy, be it solar, nuclear, coal, oil, or gas, they are dragging their feet. I believe there is a hidden agenda to create an energy crisis–to justify some yet-to-be-seen “solution.”

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