Tuesday, October 8, 2013

US Energy Revolution Shows Fallacy of Central Planning

The US oil and gas industry, vilified by the President, the media, and some members of our society (ie., liberals sitting comfortably in New York high rises enjoying abundant energy) is responsible for the only real boom in the US economy in recent years.  The President's hostility to fossil fuels is hardly a secret.

Remember when the President repeatedly said that: 
"we're running out of places to drill "
"you can't drill your way out of this." 
"US only has 2% of the world's reserves."

The President has incorrectly and unilaterally written-off the oil and gas industry in favor of uneconomic and marginal unconventional energy.  

With great irony, and despite the President's assumptions, the US is set to become the largest world energy producer in the world this year;  exceeding the production of Saudi and Russia.  See my blog US Top World Oil Producer as of March 2013.  This trend has continued.

US natural gas prices, driven by increases in production from the fracking revolution, are some 4 times cheaper than those in Europe.  This is a huge boon to power and chemical producers and retail consumers.  It is leading to big investments by companies like Dow Chemical to build chemical plants.  The US is otherwise starved for investments which is primarily responsible for the poor employment situation. It's only a matter of time before natural gas is used for transportation and displaces oil imports.

You would think the President would happy about this, but the US energy industry still has no friends in the White House or with most Democrats.  Republicans have been quick to point out the many benefits to employment and the balance of payments.

Here's a great chart showing the nascent energy boom from Carpe Diem blog:

US Fossil Fuel Production (Coal, Natural Gas, Oil) from 1947 to 2013 (est)

Central Planning Is Wrong Anywhere and Especially in America

This boom illustrates the problem with central planning, the key philosophy of the President. The government doesn't know what is best.  Ignorant politicians, who pretend to be smarter than they are and manage to talk their way into office, don't know best either.

When the government is wrong, they are really, really wrong.  That's why markets work better.  Markets are 100s or 1000s of 'entities' trying different things to find a competitive advantage.  This is why we have an actual energy boom but the President continues to be a champion of failed subsidies, wasteful spending and uneconomic, unattractive energy alternatives. 

There is a dictum that says that "it's not a crime to be wrong, but it is a crime to stay wrong."  This applies to the President.  There is another dictum that says, "there is none so blind as those who can not see."  This man never learns anything.  This is the problem with liberals---they never learn the right lessons despite repeated lessons of history regarding central planning.

One last point.  Fossil fuels can and will carry us to the next stage of cheaper energy and reduced CO2 emissions: Thorium Energy.

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