At 8:45 A.M. today, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Proving yet again that he is a hypocrite, an articulate and deceptive one to be sure, he argued for Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to offset the effects of the Iran oil embargo and thus relieve global pressure on oil prices. Since he followed Donald Trump on the show, he feigned support for Trump’s views, but then he launched into his “solution” for America’s energy problem: conservation and CAFE standards.
Interestingly, Trump argued persuasively for more energy production here at home (coal, oil, and natural gas) as the only sensible solution to our energy predicament – both long-term and short-term. He’s right about that, but he didn’t stop there. Trump talked about the idiocy of the “green energy” effort and explained that green energy is a farce – that’s my word, not his, but that was Trump’s point. Even pretending to agree with Trump made Schumer look like a charlatan. Their views are diametrically opposed, as Schumer made clear before he finished.
America’s energy problem is one of our own making. We have the wherewithal to solve it, but not the political will. Below is an excerpt from a book I wrote that presents some interesting facts. The book is titled If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You’re Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You’re Not an Idiot. The excerpt below comes from a section in the book titled “The United States Should be Exporting its Surplus Energy”:
The United States has been blessed with enough energy resources to run our factories, light our cities and homes, and feed our people and the people of the world, but we have not developed them the way we should have. Instead, we have been cowed by liberal progressives who would rather sunbathe in luxury without unsightly drilling platforms on the horizon. Most of those platforms are beyond the horizon, so it’s our way of life that they really loathe.
In 2008, the US imported almost 13,000,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 57% of our total oil consumption. Although our energy needs have been increasing rapidly, the US didn’t build a new refinery between 1998 and 2008, even then over the strong objections of liberal progressives. In 2008 alone, the US spent almost $500,000,000,000 on imported oil. That’s half a trillion dollars that we didn’t need to spend. Our dependence on foreign oil is putting our economy and our national security at risk.
Saying that the US is rich in energy resources is an understatement. At today’s consumption levels, we have enough coal to meet our needs for the next 500 years. We have 22,450,000,000 barrels of proven oil reserves, and we are finding new oil reserves all the time. The US has 250 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves. We are finding new gas reserves daily, and we are discovering new ways to tap into hard-to-get gas deposits. Putting that in perspective, the US has more energy in natural gas than the entire Middle East has in oil. It’s disgraceful that we’re putting our economic security and our national security at risk to import strategic resources that we have in abundance.
T. Boone Pickens, one of the world’s leading oil and gas men and an energy investor, has launched a campaign to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by developing our natural gas reserves. His plan is called the Pickens Plan. Pickens deserves our support, but we need to do more. We must develop our coal, oil, and natural gas reserves. We also need to develop wind energy, solar energy, and hydrogen energy. There is absolutely no excuse for the United States to import oil and gas from another nation.
We have already spent more than $2,000,000,000,000 on a vast array of stimulus programs since President Obama took office. That’s several times more than will be needed to fully develop all of our energy resources. We have squandered our wealth to reward individuals and groups that supported candidate Obama in 2008 while our critical economic and security needs have gotten scant attention. We can’t afford four more years of President Obama.
“Green energy” may satisfy our energy needs one day, but this much is certain: Today “green energy” is little more than a way for President Obama to dole out federal dollars to his favorite firms at the expense of coal, oil, and natural gas producers. The science and technology do not exist in so-called “green energy” areas to meet even a smidgen of our energy needs. Even so, there is no reason to believe that President Obama won’t continue doing what he has been doing as long as he has the keys to the Oval Office, and there is no one to blame for our high and rising energy prices except President Obama.
The facts speak volumes about what we must do as a nation to solve our energy problem. Donald Trump is absolutely correct. We must develop our own energy resources. Anything less than that threatens our long-term future and our fiscal and national security.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.