White House Needs New Look At Energy

By Michael J. Economides

It was a rubbing-the-eyes-in-disbelief headline even from an administration whose energy secretary, Steven Chu, suggested that America’s energy dilemma could be solved by painting roofs white, and whose interior secretary, Ken Salazar, talked of garnering 3,000 megawatts of wind-power capacity off the East Coast. (The current total electricity capacity from all U.S. energy sources is about 1,000 megawatts.)

Under the title “U.S. raises concern over China oil policy,” David Shear, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told the House Armed Services Committee on Jan. 13:

“We are pursuing intensive dialogue with the Chinese on the subject of energy security, in which we have raised our concerns about Chinese efforts to lock up oil reserves with long-term contracts.”

Shear was responding to Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, who said he was “worried that the Chinese were aggressively buying up oil all over the world and might not share it with other countries in the future.”

Well, what do you know? The Obama administration, whose entire energy posture going back into the presidential campaign has been both ideologically and practically stridently anti-oil, both as an industry and as a form of energy, has suddenly become “concerned” about China’s oil grab.

This is, to say the least, disingenuous.

The U.S. government under Barack Obama has yet to acknowledge once, in spite of widely held estimates, that oil will continue to account for 40% of world energy demand 25 years from now — this while total world energy demand will increase by 50%, at least.

Nor has the administration, mired in Kyoto and Copenhagen global climate rhetoric, acknowledged that fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal will still account by then for over 85% of world energy demand, a largely unchanged contribution from what it is today.

Instead there is constant rhetoric about solar (the president’s favorite during the campaign), wind and “advanced biofuels” which, when combined, are not likely to account for more than 1% or 2% of the world energy demand over the next several decades.

In a Newsweek editorial last April 4, Chu expressed the administration’s energy philosophy and policy: “We must move beyond oil because the science on global warming is clear and compelling: Greenhouse-gas emissions, primarily from fossil fuels, have started to change our climate. We have a responsibility to future generations to reduce those emissions to spare our planet the worst of the possible effects.”  See post here.

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