Priorities regarding energy independence

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By Marita Noon

If the goal is “energy independence,” what issues should be a priority in America?
Recently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out a “2014 Priority Issues Survey” which contained a section on energy.
Section VII, asks: “Which of the following will help America achieve energy independence?” It offers five options that do little to move America toward energy independence — which isn’t even a realistic goal given the fungible nature of liquid fuels. Additionally, most of the choices given on the DCCC survey actually increase energy costs for all Americans — serving as a hidden tax — but hurt those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale the most. The proposals hurt the very people the party purports to champion.
The survey asks respondents to “check all that apply.”
• Raising gas mileage standards for all new cars and trucks
If it were technologically possible to build a cost-effective truck, or SUV that had the size and safety Americans want and that got 54.5 mpg, that manufacturer would have the car-buying public beating a path to its door. Every car company would love to be the one to corner that market — but it is not easy, it probably won’t be possible, and it surely won’t be cheap.
• Develop Renewable Energy Sources
When people think of renewable energy, they think of wind and solar. But wind and solar produce electricity and America is already electricity independent. We don’t import electricity.
• Encouraging consumer and industrial conservation
Consumers are already feeling the pinch of higher energy costs — both electricity and liquid fuels. The cost of energy drives conservation.
Most industry is energy intensive. Therefore, in interest of preservation, energy conservation is already virtually an instinct.
• Investing in energy efficient technology
When the word “investing” is used in reference to a government document or program, it always means spending taxpayer dollars. In a time of ongoing economic stress, we don’t need to borrow more money to spend it on something of questionable impact on energy independence.
• Increasing offshore drilling and oil exploration in wilderness areas
Respondents are discouraged from selecting the one item on the list that could actually lead to “energy independence” by the inclusion of the words “offshore” and “wilderness areas” — as if those are the only places drilling could take place.
While the options on the DCCC survey, even if a respondent checked them all, will do little to “help America achieve energy independence,” the survey didn’t include any choices that could really make a difference.
Some selections that would indicate a true desire to see America freed from OPEC’s grip should include:
• Approving the Keystone pipeline;
• Revising the Endangered Species Act so that it isn’t used to block American energy development;
• Encouraging the use of compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel in passenger vehicles and commercial trucks;
• Expediting permitting for exploration and drilling on federal lands;
• Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and
• Cutting red tape and duplicative regulations to encourage development.
Not one option that would truly make a difference was included — exposing the fact that the DCCC’s goals do not include energy independence. Instead it wants to continue the crony corruption that has become the hallmark of the Obama Administration as evidenced by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz’s April 2 announcement that: “the department would probably throw open the door for new applications for renewable energy project loan guarantees during the second quarter of this year.”
The goal shouldn’t really be “energy independence.” Instead, it should be energy freedom — the ability to use energy freely without peoples hostile to America being able to use it as a weapon against us.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.