HuffPo Pessimism on Obama’s Energy Targets

by Brian McGraw on April 7, 2011

in Blog, Features

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At The Huffington Post, Jeffrey Rubin writes: “Only a Recession Can Deliver Obama’s Energy Targets.”

Unfortunately, we have heard this song many times before. In 1973, President Richard Nixon unveiled “Project Independence” in response to the OPEC oil embargo that was triggered by the Arab-Israeli war. President Jimmy Carter called the need to lessen U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil the moral equivalent of war in response to the supply disruptions that followed the Iranian Revolution. President George Bush Jr. referred to America’s dependence on foreign oil as nothing short of an addiction.

Over the past four decades, U.S. presidents have waxed eloquent about the need to reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil. Yet the U.S. economy still relies on imports for more than 50% of the 19 million barrels of oil burned every day. As a result, the U.S. remains as vulnerable to soaring oil prices as it was during the OPEC shocks in the 1970s.

Rubin notes that we’ve been down this road before. Eloquent speeches aside, governments haven’t historically had the ability to make significant changes to the types of energy that are economically viable. But don’t get your head down, repeated failure has never stopped our government.

Concluding, he writes:

So far, recessions have been the only surefire way America has cut back on its fuel consumption and the need for oil imports. But, of course, that is not an option any U.S. president can pursue.

Maybe not, but maybe? (from E&E News, $ub. required):

Yesterday, all eyes were on the United States as country after country asked [U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan] Pershing to explain specifically how America will meet the promise that Obama made the world at the 2009 Copenhagen, Denmark, climate change summit. He noted in a series of slides that U.S. emissions have declined about 8.7 percent since 2005 — and while he acknowledged that a portion of that is due to the economic downturn, Pershing insisted that the more important metric is whether America is meeting its target.

Health of the economy be damned, our emissions declined!

rajesh rao April 8, 2011 at 8:40 am


too good technology followed by obama…………..

Robert Reynolds April 12, 2011 at 12:04 am

Sustainable electricity, to be adequate, requires super storage capacity.

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