We have the transformative power of energy facing off with the coercive power of government. If not denied by political powers, the energy opportunities created by the shale revolution would confer multiple genuine benefits for human welfare and peace: jobs, increased income, rebirth of “made in America” manufacturing, national security and even the basis for geopolitical security in Europe – now perilously dependent on oil and natural gas controlled by not-so- dove-ish Vladimir Putin.
The federal government’s increasing regulatory efforts to decarbonize our energy supply are not only economically damaging, they are also are futile. EPA’s recently proposed Clean Power Plan would mandate a re-engineering our nation’s entire system of electric generation to lower CO2emissions by only 30 percent. Yet, this would only reduce supposed global warming by an immeasurable 0.01 degrees Celsius in 2050 according to the science endorsed by EPA. When this inconvenient data is brought to EPA’s attention, the Agency admits its power plan won’t stop global warming, but says it will symbolically demonstrate to the “international community” that the U.S. is willing to sacrifice. This is how EPA would justify a complete overhaul of electric power supply of the U.S. , deep-sixing the coal power on which 40 percent of US electric generation depends?
It’s time to get real about energy and to distinguish myth and theory from hard facts. One of the Summit’s most compelling doyen is Mark P. Mills of the Manhattan Institute. He recently offered a poignant reminder of the world’s need for energy realism. “Every realistic scenario,” Mills writes “sees the world consuming more, not less oil and gas in the future. As for alternative energy, even if the hyperbolic goal of supplying all new global demand were met, the world would still consume 40 billion barrels of oil and natural gas annually.”