Government creating another energy crisis

Government’s death grip on energy production prevents use of plentiful, affordable resources. Instead, Washington dictates use of hard-to-harness, expensive “alternative” fuels, inadequate to meet ever-growing demand. Alternative energy sources require big taxpayer subsidies and drain money from the economy, where it could be creating jobs and meeting needs without a dime of taxpayer underwriting.

Washington’s own calculations show vast untapped North American resources of oil, natural gas and coal, their discovery and extraction made possible by recent technological advances.

The nonprofit Institute for Energy Research says there are more than 1.7 trillion barrels of recoverable oil in North America, compared with Saudi Arabia’s 260 billion barrels.

“This is more than the world has used since the first oil well was drilled over 150 years ago,” says the institute’s report, North American Energy Inventory. U.S. reserves alone could provide the domestic need of 7 billion barrels a year for about 250 years.

If there is an energy crisis, it is only because government prevents America from tapping its own resources.

Government estimates 272 trillion cubic feet of proven natural-gas reserves in North America. Total recoverable natural gas is estimated at 4,244 trillion cubic feet – enough to satisfy current U.S. demand for about 175 years.

Tapping these resources would not only ease U.S. reliance on imported oil, it would set in motion much-needed economic chain reactions. More easily obtainable energy reduces costs. For consumers, that would free money to save, invest and spend. For industry, it would do the same, plus create badly needed jobs.

Instead, President Barack Obama wants to force electricity costs to “necessarily skyrocket,” as he said in a moment of candor. It is perverse to force Americans to rely on difficult-to-produce, costly energy that remains more expensive than conventional energy even after tax subsidies.

Government-mandated, taxpayer-subsidized boondoggles — such as the half-billion-dollar solar panel manufacturer Solyndra bankruptcy and wasting $20 million to create 14 jobs to weatherize four Seattle houses — are foolish. Government regulations and foot-dragging impede development of known reserves. Altogether, this amounts to a government-created energy crisis.

The fate of Congress’ latest temporary spending bill, which House Republicans promised will include authorization for quick construction of the 1,700-mile XL Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, is still undecided. The president has vowed to veto the bill, rather than expedite the pipeline.