The president believes in energy security. I believe in energy independence. In case you missed the president’s weekly radio address, here is what the White House released on energy security, so I will not be accused of not understanding what they meant. The title of the address was “Energy Security Can Only Come If We Invest in Cleaner Fuels and Greater Efficiency.”
WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Obama discussed his strategy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and secure our nation’s energy future. When the President was elected, America imported eleven million barrels of oil a day. This week he announced a bold, but achievable goal of cutting this number by one-third by 2025.
To achieve this goal we will increase responsible domestic oil and gas development in the short term, while also increasing efficiency and harnessing new technologies including biofuels, natural gas, and advanced batteries.
Reducing our dependence on foreign oil in the foreseeable future is a key to bringing down energy costs and especially gasoline costs, the average price of which has doubled in the last two years. I think that’s what he meant by secure our nation’s energy future, but I am not sure. You really can’t tell from the words he used, but they sounded good.
The president proposes reducing our dependence by a third in 14 years. That’s not a bold goal using electric cars, alternative fuels, advanced batteries and all the wind and solar power we can muster. Remember, those batteries have to be recharged. That means traditional electricity, which is generated from coal and natural gas-fired power plants.
That’s an anemic goal! In the early 1970s we were nearly 25 percent dependent on foreign oil. Today we are nearly 70 percent dependent on foreign oil. Reducing our dependence by a third would still mean we are nearly 50 percent dependent on foreign oil. That level still leaves oil dependency as a national security risk, especially with what’s happening in the Middle East.
A bold objective would be zero dependence on foreign oil!
We can do it if we maximize all of our own natural resources as I described in last week’s commentary. We just need to streamline the government regulations that are holding us back.
I believe we can responsibly drill here now (oil), dig here now (coal), and develop safer and smaller nuclear facilities here now. In doing so, we can cut our energy dependence in half in 10 years on our way to energy independence.
A serious energy independence strategy would also curtail the rapidly escalating cost of gasoline and household energy costs, which are becoming a huge drain on consumers’ discretionary income. The pain at the pump is just the beginning.
Instead of a loan to Brazil for $2 billion to drill for oil, and “we become their best customer” as the president stated, let’s remove the unreasonable constraints to drill, dig, and develop our energy resources right here in the USA, and at the same time create a lot of jobs and increase tax revenues.
There are some new technologies out there, but they will not burst onto the energy scene until, again, government gets out of the way. Businessmen are not looking for tax incentives. They just want less regulation.
There simply is not enough upside potential in wind, solar, and electric cars to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by a third by 2025, but we can exceed that goal with opening up more exploration for oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy development, and we can do all of it responsibly.
The president proposes less dependence on foreign oil. Americans want no dependence on foreign oil. That’s bold and doable!
We need a bold leader to achieve bold goals.
Herman Cain is a former CEO, a radio talk show host on AM 750 and 95.5 FM WSB in Atlanta, and a Fox News contributor.