If you know me you also know that my political knowledge is not very strong. I do have a good understanding of the rules and regulations that are out there; but when you bring the politians in and their stance I’m usually pretty clueless. So today, I found myself watching C-SPAN and the House Energy Committees hearing on Oil Supply and Demand. I only watched about 20 minutes of it at home before I had to get into the car and drive to Orlando for work. I found C-SPAN on my XM and listened to the rest of the hearing. Typically I find this stuff very boring and typically change the channel very quickly. Today I listened to the entire hearing and I learned a bit. So here is my summary on the hearing but feel free to go to C-SPAN to listen to the archive yourself.
1. There are two distinctive sides on the energy and oil debate. One side thinks that the answer is local oil resources; while the other side thinks that we should expand technologies to replace our dependance on oil. By exploring local resources in ANWAR and off the coast we can reduce our dependance on foreign oil and increase our supply. While I agree that we can do this and be respectful to the environment I don’t think it is the only solution. I think it is a temporary fix and I don’t think that the supply will be enough for our ever increasing demand on fossil fuels. I’m not against using these local resources (if managed properly) in limited quantities; while we research alternative forms of energy. I tend to be more on the side of researching and developing new technologies that will decrease our dependance on fossil fuels in general; as I think this is the long term goal we should be reaching. I think the Energy Committee (while split on the solution) is on the same page and is honestly taking a look at all sides of the issue.
2. The best point that was made (in my opinion) was about our space exploration. The amount of research and development that went into the nation’s space program years ago put a man on the moon in less than 10 years. That is a pretty remarkable time frame if you ask me. If we were to put the same time and money and effort into the energy crisis would we not see similar success with our energy technologies?
3. Interesting fact…did you know that the price that the government is using for speculation on fuel efficiency standards in 10-15 years is around $2.50 for a gallon of gas? Did you also know that when the Bush administration took office the price of a gallon of gas was around $1.50? To me I think those are very interesting peices of information. The increase in a gallon of gasoline has never in our history increased this quickly in such a short period of time. What would you speculate a gallon of gasoline will cost in 2 years? Any guesses? Do you think it will be above or below the $2.50 that the government is using today for speculation? Do you think it will be above or below the $4 average that we are paying as a nation today? (Note: Exact figures and years were actually provided in the hearing…what is mentioned here are estimates based on my memory.)
4. Nuclear energy. Some representatives brought up nuclear energy which I think the majority of the committee agrees is not where we need to spend our time and efforts due to the nuclear waste associated with it. Did you know however; that we as a Nation are supporting Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy development program? I was absolutely SHOCKED when I heard this. We are providing our enemies with the capability to do severe environmental damage; while we don’t even look at it as a solution to our own energy crisis. I’m not an expert on nuclear energy and our foreign policy so that’s all I’m going to say on this topic.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Where do you stand on solving our energy crisis? Aside from conservation (which we can only do so much with our current technology choices) where do you think we should be spending our time and money?
Check out a book by Robert Zubrin. He explains a lot about the oil issue and an very easy way to fix it.