Solving US Energy Problems

I graduated from West Point 60 years ago, and strongly believe in its motto: Duty, Honor, Country.  I have been in the energy industry for 57 years, first as an engineer and later as an attorney, and feel that it is my Duty to try to help my Country solve its terrible energy problems.

The big problem is the Democratic agenda to destroy US oil.  Currently, this agenda is well illustrated in the Gulf of Mexico.  BP's Macondo Prospect well, which blew out in the Gulf of Mexico last year, was reported by the federal government to be producing 62,000 barrels of oil per day.  At the present oil price, that is $2.2 Billion a year.  This well may have been the largest oil well in the history of the world.  Yet, it was plugged and abandoned, and the federal government would not allow the development of the large oil reservoir it was in, which may have created thousands of new jobs.  No other nation on earth would do that to an oil well which may have been the largest oil well in world history.  Moreover, the federal government stopped all drilling in the area.

Destroying US oil is not a new Democratic agenda.  In 1980, President Carter gave the US oil demand to the Persian Gulf region and signed the Domestic Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax which caused the oil patch recession of the early 1980s and the loss of half a million US oil jobs. 

The solution to our energy problem is for the Democrats to abandon their anti-US oil agenda and to simply allow Americans to Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less.  US oil is always less than OPEC oil.  Americans would pay an estimated $24 Billion less at the pump annually if US oil replaced foreign oil imports.

Economic deficits are caused by taxpayer-supported energy schemes to replace oil, but these chimeras can never do so.  Ethanol is the worst scheme.  Taxpayers subsidize ethanol, starting with a $0.45 per gallon tax credit, amounting to $6 Billion annually.  Taxpayer funded grants and studies make ethanol much more expensive to taxpayers.

Using ethanol in a vehicle emits more total carbon dioxide into the air than using gasoline.  Last year, an additional 4 million tons of carbon dioxide went into the air because ethanol was used instead of gasoline. 

Last year, ethanol production was only 5% of total US oil demand.  It is impossible for ethanol to ever replace imported oil. 

David Pimentel, Cornell University professor emeritus, states that corn requires 29% more energy than the fuel produces, switchgrass requires 45% more energy than the fuel produces, and wood biomass requires 57% more energy than the fuel produces.  In other words, Professor Pimentel finds that the biofuel industry wastes more energy than it produces.

A gallon of ethanol contains only 61% of the energy of a gallon of gasoline.  No wonder it gets such poor mileage.  With ethanol, engines run hotter and rubber is eaten away.  An ethanol flame is almost invisible and requires entirely different fire-fighting techniques than gasoline.  Transportation, logistics and safety issues require a separate infrastructure to be built for ethanol than for gasoline.

In short, biofuel is a loser.  It is not "clean" as claimed.  Yet, the federal government protects ethanol from competition, gives it subsidies and requires its use.  The quicker that the US gets rid of ethanol, the better off our country will be.  Other energy schemes -- electric cars, hybrid cars, CNG cars, hydrogen cars -- should have taxpayer subsidies eliminated.  Their flaws and deficiencies should not have to be explained in order to stop taxpayer subsidies.

Over five years ago, I wrote a book, Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High.  If you do not like high gasoline prices, demand that your government allow drilling for US oil.  If oil is worth fighting for in the Middle East, it is worth drilling for in the United States.  US national security, the US economy, and US employment need US oil.
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