What is the purpose of the Department of Energy? When it was created, most of us assumed it would expedite permits and assist companies wanting to produce energy. We assumed there might be a little solar or wind or ethanol or biofuel experimentation and whatever didn’t pan out would stop. No one thought this would come at the expense of our fossil fuel resources. Fossil fuels weren’t scorned; we were upset that we didn’t seem to possess or produce enough for our needs, and assumed DOE would ramp up energy production. Step into the warped 2012 DOE:
Sweetness & Light [ http://sweetness-light.com/archive/energy-czar-thinks-hes-in-the-auto-business ] reports on Secretary Chu’s visit to Congress and how he helpfully explained that cheaper gas prices or abundant oil wasn’t the goal of the department. No, the goal is to “reduce our dependency on oil” and increase “energy efficiency.” Notice he didn’t say ‘foreign’ dependency. He wants to phase out oil altogether and one way to do that is restrict our car choices to what this administration wants you to drive. Hint: it’s not a Ford 150 truck. It’s the Volt, the Tesla, the oh, you know; those cars they have in Europe with batteries that turn into “bricks” when fully charged, chargers that require coal-powered electricity, dangerous little lightweight thingies that will result in more deaths when you get onto I-64 with the trucks and winter ice on hills. Ever had friends from Europe come here? They’re always amazed at the size of this country, how big it is, how uncrowded so much of it is. Let them drive from Owensboro to the Huntington, WV border and they’re stunned how few cars and people they see, and that they’re still in one state. That number of miles and hours can get you into multiple European countries.
This Kentuckian was stunned by how crowded and small Europe is, and how fast everyone drives. Here at home I drive the speed limit, combine errands, don’t do jackrabbit starts or fast stops, don’t keep stuff in the trunk or car, don’t tailgate, drive ‘ahead’ to limit braking, and drive a well-tuned Camry that’s a couple years old. I bet I get gas mileage about as good as most ‘green’ cars and feel safer too.
Why don’t we quit trying to turn the United States into Europe? Sweetness & Light asked the same questions I often ponder: If they’re so all-fired green and clever in Europe, and have been doing this alternative energy & little cars for so long, how come they still have to beg Russia and Libya for oil? Why aren’t they free of their dependency on oil? Why the heck can’t we use our own natural resources? Why do we have to be the guinea pigs of Chu et al?