Monday, November 17, 2008

Independence Mirrage

Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation explains "why energy independence is the wrong cause":
Every president since Richard Nixon has muttered direly about the need to make America "energy independent." . . . But the fact of the matter is that energy independence is neither feasible nor desirable. Indeed, when Nixon originally took up this crusade in the wake of the oil embargo, America imported a third of its oil. Now it imports 60 percent. Why? Because imported oil is cheaper than indigenous oil. Trying to fight this reality won't create jobs or restore America's economy, it'll do the opposite.

Third World countries in Latin America and Asia learned this lesson the hard way when, in their zeal for economic self-sufficiency, they embraced a something called the import-substitution approach half a century ago. The idea was to discourage imports of key industrial products such as factory equipment and machinery through trade barriers and encourage their domestic production through massive subsidies. The upshot, however, was neither self-sufficiency nor prosperity. Rather, import-substitution raised production costs, making Third World goods uncompetitive in the global markets and prohibitively expensive at home, consigning these countries to decades and decades of economic stagnation that has not yet been fully reversed. Delinking America from global energy markets will wreak similar economic havoc.

(via Planet Gore)


endependence said...

This reflects thinking mired in the world of ever increasing fossil fuel supplies while ignoring the "externalities" of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

It is in the economic and security interests of the U.S. to fight a War for Endependence.

Endependence = energy independence that ends dependence on polluting fuels.

Carl said...

I think I've rebutted virtually all these arguments here--if alternative energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, it will gain market share. And have you noticed the extent to which we've reduced pollution without switching fuels? Further, nuclear power is independent and less polluting--is that OK with you?

BTW, rather than bashing Exxon and those you call "liars"--since I am a warming skeptic, you're calling me a liar (though I'm not funded by anyone)--I suggest you read tomorrow's post on global warming.

Carl said...

I guess I shouldn't be suprised there was no response from what is, essentially, liberal spam.