Saturday, January 23, 2010

Charles Krauthammer Is Mostly Wrong On Energy Policy

Charles Krauthammer is a very smart man. His persona is a mix of William F. Buckley, Jr. and Stephen Hawking. He likes to write and he likes to talk. But he violates our policy of using price as a conservation tool. Using high prices to force conservation seems simple on its face, but America's might can be found in its productivity, which is supported by reasonable energy prices. High energy prices, particularly in the form of taxes, would ruin the American economy and are regressive. The cost of energy would simply be passed on to consumers and so higher and higher pricing to conserve precious energy resources would only serve to increase the prices of all goods and services and would crush the middle class and low-income people.

Krauthammer wrote in his Friday, November 11, 2005 Washington Post column, "Pump Some Seriousness Into Energy Policy:"

"We have a unique but fleeting opportunity to permanently depress demand by locking in higher gasoline prices...It is the simplest way to induce conservation. People will alter their buying habits... let the premium we force ourselves to pay at the pump (which begins the conservation cycle) go to the U.S. Treasury... plow right back into the American economy by immediately reducing, say, Social Security or income taxes."
Charles Charles Charles. You know the federal government will just spend more if it gets more. And it won't be on reducing income taxes.

"The beauty of a that it obviates the waste and folly of an army of bureaucrats telling auto companies what cars in which fleets need to meet what arbitrary standards of fuel efficiency. Abolish all the regulations and let the market decide."
Sorry again Charles. Japan showed us that Americans will buy smaller and more efficient cars. Even as America's carmakers chased profits off of SUVs. We are lovers of the market too, but unfortunately, Corporate Automobile Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are one of our better federal programs that works in the national interest. George Bush even signed a law increasing the standard from 27 mpg to 35 mpg by 2020.

Krauthammer wrote in his Friday, January 26, 2007 Washington Post column, "Energy Independence?"

"There are three serious things we can do now: Tax gas. Drill in the Arctic. Go nuclear."
Charles got two out of three wrong again. We already described our objection to more taxes and we do not need any oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). Charles also supports expanded offshore oil and gas drilling, which we oppose. Our shores and the health of our oceans are not worth the risk. Charles got it right on nuclear power though.

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