Edwards campaign energy policy
John Edwards is now calling upon Bush to tap into the federal natural gas reserves to combat skyrocketing prices. Citing prices in New Hampshire, he had this to say:
“American families are facing skyrocketing home heating oil and gasoline prices, while big oil companies earn massive profits…..”
“We need to stand up to the oil companies, increase the use of renewable energy and create affordable choices for regular families.”
Now, the problem I have here is manyfold. First of all, expanding LIHEAP wildly doesn’t stand up to oil companies, it gives them exactly what they want. They just charge whatever they want and the government softens the blow by paying for it. There will be no outrage when your bill is subsidized. People will not be motivated to conserve energy. People will turn their themostats back up a few degrees. It won’t hurt.
Secondly, where does the oil in the reserves come from? You guessed it, the same big oil companies sticking it to the little guy. The amount in the reserves is so minor compared to daily US usage it won’t mean squat. At 689 million barrels, and the US using about 21 million per day, it wouldn’t have a whole lot of impact for very long. Plus, knowing that the US government would have to re-stock eventually, it probably wouldn’t have any impact at all on the price of crude coming from OPEC.
Thirdly, if Edwards wants to stand up to oil companies putting the screws to the little guy, open ANWR and restrict production to domestic companies. That’ll knock out the BP’s and Citgo. Bid out the entire field to the absolute lowest bidder. That’ll knock out the Exxon’s as they are too beholden to OPEC. You won’t see Edwards going that route.
What Edwards is doing is politically expedient in that’s convenient. He didn’t think this up. It’s been tossed around and used in the past. It acomplished nothing then. Why does Edwards suddenly think it’ll accomplish anything now? It won’t. It just sounds good.