Did The NYT Just Thank Bush and Cheney For Making Us Energy Independent?
show comments
  • Mrs. Davis

    Heh.

  • Anthony

    “Neither Republicans nor Democrats are in the mood right now for discussions of the very large areas of common ground the Bush and Obama administrations share….” The fact of shared common ground is worthy of analysis…

  • Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)

    We could take one more step that would seal the deal of American energy independence — waive EPA permitting requirements and immediately allow the construction of up to a dozen coal refineries.

    Basic coal refining is nearly a century old, and the current world leaders are in South Africa, having really pushed it forward during the apartheid embargoes. Not only can you do coal-to-liquid fuels, but also di-methyl ether, which can be used in any diesel with only minor, off-the-shelf modifications to accommodate the need to operate at propane-like pressures.

    America COULD be energy-independent in five years, but if we wished to be ‘lazy’ about it we could easily be importing only from Canada.

    The US Air Force had a coal-to-liquid (jet fuel) plant in Montana, but the entire project was cancelled in late January, 2009. The date is not a coincidence.

  • Seems clear enough to me that a door is being opened (though God knows I can be simpleminded enough about things like these).

    My question, then, is: Shall we walk through it? Or shall we go on chasing that always-popular-among-elites chimera, Maximum Global Economic Interdependence (cf. “Trilateralism,” Holly Sklar [ed.]: http://www.amazon.com/Trilateralism-Trilateral-Commission-Planning-Management/dp/0896081044). Thereby binding ourselves ever closer to the Saudis, those stalwart friends-through-thick-and-thin of both Israel and the US (not to mention Europe and Japan)?

    Remember, there’s nothing quite like global trade (not trust) for the maintenance of global peace. You know, the sort of radical, unprecedentedly global movement of goods and people that was so effective a guarantor of peace throughout the period 1890-1914.

    “In 2008, Obama campaigned against the record of the Bush administration, yet one of the most significant successes of his presidency may come as a result of his predecessor’s legacy. With foreign policy and now with energy, Obama’s administration has often done best where it followed the Bush agenda most closely—just don’t expect to hear about this during the campaign. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are in the mood right now for discussions of the very large areas of common ground the Bush and Obama administrations share, so Via Meadia will say nothing more at this point about such an indelicate subject.”

    And thanks for a superbly uncomfortable conclusion to a very timely post.

  • “An energy independent America would be both more prosperous and more independent in its foreign policy.”

    Be careful here. The world economy is an integrated whole and the world economy is not about to become independent of the unstable regions from which most of its oil is pumped. The price of oil is out of our control and will remain so. The only scenario I can imagine in which American “energy independence” would make any difference is one of world war in which international oil markets are disrupted.

  • Jim.

    “Neither Republicans nor Democrats are in the mood right now for discussions of the very large areas of common ground the Bush and Obama administrations share, so Via Meadia will say nothing more at this point about such an indelicate subject.”

    Oh, come on, if you can’t have some fun at the expense of that sort of irony, what can you have fun with, in politics?

    I’m curious to know the reaction of people who object to Exxon’s paying very little in taxes owing to their reinvestment of most of their profits in the tax-exempt exploration that led us to this beneficent situation.

  • maulerman

    Luke Lea writes “Be careful here. The world economy is an integrated whole and the world economy is not about to become independent of the unstable regions from which most of its oil is pumped. The price of oil is out of our control and will remain so. The only scenario I can imagine in which American “energy independence” would make any difference is one of world war in which international oil markets are disrupted.”

    Unfortunately, Luke’s point misses a significant observation in WRM’s post by focusing only on oil. One of the most important energy development is the unlocking of US shale gas resources. Natural gas is not subject to global markets as is seen in the collapse of the US natural gas market. In particular, it is important to see the decoupling between price per BTU for oil vs. natural gas. The price per BTU for natural gas is significantly discounted today from the price per BTU for oil. While not current with today’s prices, the below link to a year old article by Bill Powers explains three commonly analyzed relationships between gas and oil prices, including the BTU content relationship I mentioned.

    http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/bill-powers/natural-gas-vs-oil-and-coal

    Power generators are already moving to replace coal with natural gas as seen in the increase in natural gas burning power generation at the expense of a decrease in coal burning power generation.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/us-coal-gas-switching-idUSTRE7192OL20110210

    Additionally, the US transportation industry is also attempting to exploit this difference to lower transportation costs.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203986604577257770238882852.html

    As inexpensive natural gas produced in the onshore United States displaces other energy sources, whether in power generation or transportation, our dependence on unstable areas to meet our energy resource needs will diminish.

  • Gary L

    But how can this be? Cheney can’t possibly have done anything of value! I can say this authority because Time Magazine recently ranked Cheney as one of the worst VPs, right up there with Aaron Burr, William Rufus King (who?), Spiro Agnew and J. Danforth Quayle.

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1834600,00.html

    You might have missed that issue, since Time Magazine now comes out as an eight-page quarterly insert…….

  • A good point, maulerman. I hadn’t considered that. Still you wouldn’t deny that a disruption in oil coming out of the Persian Gulf would have extraordinarily adverse consequences for our economy would you?

  • Kris

    [email protected], the list seems to be from 4 years ago (not that Time sees fit to provide us with an actual date), but is indeed interesting. Other than Henry Wallace who was repudiated by his own party, it seems that one has to go back to 1885 to finally get a bad Democratic VP. Conversely, other than oh-so conservative G.H.W. Bush, one has to go back to Charles Curtis (1928) to find a Republican VP who is not among this Republic’s worst. Not even trying, are they?

  • lhf

    “Neither Republicans nor Democrats are in the mood right now for discussions of the very large areas of common ground the Bush and Obama administrations share, so Via Meadia will say nothing more at this point about such an indelicate subject.”

    This would be a mistake for Republicans. It is useful to point out that Obama has adopted his predecessor’s defense, counterterrorism, and energy policies. It has the advantage of enabling the Republicans to praise those policies, point out Obama’s hypocrasy, since he vociferously campaigned against them, AND separating him from his base. Moreover, if Republicans avoid talking about this, Obama will use it against them to his advantage.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.