Gas Prices and The Department of Energy
Everybody is concerned with the price of gasoline today, and we should be. High gas prices affect our standard of living and the economy of the country. The objective of the Department of Energy was to make us energy independent. What happened?
The Department of Energy is a cabinet level department of the United States Government. The United States Secretary of Energy administers the Department of Energy.
The history is of government involvement in energy is interesting. It started with the atomic bomb and the Manhattan Project in 1942. The oil crisis of 1973 led to a perceived need to consolidate the government energy policy. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter signed into law The Department of Energy Organization Act.
I have an interesting observation about the 1973 gasoline shortage. Those of you who are old enough may remember the long lines at gas stations shown on TV.
I was in business with a Ford-Mercury dealership at the time. We were located in a small Midwest town. I had a friend that we will call Pete who owned a gas station. I was at Pete’s gas station one day when a friendly competitor, a D-X station called to ask if Pete had room in his tanks for a transport of gas, because all the D-X storage tanks were all full. The D-X dealer had ordered the gas transport anticipating a shortage and slow delivery. He was wrong.
Pete said he had tank room, but the D-X dealer had to take his next load, because Pete did not want the extra gas.
Was the gas shortage real or manipulated? I have to wonder.
One of the major goals of the Department of Energy in 1977 was to make the United States energy independent. Now thirty-five years later we are worse off than ever.
President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law in 1977. Have we made any progress towards energy independence? I don’t think so.
The Department of Energy has grown to a behemoth bureaucratic joke. The budget is over twenty four billion dollars. The Department of energy has over 16,000 federal employees and over 93,000 contract employees. That is a big investment.
The Department of Energy must do some good. I like the $535 million in loan guarantees for Solyndra as part of the 2009 stimulus package. This loan guarantee to a solar energy company is government capitalism in my opinion. The government has no right to pick winners and losers in business.
Solyndra went bankrupt. Taxpayer money was lost. What a great job they are doing. Oops, I forgot we are worse off than ever. They suck.
What is the problem? We have oil, gas and coal deposits that will last centuries. We have technology to make all of these energy sources clean. We have reserves we have not even tapped.
We have technology for all kinds of other clean energy including wind, solar, thermal, and nuclear. We have options for renewable ethanol fuels. Personally I think something like algae is a better source for ethanol than a food source like corn.
I don’t understand things like stopping drilling when there seems little risk or consequences. Blocking the Keystone pipeline seems stupid. Requiring refiners to produce as many as fifty different blends of gasoline seems costly and extreme.
I don’t get it. What is the problem? Obviously, part of the problem is The Department of Energy. We are committing huge amounts of taxpayer’s dollars to this government department, and it is not working. It probably is making the problem worse.
Besides not helping our energy problem, money spent by The Department of Energy adds to our deficit and debt.
I think The Department of Energy needs a radical overhaul and downsizing. I do not think it can be totally eliminated, but close. It is time we make a change.
The “Definition of Insanity” is “Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”