By Arnold Kling
It’s not just Democrats. National Review Online’s James S. Robbins writes,
A strategic plan for secure and sustained energy would have many elements — shifting imports to more stable, friendlier countries, exploiting more domestic resources, pursuing alternative energy sources, and rapidly promoting the use of breakthrough technologies such as the thermal depolymerization process (that can extract crude oil from refuse ranging from old tires to agricultural waste) — but it will require leadership to set goals and coordinate action. Energy competition will be a key geopolitical factor in the 21st century — as it was in the last century. We need to get serious, before the decision is taken out of our hands.
This represents total ignorance of economics.
First, shifting oil imports from one country to another is pointless. It is all one oil market. Oil is oil.
As for alternative energy sources, the market will tell us when it is economical to deploy such technologies. I am sure that there are bureaucrats who are upset that “the decision is taken out of our hands” and given to the market, but that is what works best.
For Discussion. What is the track record of our past efforts to have government develop and promote alternative energy technologies?