President Bush’s energy policy, unveiled in his State of the Union address, constitutes a profound failure to advance the goals of affordable, abundant energy for the American people.
The White House’s energy goals focus on reducing gasoline consumption by 20% in the next 10 years, largely through mandating wider use of more expensive alternative fuels and increasing the severity of fuel economy standards that have been shown to compromise vehicle safety.
Bush’s proposals amount to a giant step back from the goal of a rational energy policy. Instead of increasing affordable and reliable energy supplies, tonight’s plan would raise gas prices on consumers while making the U.S. less economically competitive as transportation costs rise. Raising energy prices significantly would make Americans less, not more, secure.
The real beneficiaries of raising the mandatory use of alternative fuels from 7.5 to 35 billion gallons per year would be special interests because consumers would be required to buy their higher-priced fuels, which by the way already receive outlandish taxpayer subsidies. Bush is proposing a huge expansion of the corporate welfare state.
While climate change is cited as the reason for attempting to slow the growth of carbon dioxide emissions from cars, the outline of the evening’s speech omits any mention of the demonstrated futility of emissions limits in the other nations which have embraced them.
At a time when most of Europe — which has enthusiastically embraced the Kyoto Protocol — is seeing emissions increasing faster than in the U.S., it should be obvious that trying to mandate limits on energy use is a dead end.