What the United States faces today isn’t an energy crisis. We’ve got plenty of sources of energy, from oil and natural gas in coastal waters (off Alaska, Florida and elsewhere) to coal (enough to provide all our electricity for a century) to nuclear power (which produces electricity without any CO2 emissions).
Yet, even as the price of gasoline has soared, we haven’t built a new petroleum refinery since 1976. We haven’t opened a nuclear power plant in two decades. Gasoline, which should be a commodity (i.e., exactly the same product everywhere) is instead a boutique fuel, with states and cities demanding that refiners produce special blends unique to them. Imagine what would happen to the price of milk if each state placed different restrictions on the vitamins it could be fortified with.
The problem today is a crisis of confidence. We’re not willing to expand our domestic sources of energy, even though we know we can protect the environment while also drilling for oil or refining gasoline.
Unless our government allows us to expand our energy supplies, we’d better get used to overpaying at the pump.
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