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On Earth Day, I Expanded My Carbon Footprint

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

To celebrate “earth day” this year, I decided that I would do what the Obama administration just hasn’t been able to figure out: I would stimulate the economy by the conscious expansion of my carbon footprint.

So I ran the air conditioning for a while in my house.

I also turned all the lights on in the house. Well, actually, I just didn’t turn off the lights my kids turned on. Through this process of reverse attrition, at one point, all the lights in the house eventually were on.

I call this Ransom’s Law: The amount of lights you have burning in the house is in direct proportion to the ratio between the kids and the adults living in the house.

Mathematically it looks something like this: 

an =12p Z p-pf(x)e-inxdx =12pZ p-pf0(x)e-inxdx= limn?∞12pZ p-pfdn(x)e-inxdx = imn?∞12pZ ∞-∞gdn(t)Z p-pe-inx|x - t|1-αdxd=12pZ p-pUµα (x)e-inxdx. 

When the last light, the refrigerator light, stayed on because someone forgot to shut the fridge door, I shouted out: “Hurrah for our carbon footprint!”

Later in the day I revived the quaint custom of the Sunday afternoon drive with my wife. I hit every red light, accelerated quickly to use more gas, used busy streets for more stop- and-go traffic and ran the air conditioner in the car at full blast

We made frequent stops at friends’ houses to urge them to get out and expand their own carbon footprint.

Because here’s the essential dichotomy that the country faces: We won’t get out of the economic slump while we have leaders who think that everything has to be rationed except for other people’s money.

This is especially true about energy. Energy quite literally is the fuel on which our economy runs. More fuel, better performance.

Let’s have a plan that stops rationing energy and instead uses much, much more energy.  

Obama and friends don’t seem to understand that plentiful energy creates more money, more economic activity; that the more we drill for domestic sources of oil and gas, and the more we use cheap, plentiful coal, the more prosperous the country is going to become.

And if the folks in Washington aren’t going to cut spending, the least they could do is let the rest of us use the economy so that deficit isn’t as big.

If you are a teacher and you want smaller class sizes, tell the Obama administration to quit mucking around with regulations that keep the economy under the liberal thumb. Class size will go down when local economies pick up and more local revenues are created that fund schools. The school budget crisis is largely driven by poor economic conditions, not low tax rates.   

If you are a government employee who is worried about the gap in your pension funding, then write a letter to the president and tell him to turf his environmental allies on the Keystone pipeline. Your pension expands when the economy expands. Were it not for the oil and gas industries, your pension would face an even graver shortfall than it does today.  

A recent report from Sonecon, an economic advisory firm that analyzes the impact of government policies, studied the investment results from the two largest public pension programs in 17 states. The study covered approximately 60 percent of all the public pension assets in those states. The assets were invested on behalf of teachers, firefighters, police and other public employees.

According to the report, “The average rate of return on investments by these funds in oil and natural gas stocks was seven times greater than the average return on their investments in all other assets. This ratio ranged from a low of 2.7 to 1 to a high of 40 to 1.”

If you are an activist worried about inexpensive housing for the poor, high energy prices don’t help make housing more affordable. High energy prices hit the poor the hardest.

According to Bloomberg/BusinessWeek “Energy costs this year will represent 24 percent of after- tax income for families earning $10,000 to $30,000, up from 14 percent in 2001. Families with after-tax income from $30,000 to $50,000 will spend 7 percent of their earnings on electricity, according to the study.” A quarter of the income of low-paid workers goes to energy costs. That means for the first two hours of every workday, a low income worker is just paying a light bill.  

If that were a tax, liberals would be out with the hue and the cry about how unfair energy prices are. But it’s OK when it comes to energy, because the green lobby writes checks to politicians while poor people don’t.

One thing is for sure: If Obama is forced to choose between the poor and his well-heeled donors, he picks the donors every time.  

The best government program for the poor, isn’t one that puts people in conflict, it’s one that ensures that energy is cheap, domestic and reliable.

“This is probably the biggest stimulus we have going,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research told the WSJ.

According to the Journal “$145 billion will be spent drilling and completing wells this year, up from $13 billion in 2000.” And it’s not costing taxpayers anything.           

Five years ago, many labored under the false assumption that the world was quickly running out of carbon-based fuels. But today we know that that’s not true.

While it’s estimated that Canada may have as much as 2 trillion barrels of oil in reserves, “the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the [US] has 4.3 trillion barrels of in-place oil shale resources centered in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming,” said Helen Hankins, Colorado director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management” according to the Associated Press.

4.3 trillion barrels is 16 times the reserves of Saudi Arabia, or enough oil to supply the US for 600 years.

Building out the infrastructure to drill and transport that oil just from the Rocky Mountains in the US could supply literally ten million jobs for American workers, while supplying literally millions of barrels of oil per day, repairing our energy security for the next century. The end result would be the creation of about $15 trillion in wealth over the next ten years, with almost $4 trillion in revenues net to the federal government all without raising taxes.

So go ahead. Help me expand this country’s carbon footprint. It’s the best green investment that we can ever make.   

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