Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Energy Debacle: John Kerry Was Right Last Year

Things look bleak in the realm of "oil- supply-and-demand." Although Congress just passed the long awaited Energy Bill, it will have no effect on the oil crisis. None what so ever - "zero, by even its supporters' admission."

According to the Energy Department, for the next 18 months, the demand by ravenous consumers, not just here but most especially in the developing world, with China in the lead, is going to keep escalating. In the United States, demand should ratchet up to 21.3 million barrels a day as the economy keep growing slowly.

Over time, however, it gets worse, a situation completely ignored by last week's energy legislation, which is likely to be the last major word on the subject until President Bush is safely retired to Texas.

This bleak outlook on The Energy Debacle is neatly explained in Thomas Oliphant's column today. He also points out alternatives that could have made a difference in the Energy Bill and he ends by echoing words we've all heard a lot recently... "John Kerry was right last year."

To do stuff like this responsibly, there would have to be a reliable stream of revenue -- and it could have been tapped simply by diverting existing revenues from the royalties energy companies are already paying the government. The flow of funds would have been at least $2 billion annually, enough to carry out the alternative policy.

That, oversimplified, is what one of Congress's most effective leaders on energy and environmental matters proposed. Senator John Kerry was right last year, and his ideas remain to mock the outrage of what has actually transpired.

The irony is that as America's energy situation worsens, Kerry's ideas remain the ones most likely to be followed -- once the country wakes up.


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