In the Pipeline: 6/6/11

New game we like to play, what will Mitt Romney say to get elected? Politico (6/3/11) reports: Despite the libertarian, small-government rhetoric from conservative candidates and voters, Republican presidential hopefuls aren’t ready to quit energy subsidies just yet…It sure sounds like GOP contenders are talking tough: Tim Pawlenty has turned on his old buddy, ethanol, and Sarah Palin called this week for cutting all energy subsidies, setting a tea-party-like marker that others may feel pressured to emulate…But in fact, the declared and potential presidential candidates are all over the map — and by no means fleeing en masse from their traditional support for subsidies…Mitt Romney still supports ethanol subsidies. So do Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, sort of. And the Republicans still oppose President Barack Obama’s idea of getting rid of subsidies for the oil industry…The focus on the campaign trail thus far has been on continued federal help for corn-based ethanol — understandable as it remains an important commodity in Iowa, home to the first caucus and official test at the ballot box in the Republican primary

Maybe Laura Bush doesn’t understand that her husband offered fewer lands onshore and offshore for lease during his 8 years than President Bill Clinton did, despite much higher prices.  And she probably doesn’t know that it wasn’t until prices reached $147 per barrel, with all the ensuing economic pain on Americans that contributed to the financial collapse, that Mr. Big Oil finally lifted the moratorium.  Or maybe she does Wall Street Journal (6/6/11) reports: Our first national park was named not after a mountain or forest but for a mighty river: Yellowstone. For centuries the world’s waters have connected us. Explorers, traders, scientists and fishermen have traveled our oceans and rivers in search of new resources and a greater understanding of the world. This Wednesday, as we mark World Oceans Day, we must intensify our efforts to better understand, manage and conserve our waters and marine habitats if they are to remain a vibrant source of life for future generations…Great progress has been made in protecting our environment over the past several decades, but too little of that progress addresses 70% of the world’s surface—our oceans. Less than one-half of 1% of the world’s oceans are protected in ways that will ensure they stay wild. Too often overharvesting depletes what should be a lasting bounty of fish. In some parts of the oceans today up to 90% of large fish are gone from natural ecosystems.

The Obama administration’s Navy claims that using liquid fuel from coal is too expensive while promoting using $65 per gallon biofuel E&E News (6/5/11) reports: Using “liquid coal” in U.S. military aircraft and vessels as an alternative to gasoline tied to world oil prices would come at an enormous cost and impact on carbon emissions, said a Navy official Friday…Tom Hicks, deputy assistant Navy secretary for energy, said in testimony to Congress that the rising price of oil “dramatically impacts the military.” For every $1 a barrel increase in oil, the Navy and Marine Corps pay more than $30 million. “We don’t have that money to spare.”…Yet investment in technology to convert coal into liquid transportation fuel isn’t a clear alternative. Huge amounts of water and new coal resources would be needed, Hicks said, and capital costs could reach $10 billion per plant. That would result in a coal-to-liquids product that has more than double the carbon emissions of conventional petroleum…The United States has the largest coal reserves in the world. Boosters of expanding coal’s role in meeting U.S. energy demand have long pushed the idea of converting coal to liquid fuels. As growth in domestic demand slows, coal-state members of Congress are considering policy options to bolster the domestic market.

You can’t always get what you want (cap and trade), but if you try sometimes, you might  find, you get what you need (high gas prices) Politico (6/6/11) reports: President Barack Obama is deliberately trying to raise gas prices to cut pollution and make clean energy alternatives more attractive, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour charged on Sunday…“This administration’s policy has clearly been to drive up the cost of energy so Americans will use less of it,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “That’s environmental policy, that’s not energy policy. But that’s their policy. They think it will give you less pollution, make alternative energy solutions more competitive.”…Barbour, a Republican who has just opted against a 2012 presidential run, said gas prices were about $1.80 per gallon when Obama took office in early 2009. Now, they’re about $4 a gallon…That’s not surprising, Barbour said, given remarks in 2008 by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a former professor at the University of California-Berkeley, that the United States needs to boost its gas prices to levels in Europe to ween the country off of petroleum.

Go figure: as it turns out, figures 2 and 3 demonstrate the energy boondoggle our elected officials created by waging war on affordable energy and allying with renewable energy Congressional Research Service (6/6/11) reports:  Current U.S. energy tax policy appears to be aimed at stemming growth in U.S. dependence on imported oil, especially from volatile regions of the world. This reflects the belief that national security is linked to energy security…Recently, policies have been adopted that support the transportation sector, with tax incentives for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles and alternative fuels. Table 1 contains a current list of energy related tax expenditures and other energy tax provisions – click above link tor here to see PDF.

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