While Congress has been unable to put together a coherent energy strategy, China is moving forward agressively. We certainly can’t condone their non-democratic approaches. But it is clear that they understand the urgency and are making this a priority. As reported in yesterday’s NY Times,
Bejing’s emphasis on saving energy reflects concerns about national security and the effects of high fuel costs on inflation, China’s export competitiveness and the country’s pollution problems.
And rightly so. Oil is already back up to $104 per barrel, its highest price in more than two years. [See also last week’s article, “A Tipping Point for Oil Prices“.] China is whooping us in the renewable energy sector. And with gains in efficiency, we’d better start carrying extra lunch money, because they’re going to eat ours.
Ironically, as other country’s increase investment in energy with a strong eye toward energy security and economic vitality, the U.S. House is proposing moving away from this. The at a time when there are strong concerns that the Libyan violence will deepen and the broaded unrest in the Mideast will spread to Saudia Arbia. Prudence would dictate moving rapidly to hedge against huge disruptions. Skyrocketing energy prices right now, given our addition, would undercut the recovery we’re slowly seeing signs of. Indeed, the WSJ wrote last week “Rising Oil Prices Threaten Recovery“.
We can either get serious about energy policy or we can fall back to Charlie Sheenisms and deny we have a problem. One makes good TV soundbites. The other offers hope for our children and our grandchildren.
Nationally, we aren’t preparing. Are you?