Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Interview with Resourceful Earth News

Pundit Press is proud to present interview number 49 in our ongoing series. Today, we're interviewing Beth Shaw from the site Resourceful Earth News, which has been tipping Pundit Press with pertinent news articles for months.

1. When and why was Resourceful Earth News started?

Resourceful Earth was started by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the summer of 2011 as a forum to call attention to the various obstacles, mainly political, to the responsible stewardship and development of natural resources in the United States from a market-oriented perspective.

2. Do you see the Trans Canada Pipeline (or something like it) being constructed in the near future?

Yes. The pipeline is too important not tot move forward. But something needs to change in Washington first. Obama is allowing radical environmentalists to dictate our natural energy policy. Over the next year taxpayers, industry, and state and local governments all of who would benefit from the low cost energy provided by the pipeline need to force this issue and all natural resource development issues front and center in the Presidential campaign.

3. Is there a future for fracking in the United States?

Yes. Hydraulic fracturing, an American innovation, has already reformed the energy landscape in the United States. It will continue to do so in the future, and time will tell the extent to which the fracking process can extract energy from the ground.

Technological advances in fracking will continue, such as recent developments that allow for fracking without the use of water. These improvements will help to satisfy those opponents who are genuinely concerned by the risks created by hydraulic fracturing, who are separate from those who are against oil and natural gas regardless.

There will always be opposition to both fossil fuels and digging stuff out of the ground, of which the fracking of oil and gas satisfies both. Because of this, there will likely be continued pockets of opposition to fracking, though the economic benefits will hopefully overcome the manageable environmental risks.

4. How does the United States fix its energy needs? Is this possible under Obama?

The most important thing we need to do to meet our energy needs is to develop the natural resources we have right here in the US. Our abundant coal, natural gas, and uranium give us the resources we need to provide reliable and affordable energy for generations to come.

But fixing America’s energy needs is certainly not possible with people like Lisa Jackson at the EPA in charge and her job killing agenda of blocking natural resource development. Obama has consistently come down on the side of radical environmentalists. Yet, we are willing to take him at his word that he wants to get America working again- if so he needs to reign in the radicals in his administration and party on the Hill as they seek to cripple fossil fuels energy and resources development in the US.

The U.S. could also make significant strides in lowering the kilowatt hour cost of electricity by choosing not to allow the EPA to implement increasingly stringent air pollution rules that target coal fired power plants, by deregulating state electric utilities to allow for increased competition, and by ending various programs that support or promote uneconomic forms of energy. This is not possible under Obama

5. Do you see more green energy boondoggles in the near future?

Sadly yes because our energy policy, much driven by the states, is structured for government to pick winners and losers in the energy market. States are increasing ratcheting up renewable portfolio standards where the government mandates a certain percentage of the states energy comes from renewable sources like wind or solar. But these renewables projects are not economic and would never be build in a true free market. The only way these boondoggles will be build is with our taxpayer money. Until we turn back these renewable portfolio standards I only see the “green boondoggles” increasing.

California is a prime example of energy market manipulation as you would expect but even Governor Christie in New Jersey has gotten into the act by giving long term energy contracts to politically connected energy companies to build new natural gas plants in the state in the move that will likely destroy the states competitive energy markets as unfavored competitors struggle to committee against companies that don’t need to follow competitive market rules.

Furthermore what is truly ironic about these green energy boondoggles is that wind and solar projects would be made more economical and perhaps be developed without government handouts if they had a stable and affordable supply of the minerals, metals, and rare earth elements needed to build them but the environmentalist proponents of green energy are also leading the fight to stop mining in the US.

6. Anything else you'd like to add?

Developing American natural resources for energy is not the only crucial development we need in the US. We need to mine the minerals and metals that are the foundation of our modern lives and national defense. China and other countries are quickly dominating the world market for mineral resources. We have abundant deposits here in the US but radical environmentalists and an activist EPA and administration are standing in the way of developing them. What is troubling is that China and other countries are controlling the minerals such as rare earth minerals or even every day minerals like Copper. The result is more manufacturing jobs moving to China because they have the affordable raw resources for manufacturing. Even the win turbines beloved by the environmental community are now being manufactured in China. The most disturbing consequence of US inertia on tapping our vast mineral reserves is that these crucial minerals are also essential to our advanced military weapons systems and the worlds supplies are coming under the control of nations that do not have our best interests at heart.

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