Witch Winter Upon America

Carol Browner, now President Obama’s US Energy Department’s “director of energy and climate change” had Vice President’s Al Gore’s ear in 1996.  Say goodbye to Detroit and hello to further poverty.

Carol Browner’s war on the American way of life.  First battle won was in 1996.

Two recent economic downturns have occurred in a relatively benign tax and monetary environments.  Loss of wealth in our US equity markets caused the recession of 2001-2002 and now what appears to be an even deeper decline for 2007 – ???.  Capital market professionals are calling the period from 1999 to 2009 the “Lost Decade”; middle of May 2009 Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) level is below 900, returning to 1999 levels.  Both meltdowns have one thing in common; disinvestment in the Energy sector of the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) and overinvestment in another sector: Tech in the late 1990’s and Real Estate/Financial in the late 2000’s.

The cause is the lack of opportunity afforded our US energy companies.  World governments fail to permit the creation of wealth by private investment in energy development.  Some of these rogue states include Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico and more important, the United States.  President Clinton’s veto at the urging of Vice President Al Gore in 1996 of energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR), Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman’s filibuster in 2002 and now, Interior Secretary Salazar’s obstruction to off-shore energy development has and will continue to render the US and the world , poorer.   

We are stuck in a roller coaster ride. (Jeff Rubin, The Oil Drum, November 5, 2008)  Prosperity will inevitably result in skyrocketing energy prices as long as the Federal Government restricts future US energy development.  Economist Larry Kudlow has stated that the run-up in gasoline prices in 2008 was the straw that broke the economy’s back. Consumers were stretched too far.  Mortgage payments were missed.  John Hofmeister believes that China’s demand for diesel fuel instead of polluting coal during the Olympic summer of 2008 drove us to $145 oil.  Mr. Hofmeister states that a mere increase in US oil production of 2 -3 million barrels per day would greatly enhance the supply and demand balance.  Had ANWR development had commenced in 1996, it is estimated that would have been 800,000 barrels per day of US production starting in 2006 (40% of the lower of Hofmeister’s range)

We can stimulate the economy.  We need to have the Federal Government to get out of the way of the US energy sector.  A trillion dollars of private money could flow to energy development.  There are States that can use the money from off-shore oil drilling.  There is a natural gas pipeline out of Alaska that needs to be fast-tracked.  The States that have grown in population in the last 30 years need oil refineries.  Norway is permitting energy development in its Arctic region.  Will the US government continue to pauperize its people with the economic winters of the White Witch and lose another decade?