Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Platt's platitudes for Carter vs. the reality that Carter encouraged the demand for gas and discouraged the supply of alternative energy

Pam Platt in the C-J with something you don't see everyday-- an ode to Jimmy Carter!

It is at least 30 years late, but the nation needs to pull a Tony Hayward and offer an abject apology to Jimmy Carter.

Maybe after he apologizes to us, first...

He was right about many, many things...

OK, Pam, name three...I can give him credit for 1.5 things-- his incredibly important introduction to massive deregulation in communication and transportation, the most under-rated (and arguably the most important) economic story of the last 70 years.

...today -- as we continue to absorb the staggering costs and risks associated with deepwater oil drilling gone wild and worse than bad -- we're going to re-visit why he was right about energy.

But in addition to conservation, his ideology led to deepwater drilling vs. shallow-water drilling. So, welcome to the blame game!

Throw a rock at any major speech Jimmy Carter gave to the American people in his four years as president of the United States (1977-1981) and you will hit one that featured both broad and focused strategies on how to begin the transition of American energy consumption to include meaningful conservation and alternative sources such as sun and wind. He walked the walk, too: He even had solar panels installed on the White House roof. (R.I.P. 1979-1986).

Interestingly, Carter used our money to pay for his solar panels and the resulting inefficiencies.

He was stubborn and principled in hewing to his long-held values and the values for which he believed our nation should stand...Americans preferred Ronald Reagan's fairy tales (he drew heavily on his glory-days film plots for his anecdotes) to Jimmy Carter's tough love....

What completely undermines this argument is Carter's embrace of price controls on gas-- perversely, encouraging consumers to purchase more gas and discouraging producers (of gas and alternatives) to produce more energy. (Remember [stories about] all of the crazy rationing of gas in the late 1970s?!)

With that, Platt's platitudes ring hollow and he undermined his own passionate policy goals.


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