Some on the right have criticized Obama for having no energy policy. This is wrong. Obama’s energy policy is working exactly the way it is designed. This administration knows that unless the price of fossil fuels skyrocket, expensive alternative energy sources, no matter how heavily subsidized, will continue to be unattractive to American consumers.
Obviously, this risky desire to have high gas prices is a punitive policy that foolishly ignores how Americans use petroleum. While oil is largely a transportation fuel, solar and wind can only contribute to our electricity demands. Oil accounts for less than 1% of our electricity demand.
The liberal fascination with developing expensive vehicles that run on electricity doesn’t change that: 1) Solar or wind powered vehicles don’t commercially exist; 2) The cars that do run on electricity, or even battery-powered hybrids still require gas; and 3) the high cost of the alternatively fueled vehicles makes them largely insignificant in the auto market and cost-prohibitive to the average consumer.
Sure, it would be ideal to have a national fleet of cars that are inexpensive and run on cheap and widely available alternative sources of energy. But the markets have demonstrated this reality is nowhere close to fruition. And when you try to hasten that reality by artificially jacking up the price of gas, the economic effects are felt largely by the poorest among us and disincentives business owners from hiring as their fixed operating costs increase.
Think about it, who feels the pain of an extra $1 at the gas pump? The rich guys that the left demonizes or the middle-to-low income wage earners who balance their budgets by the penny, not the dollar? If the only cars available on the market were $40,000 Chevy Volts, would a Lexus or BMW consumer be hit hard, or would the family looking for a barely affordable mode of shuttling their family be affected? Consumer Reports said Obama’s heralded Volt “is an expensive way to be green.”