Opinion

Energy solution found at home

Hey, everyone, it’s the gardener again here. Was just glancing over the paper and noting how well the daffodils were coming up this spring in my yard when I noticed Ms. Kuenzi’s letter from Europe lamenting America’s “lack” of energy policy and the current bind it’s got us in with the high price of gas and all. Well, of course now we do have a policy on energy here in our great country. It’s kind of like your neighbor never going to church on Sunday and then telling you that “he doesn’t have a policy on church attendance.” Of course he does: He doesn’t go to church. Likewise, our policy is to not get our needed energy domestically where we have scads of it. Instead, we elect to get it from places outside the U.S. of A. that are politically and socially like the legs on Aunt Ethel’s old card table, with exception to our good friends north of our border. Sure doesn’t make much sense, does it.

Truth is, we’ve got a lot of crazy policies on energy. It’s like the good folks of this state going to the ballot box recently passing a seemingly good law that requires a good chunk of our electric energy to soon be generated by “renewable” resources. Didn’t seem to matter that the lion’s share of our electricity here is already generated by water at those big dams we have all over. No, the slick drafters of that fine piece of legislating stated that hydro-electrical energy wasn’t going to be considered “renewable.” Now I am no scientist, but I think I would have a very tough time ever trying to make a drop of water disappear from our globe, thanks to our nifty water vapor cycle here.

Another crazy thing we’re doing now is taking the food we’re growing and using a lot of energy to make it into gas for our Buicks and such. Doesn’t make much sense to make food really pricey so we can make low horsepower unleaded to get around on. Kind of seems like we lose twice there.

Now I am not disagreeing that we could use energy smarter. Makes sense that, by in large part, it’s better to do more with less. That being said, it’s pretty clear that, like Ms. Kuenzi said, changes are needed here in America. They’re just not difficult or painless or are they really that expensive as she would indicate. We just open the vast majority of our country, now off limits, to oil exploration and production. The stuff’s there in big price-reducing loads of it. The Chinese know it. Heck, they’re drilling just south of Florida with their good friends the Cubans. Americans think that it might hurt our environment, the water and beach and all, so we think it’s better to get our crude from places like Venezuela and Nigeria. Could be wrong but I’m thinking that these kind of “friends” to get our oil from are not leading the cutting edge of taking care of the environment when pulling up the old crude for us.

Ms. Kuenzi’s got a lot of ideas for making America a better place. Lots would sure make ol’ President Carter proud. If you forgot, Mr. Carter was the one-term president, for the most part long forgotten by history, who told us that the solution to high energy prices several decades back was to wear a sweater and enjoy your home a bit colder on the inside. Didn’t work very well, in case you forgot or weren’t around then. Solution was to get more energy for the folks, not less. Works the same way now. Reality tells us that, in the long run, we’re not going to be able to grow our great country unless we do get more energy. It’s kind of like not being able to pay your bills at the end of the month. You simply can’t save your way out of the dilemma. You got to bring in more dollars to solve the problem. Having a couple of young kids, I know this to be the case, both for a growing country and family budget.

Lots of folks look at the U.S. and say that we use way too much energy for the number of folks living here. Well, that’s kind of like my son asking me why I get two helpings of mashed potatoes at supper while he only gets one. Truth is, America creates well more than half the world’s commercial and economic activity. That’s what I told junior about the mashed potatoes. “Son, when you hold down two jobs and start dropping dollar bills in the piggy bank, you’re going to get two scoops of spuds, too.”

Yep, we simply have to make it easier for us to get at our problem-solving energy right here. Would do a world of good to not make it so hard to expand an oil refinery or two, let alone build a new one. The long list of stuff in Ms. Kuenzi’s letter we’re “going to have” to do are personal choices and one which my good neighbors have no business telling me I “have” to do. Ms. Kuenzi can drive the biggest car she can afford to put gas in and gets to have the biggest yard she cares to cut.

But, then again, I’m just the gardener.

Tim Miller lives

in Oak Harbor

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