Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carter v Reagan on Energy Policy, A Review

Recently, Richard Cohen published an article touting Jimmy Carter's energy policies, and excoriating Ronald Reagan's. This trip down memory lane may be pleasant for Mr. Cohen. And somehow, in his deluded mind, it may help him establish that Mr. Obama, to the extent he is like Carter, is among the angels. But history says otherwise.

According to Cohen,
"Reagan had his virtues, but coming to grips with energy reality was not one of them. In contrast to Carter's scolding approach to energy policy, Reagan simply declared it was morning again in America (his 1984 re-election campaign slogan) -- and left it at that. The wonders of the free enterprise system would provide. God would provide. It was a very Third World approach to a First World problem."

This is the usual (so-called) liberal lie combined with the typical Progressive viewpoint. To such a person, only government can create, business is always parasitic - the exact opposite of reality.

Below are three brief pieces showing clearly that Reagan had a very good grip on "energy reality." He advocated free market solutions, on the whole, and worked to remove barriers built up by the Federal Government for decades prior.

Unfortunately, Congress blocked him at every turn, whenever possible.

Worst of all may be the claim that turning to the free market, rather than central government dictates, for solutions is "Third World." Uh, I don't see a lot of free enterprise in energy production (or anything else) in Guatamala, Cuba, or Venezuela, now or 30 years ago. Ditto, most of Africa, Yemen, or any other Third World country.

But let's leave fantasy aside and turn to actual evidence.

A timeline of Reagan's Policies:

January 28, 1981
President Reagan signs Executive Order 12287, which provides for the decontrol of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

February 25, 1981
Secretary Edwards announces a major reorganization of DOE to improve management and increase emphasis on research, development, and production.

October 8, 1981
The Reagan Administration announces a nuclear energy policy that anticipates the establishment of a facility for the storage of high-level radioactive waste and lifts the ban on commercial reprocessing of nuclear fuel.

April 5, 1982
Secretary Edwards announces placement of the 250-millionth barrel of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

May 24, 1982
President Reagan proposes legislation transferring most responsibilities of DOE to the Department of Commerce. Congress fails to act on the proposal

January 7, 1983
President Reagan signs the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the Nation's first comprehensive nuclear waste legislation.

October 7, 1983
DOE establishes a Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Office.

October 26, 1983
The Senate refuses to continue funding the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, effectively terminating the project.

Reagan on ANWR:
"In 1987, when President Reagan asked Congress to open ANWR along with a required report showing that it could be done safely and help supply 1 million barrels per day, Congress ignored him, and instead expanded the amount of wilderness in the US greatly, taking even more lands away from energy production. Congress did finally pass a bill to open a small piece of ANWR in 1995, but President Clinton vetoed it."

Reagan on Oil Price Controls and Taxes:
"At the beginning of his presidency, Reagan ended the price controls on domestic oil which had been started by Richard Nixon; they had contributed to both the 1973 Oil Crisis and the 1979 Energy Crisis.[33][34] The price of oil subsequently dropped, and the 1980s did not see the gasoline lines and fuel shortages that the 1970s had.[34]

Reagan also attempted to make good on his 1980 campaign promise to repeal the "Windfall Profit Tax" that Carter and Congress enacted in 1980 on domestic oil production; he was able to do so in 1988, when Congress agreed that it had increased dependence on foreign oil.[35] The tax was not a tax on profits, but an excise tax on the difference between a statutory "base price" and the market price.[36] Reagen also stopped aggressive pushing of new auto efficiency standard by Carter administration, descended on alternative energy researches started by Carter administration."

As I've said before, these people don't even lie well anymore.

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