The Wall Street Journal printed a letter to the editor from Dick Gillette which gets right the response to calls for a unified U.S. energy strategy. Business Roundtable President John Engler earlier had complained the United States had no energy strategy and concluded that the nation was missing valuable opportunities because of it.
Regarding the April 3 letter from Business Roundtable President John Engler: Why are we all obsessed with our energy strategy? We are far less concerned with our manufacturing strategy and not at all about our retail strategy, as far as I can see. Why do we need an energy strategy at all, and who is “we”? Private capital has done a pretty good job of keeping our tanks full over the years without smothering GDP. “We” didn’t develop hydraulic fracking, or discover oil in North Dakota or spend billions to build refineries. Private capital did that, so what is it that “we” think we have to offer? As evidenced by Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s proposed bill to tax energy companies more heavily than other industries, in Washington an energy strategy is really just about money.
In fact, the U.S. has thousands of energy strategies. Some will succeed, some will fail, as always. But there is no reason to believe our tanks won’t be full at affordable prices for decades into the future.
Yes, thousands of energy strategies in this country, perhaps even millions. When values are diverse and knowledge is dispersed, letting a thousand energy strategies bloom really is the best approach.