We are all familiar with the myriad of federal government offices and how these offices function, presuming to benefit us. An example is the the U.S. Department of Energy. This agency employs over 13,000 people and the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 is $30 billion dollars.This translates into approximately $2,300,000 per employee. It’s a unique agency in that its functions do no include anything to do with exploration, pricing of our energy supplies, imports, or domestic production.The studies and related information are great to have but it is impossible to imagine a agency so large would be lacking of a Energy Policy. How a nation of 335 million people has survived with no forward thinking Energy Policy is a miracle.
As evidenced in the title above, “Where are we headed” without this Energy Policy? As a modern civilization we have advanced primarily due to a quasi reliable source of energy. The evolution from wood, Hydro Power Plants, Coal Fired Power Plants, Oil fired Plants, Nuclear Plants, Wind Driven Power, Solar Power, and Natural Gas Fired Power Plants have allowed us to innovate and manufacture goods to support a growing civilization. All the while, our leadership within America has failed to establish a Policy for securing reliable forms and sources of energy. Imagine suddenly removing just 1 component above from our stream of energy. It would cause significant disruptions on a local and possibly national level. How did we stumble along this far without a significant event of failure? Recall the Oil Crisis of 1973. Imagine, it took another 4 years to create the U.S. Department of Energy, founded in 1977 under the Carter Administration. It would like take 10 years today. We still lack a cohesive policy and how best to preserve a stable supply for our energy needs.
It was April of 1977 Jimmy Carter addressed the Nation. In his address, he spoke of creating the Department of Energy and a need for a real Energy Policy directing our needs away from the risk of instability found in the Middle East and Northern Africa. No, he wasn’t a Psychic or Soothsayer, he was just pragmatic and had his eyes open to what was ahead. He was willing to experiment and encourage innovation. He may not have been a great President but how do we rate the Presidents and administrations that followed Carter? It was President Reagan that immediately upon swearing in dismantled the first visible experiment with Solar Energy. Following Reagan’s actions we have not had any mention or made any concrete steps towards creating a Energy Policy.
On the Department of Energy web site, (about us), no “Energy Policy”, but there is a “Mission Statement!”
The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.
Note, very little content???
Perhaps now is a great time to reach out to your State and Federal Representatives and ask them “Why don’t we have an Energy Policy.”