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Thursday, July 26, 2007

"I Find It Hard to Take Them Seriously"

Rudy Giuliani thinks he has a great idea - energy independence - and he's going to lead the way:

Leading America Toward Energy Independence, by Rudy Giuliani, Real Clear Politics: America needs to become energy independent. We should have started to move toward energy independence back in the 1970s... Presidents Nixon and Carter talked about energy independence, but not a lot got done. The next President of the United States is going to have to make it a major goal... Most people will say it's impossible... I'm running for president because I know how to get things done.

I will move America toward energy independence... In the long-run, energy independence can become a great industry for America. We can sell our advances to countries like China and India. They need energy independence even more than we do... The government has to approach energy independence the way we put a man on the moon. ...

I'm going to turn this over to Jim Hamilton:

Finally, it is worth pointing out that, even if the U.S. somehow were to achieve energy self-sufficiency, that would not be the same thing as energy independence. It is hard to envision an arrangement that could effectively decouple the price of oil in the U.S. from that elsewhere in the world, even if our imports were zero. As a result, even if we were importing no oil from Saudi Arabia, I would expect a disruption in Saudi production to still have a very dramatic effect on the price that consumers pay in the U.S.

For these reasons, I am open to discussion about the extent to which it might be desirable to try to reduce the amount of oil that the U.S. imports, and strategies for achieving that goal. But when someone talks about "energy independence", I find it hard to take them seriously.

It's hard to take Giuliani seriously in any case.

Update: Free Exchange at The Economist follows up with "how vacuous such ideas really are."

    Posted by on Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 03:33 AM in Economics, Oil, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (29)


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