Monday, November 17, 2008

Thomas L. Friedman (of The New York Times) on Energy

Friedman writes eloquently of a seemingly radical yet eminently sensible and largely ignored concept that could potentialize the most important issues of our day:

- immediate energy conservation (oil)
- sizable development of alternative sources
- reduce oil funding to Jihadist/terrorism supporting countries
- directly reduce funding thereby for terrorist organizations
- reduction of our national debt and our negative balance of payments
- reduction of targeted taxes for all of America’s citizens
- ultimate reduction in the price of gasoline at the pump

Below Friedman’s recent article I provide a link to a related article I wrote some time ago on the same crucial solution for our time. Enjoy.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda by Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times: November 14, 2007

“Forcing the Oil Price Lower” by Leslie J. Sacks August 25, 2008

“The world is still flat” by Ben Naparstek The International Jerusalem Post: October 24-30, 2008, a review of Friedman’s latest book:

1 comment:

Melvyn Rosenstein said...

Leslie,

Thank you for sending me the Friedman article as well as your prior article and the Friedman interview. I must respectively disagree.

First, I had seen the title of the Friedman editorial on my perusal of the on line N.Y. Times. I skipped over it for one reason. I do understand Friedman is a Middle East expert but he certainly has no credentials as an economics expert. I have believed this for a long time having read his early articles on economics. I would rather not spend my time reading a political pundit on economic issues.

Second, I respectively disagree with you about the issue of an added gasoline tax. The U.S. is committed to a progressive tax system. A gas tax is retrogressive in two ways.

First, it effects the regular Joe commuter far more than the much smaller group of executives.

Second, a good deal, I have read 40% of gas consumption, is used for transportation of goods by the trucking industry. That again is retrogressive since it effects the prices of consumer goods.

Third, the appropriate time for initiation of conservation and alternate energy solutions was over twenty five years ago during the Carter oil crisis. Instead we severely limited the development of Nuclear generation facilities to the point that none have been built. At the same time we limited the development of both refineries and new oil exploration. We also severely limited the use of natural gas and coal. There was no push to develop the use of so called clean techniques for coal usage. Natural gas is a clean energy source. Wind energy generation has had tax breaks for decades but has not been successful due to maintenance and transportation problems. I have driven through large wind turbine fields in Mojave, Utah and Colorado only to see the majority of turbines at rest. Solar energy has a similar problem of transporting the energy production to the end user. This technology is most useful on individual structures but is very expensive to install and maintain. Most homeowners would have a hard time financing this. Large commercial structures or governmental buildings would be more feasible.

Flex fuel vehicles and the availability of delivery of alcohol based energy for transportation is another problem to be solved. The Brazil template may be a good answer for this.

In short, precluding viable solutions and retrogressive taxation I do not believe to be the answer.

Mel


I fully understand that the transfer of wealth to the OPEC Cartel is an outright support of terrorism and world wide Jihad. We really would need a world wide support of alternate energies from the Euros, China India and Japan to make a significant difference.