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Tell It Like It Is


Living With Presidential Blunders




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Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
June 16, 2011 | 1663 views | 2 comments

Harlingen, Texas, June 8, 2011: The sad thing about our two party system of government is people are forced to live with the blunders of their Presidents for decades. A perfect example of that reality is the Department of Energy, which nobody wanted but was passed into law in 1977 because a Democrat controlled Congress did not want to “embarrass” President Jimmy Carter by a negative vote on the creation of that agency. Though eliminating that pathetic agency has been a talking point for the Republican candidates since its conception, because of our weighted two party system, there has never been enough strength on the right to end its existence.

The vast majority of Americans, including many Democrats, will sadly admit tht Jimmy Carter was, without a doubt, the worst president in American history. In addition to giving away our rights to the Panama Canal and failing to take any meaningful action to resolve the Iranian Hostage Crisis, his failure to aid that country against the radical Islamic revolution has been a contributing factor in bringing about the elevated level of terrorism worldwide.

Included in the mix of presidential mistakes should be the Department of Education, also signed into law by Carter in 1977. This act provided federal support for the National Education Agency. It also put our educational accomplishments on a downward spiral that still hasn’t stopped.

Right at the top of the list for Carter wrong-headed actions must be the establishment of the Department of Energy. This was a giant among his multiple fiascoes and it is a mistake that has cost the United States billions upon billions of dollars.

The Carter Administration championed the creation of a Department of Energy in 1977. The stated purpose of this agency was to “reduce the United States dependence upon foreign oil.” At the time the agency was created our national consumption of foreign oil was 35% of our total usage. The Department of Energy has been effective in reducing that need for foreign oil so much that today we only buy 60% of our oil from foreign sources.

The federal government’s regulatory control of domestic oil production has been so effective that in a country that has more untapped sources of oil than all of the mid-eastern countries combined producers are not even allowed drilling in the most promising areas of the country and its offshore locations. A Supreme Court decision of 1960 established ownership of the bordering waters out to 3.5 miles as belonging to the states, with the federal government controlling the rest. The exceptions are Texas and Florida with 10.5 miles. This has given the federal government authority to control oil-drilling facilities operating outside these state boundaries. And control they have. It is estimated that just since the BP oil spill, our government has managed to reduce oil production by at least 13%.

There are many experts who have stated we could become energy independent if the states were allowed to control oil and gas exploration within their respective borders. Those sources combined with the expansion of alternative and renewable energy would have a huge impact on the wild speculation now taking place worldwide and pushing the cost of crude oil to unmanageable heights. Our government is quick to blame “big oil” and “oil speculators” for this huge inflation of gasoline products and the residual effects of escalating costs this has across the entire spectrum of food, products and services. The bare truth is most of the mess is in place because the Department of Energy has failed to do is primary job for the past 34 years.

Most Americans understand that this department is also charged with regulating nuclear production and the disposal of nuclear waste. It can be argued that because we have had no disasters in recent years, it is doing that part of its job well. However, it must be noted we have not had any nuclear energy plants built either...and they too provide huge amounts of energy.

All of this speaks to the failure of centralized management and oversight. It also pleads to let our 50 states address energy matters free of federal roadblocks. Such actions have been called for many times in the past. Now it seems a good time to call for it again. We can start things moving by getting rid of the Department of Energy.

Semper Fidelis
 
« Previous Blog Entry (June 4, 2011)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
June 16, 2011 4:07pm
 
 
I can't believe that I actually voted for him. If I didn't need my right hand, I'd cut it off as punishment for pulling that lever for Goober!

I sincerely believe ... Read More Read More
 
 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
June 16, 2011 6:11am
 
 
New column added.
 

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