U.S Senator Chris Murphy has made a contribution “to the German Marshall Fund think-tank's Brussels Forum event in the Belgian capital,” according to Public Service Europe.
The discovery and utilization of shale natural gas in the United States, according to the newly elected progressive senator, has given lawmakers a" lazy way out" of making commitments to green technology. "It provides a very convenient excuse for half of the US Congress to sit on the sidelines when it talks about real investment in green energy. I think that's a tragedy."
An “absolute political logjam” on green energy has been produced, according to Mr. Murphy, by the "immense power of global warming deniers and this created a political barrier.
"You already had an enormous political barrier to a major investment in green technology, which is this debate that only happens in the US about the science of global warming. And then on top of it, you've got the convenience of a new enormous stability with respect to shale gas production.
"Many of us believe that the only way that you really incentivize a true green energy revolution in the US is to do what many countries in Europe have done, which is create a real domestic marketplace for it. And you do that either through capping the amount of carbon and allowing people to trade or by putting a new price on carbon with a tax. That can't happen in our political context today."
Let’s take it bit by bit.
The reason energy costs are high in the United States is that there is a product deficit, largely owing to efforts made by legislators such as Mr. Murphy to artificially hike the cost of energy by depriving the market of present resources such as energy from shale extraction. The relatively new technology of fracking is not so much a “lazy way out of making commitments to green technology” as it is an effort to supply a necessary product that is, Mr. Murphy may have noticed, very much in demand. If you increase the product, you reduce the price. Mr. Murphy favors high energy costs because the high cost of energy is a political spook-on-a-stick that can be used to force people to demand so called green energy.
The political logjam in the U.S. Congress and elsewhere has not been caused by an anti-green war on an undeveloped technology. The struggle for low product pricing has been around much longer than green technology. In a competitive free market, product pricing is determined by what Adam Smithy used to call “the invisible hand,” the sum of purchases made by citizens who are not bullied into choosing products by government economic overseers.
The cost of energy in Mr. Murphy’s own state is a drain on business. Among the 10 most expensive states in combined energy costs, Connecticut ranks second, just behind Hawaii, according to some reports the cultural and political nursery bed of President Barack Obama.
Should a bill slowly making its way through the General Assembly pass into law, Connecticut may leap ahead of Hawaii in the national race to cripple the energy sector. As an incentive to encourage forms of energy acceptable to progressives and environmentalists, the state legislature is proposing a bill that would tax oil 1.5 cents per gallon in the first year following passage, increasing by one percent a year until the tax reaches 3.5 cents per gallon in 2015. The tax haul would then be placed in an Energy Efficiency Fund that homeowners may draw upon to underwrite the cost of weatherization, clean burning furnaces and solar panels. Of course, every dedicated fund in the state – including pensions – are either under financed during hard times or raided by legislators before election to reduce deficits arising from their improvident spending. Mr. Obama has recently announced the formation of a similar fund, an Energy SecurityTrust (EST) that would fund clean energy research and development.
Connecticut is a small state that could be energy independent were it to rely on a variety of forms of energy production, including nuclear. But alas, the progressives and the greens in Connecticut are nuclear averse. When Dominion chose Virginia rather than Connecticut as a site for a new nuclear plant, no tears were shed in the governor’s mansion. So long as the price of energy in Mr. Murphy’s state remains high, other low energy cost states will continue to poach Connecticut businesses, established entrepreneurs and recent graduates of the state’s high cost educational establishments.
Shale gas is a natural gas found trapped within shale formations. The governor of Mr. Murphy’s state, not an anti-green, has announced his love affair with this form of energy. So ardent are Governor Dannel Malloy affections that he recently proposed to provide tax credits to home owners in Mr. Murphy’s state who are prudent enough to switch to a lower cost, less polluting form of energy. The tax credits presumably are an effort on the part of Mr. Malloy to tickle the fancy of energy consumers in Connecticut, many of whom will be marching to the polls in a couple of years to vote either for or against Mr. Murphy’s continuance in office, always assuming that voters in Mr. Murphy’s state have not fled to other states that rate much lower than Connecticut on a list of high energy cost states.
It is always possible that Mr. Murphy, a new arrival in the beltway, is very busy mastering protocol in the U.S. Senate. He may have missed the messaging from Mr. Malloy. Or possibly he has not yet had an opportunity to put out feelers to Mr. Obama, whose administration believes that increased shale gas development WILL HELP REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, an eventuality that may not grievously disappoint the folks who received Mr. Murphy’s pro-green missive at the German Marshall Fund think-tank in Belgium.