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Wednesday, July 9 

My Oil Epiphany

I had quite a long discussion with my sister-in-law this weekend about energy policy in the U.S. My basic argument was that we have no viable alternative to oil in the short term, so we need to drill here, drill now, and continue looking for an alternative that will work in the future. Her argument was that if oil is cheap, people will never change, therefore high oil prices are a long term good for the economy, because people are going to learn how to conserve and will eventually find an alternative.

That's when it hit me. We weren't really arguing about oil, we were arguing about the role of government in our every day lives. My solution involves getting government out of the way of business and letting the oil companies do their job and actually drill for oil that can benefit us. I argued that the only role the government should be playing is similar to McCain's proposal for battery technology. They should be offering large sums of money and tax incentives to whomever can invent the technology that will take us away from an oil based economy. Other than that, it should be private citizens and companies run by private citizens that take care of it. Because as sure as the sun is rising tomorrow, there is some kid in his parent's garage right this minute working on a battery that will be half the cost and last twice as long as current battery technology.

Her argument is based on her belief that government knows best and needs to parent us and show us that we don't really know what is best for ourselves. We just don't realize that although gas prices are high and there are thousands of people struggling to make ends meet, in the long run it will be better for us.

Personally, I prefer the solution where government stays the hell out of my business and lets me live my life as freely as possible.

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