The real lesson to be learned from Solyndra is that government is not equipped to act as entrepreneur. We need to apply that lesson to natural gas powered vehicles before it is too late.
This lesson is important to learn at the present, as legislation called the NAT GAS Act, formally known as H.R. 1380: New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011, is working its way through Congress.
Thomas J. Pyle of the American Energy Alliance does an excellent job tracing through the secondary effects of passing the NAT GAS act. He shows that when considering large legislation like this, we need to really think hard about all the markets and people that will be impacted.
Furthermore, some of the goals of this legislation, such as decreasing reliance on imported oil from unfriendly sources, could be accomplished with government simply getting out of the way and letting more oil production occur domestically.
We need to trust people, that is, people and investors trading freely, using their collective wisdom, as to which forms of energy are best for each purpose, Pyle writes: “The market and consumers have proven over and over — “déjà vu all over again,” but in a positive way — to be the best arbiters of what energy technologies succeed or fail. To put it simply, if natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are superior to gas or diesel, and they may be some day, consumers will figure that out on their own.”
Pyle also offers what he thinks is the real motive of two of the bill’s backers, energy investor T. Boone Pickens and left-wing cause financier George Soros: “Why compete in the free market when it’s more profitable to have Congress do your bidding for you?””
The full article by Pyle is available on The Hill at NAT GAS Act: Déjà vu all over again. More coverage of this issue is at Pickens criticism illustrates divide between free markets and intervention, Pickens: It’s all about me, and MSNBC doesn’t notice, and Pompeo on energy tax simplification.
NAT GAS Act: Déjà vu all over again
By Thomas J. Pyle
When it comes to unchecked government spending and misguided energy policies, it seems that Congress cannot escape channeling Yogi Berra’s oft-quoted remark, “it’s deja vu all over again.” The latest Congressional boondoggle concerns the NAT GAS Act, which will be addressed at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on September 22.
Some background first: the proposed law offers between $5 billion and $9 billion in tax subsidies — although there is no cap on maximum spending in the law — to encourage businesses to convert their vehicles to natural gas, despite the fact that many companies are already doing this doing on their own. Proponents of the law argue that using cleaner burning natural gas will help the environment and that it will improve the nation’s energy security, but a closer look reveals these demand-centric subsidies will lead to expensive consequences for consumers, taxpayers, workers and employers across the board.
Continue reading at The Hill