Fareed Zakaria's Energy Policy Column.
Fareed Zakaria takes on the question of how to lessen our dependence on oil for energy. This is a good question. Most conservatives say let the marketplace take care of it. Now, being an economic conservative I am sympathetic to the argument. However, I am coming more and more around to point of view there are sufficient externalities in our current energy paradigm (sorry for using that word, but it fits my needs very well) to justify societal to justify coordinated societal (i.e. governmental) intervention.
Now, Fareed goes on and brings up some of the usual solutions.
This point most people arguing for government intervention do so in their sleep. The funny thing is I am hearing more and more reports the values for used SUVs is declining and people are not getting declining value on SUV trades. It seems the number of Yukons and Suburbans in the GMC lot next to my house is rising. Even earlier this summers SUVs would hit the lot and be gone quickly, not so anymore.
In any event, the more efficient one's car is, the more driving one will do. Any gains in efficiency will be lost to increased driving. If not more driving by the same people then by an increase in the number of cars (with an increasing population).
The solutions Fareed argues for are nothing but stop-gap measures. Increased automotive efficiency is important but not a solution.
Are we in need of a Manhattan Project? I say we are. Or do we finally start to harvest the fruits of the original Manhattan Project?