The Quitbull in her brand new
Wall Street Journal Washington Post op-ed that she totally wroted herself:
There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America’s economy.
Well, here’s the thing. Those who understand the energy issue – hell, those who look at it for more than five minutes – know that the central problem is that energy is getting scarcer and more expensive all by itself.
There just isn’t enough oil to go around. “Drill, baby, drill” aside, there’s no realistic way to keep oil production stable in even the short term, let alone increase it. We’re losing the equivalent of 400 wells every day; that’s how much oil production is dropping. New conventional sources like offshore deposits in Brazil are ridiculously hard – and expensive – to drill, and unconventional deposits like tar sands or shale basically need so much energy to make oil it’s a net deficit.
Natural gas? Canada has some of the largest natural gas reserves left in the world, and we estimate we have about 25 years’ worth left. Barring illness or sudden death, everybody reading this will likely live to see the end of large-scale natural gas production on the planet.
Now, the usual rejoinder is “oh yeah well COAL buddy.” But estimates of remaining coal supplies have shrunk every time they’ve been comprehensively studied because it turns out every chance people have gotten they’ve dramatically overestimated the amount of coal that’s actually left; at current levels of production we have 144 years of coal left. In 2000, we thought we had 277 years’ worth. And of course, that figure is only good for the amount of coal we’re digging up right now; if we dramatically increased production worldwide, say to replace all the oil we can’t drill any more, it would be more like 30 years’ worth.
(Ironically, it turns out that we probably have just exactly enough carbon-based fossil fuels left in the ground to completely fuck over our climate.)
Now, we essentially have two options. One is that we can do nothing and get fucked. Sarah Palin is a fan of this method, because there is plenty of evidence that she loves to A) do nothing and B) get fucked, but also because she is a notoriously stupid woman who doesn’t know shit about anything, least of all the actual scarcity upon which her state’s wealth is premised. The second option is increasing the cost of energy use, both because we need to condition people to use less energy (and more wisely), and because we need a lot of funds generated to create the new energy infrastructure we needed to start building twenty years ago. That’s the purpose of cap-and-trade (or a carbon tax, if you prefer).
The rest of the article is the usual Palin bullshit, but one claim in particular is worth mentioning:
The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.” So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.
It is worth noting that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that cap and trade will cost the average American household $175 per year – or about 47 cents a day. The CBO released this report less than two months ago; it’s not really something that someone who “understands the issue” should not know about.