Term Paper: Obama Energy Policy

Pages: 20 (5590 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Energy  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The plan seeks to limit and reduce the amount carbon that polluters are allowed to pump into the atmosphere.

President Obama proposals are very ambitious indeed and they need and demand an altogether effort and partnership between the private sectors, the government, Wall Street and all individual Americans. Through this initiative President Obama puts together the economic revival goal and the climate protection goal. The proposals will help America as a nation become dependent with regard to the importation of fuel as the plan provides for ways that the country through its firms can manufacture bio-fuel, it will also help reduce the emission of carbon and other harmful substances into the atmosphere.

The plan also counts on new limits to encourage increased production of renewable bio-fuels which have lower emissions naturally. Corn and cellulosic ethanol are examples of the renewable bio-fuels. The plan would also give rise to incentives for increased research, flexible-fuel autos that can run on ethanol and investments on cleaner fuels.

In order to achieve the above plans the Obama administration has a special team referred to as the Green Dream team which comprises of various key members and specialist.

Among them are:

Stephen Chu who is the Secretary of Energy

Carol Browner-Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change

John Holden-White House Science Advisor

Lisa Jackson-Environment Protection Agency

Todd Stern-Special Envoy for climate change

Nancy Sutley-White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairperson

Criticisms

There are a number of criticisms that targeted the Obama Energy Policy. Despite the fact that the policy is geared towards relieving the U.S. from the overdependence on oil derived from foreign nations. In his speech at the Michigan State University, Obama clearly stated that "

Without a doubt, this addiction is one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced -- from the gas prices that are wiping out your paychecks and straining businesses to the jobs that are disappearing from this state; from the instability and terror bred in the Middle East to the rising oceans and record drought and spreading famine that could engulf our planet."

This is to clearly outline the need for America to come up with its own alternative sources of energy.However, despite the eminent good that is the motivation behind the policy, a lot of criticism has dogged the whole policy: The policies have been outlined with the bad parts being stated in the process. Some of the criticisms are outlined below:

The immediate provision of Emergency Energy Rebate:

This policy is intended to help Americans through the compensation of the usually high cost of gas and energy. The aim is to adequately revamp the American economy. The provision of $500 to individuals and $1,000 to all families. The idea would lead to a general rise in gas demand and a leaning on profits derived from windfalls. These particular ideas had been tested but failed in all occasions (Loris, 2008).According to one Don Boudreaux, an economist. The idea can be compared to trying to using jet fuel in putting out fire.

The tapping of the Strategic Petrol Reserve

The SPR was created in the early 70s at a time when there was an embargo on the Arab oil. The SPR which is a fuel reserve that is maintained by the federal government is meant to be used by the U.S. To counter the deficit shocks that can cause serious disruptions in the oil supply to the American consumers. The SPR is meant to inject between 3-4 million barrels of fuel to the American oil stream on a daily basis. This idea is however constrained by the size of the reserve itself. An analysis has shown that such a reserve would only suffice the demand of oil to the Americans for a period of only six months. After the six-month period, the high oil prices would automatically resume. The SPR would run dry and it would fall short of its originally intended purpose. The resulting implications of this would affect America's national security and economy at unprecedented levels.

The cracking down on speculators

This move is intended to help in curbing the role of speculators in the rise of oil price levels. The notion in itself has been found to be truly misleading. As outlined by Kreutzer ()m an economist, this idea would act as a perfect primer on the important role played by the speculators in aiding American consumers who rely on the pump. Further works by Foster () also postulates that the exact role of speculators in increasing the price of oil is very marginal and should not be a cause of any legitimate concern. Their role in the dynamics of demand and supply has therefore been proven to be very minimal and hence harmless to the consumer. The Obama policy is therefore wasting resources in ensuring that his policy is implemented.

Capping -- and -taxing policy this policy is intended to affect the way trading is conducted in America. The overall intention is reduce the greenhouse gas emission by over eighty percent by the year 2050. The Obama policy cap-and-trade policy would have serious ramifications on the American economy. This is because it is more demanding in terms of resources as compared to the failed Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade legislation which was shot down at the senate floor in June, 2008. The Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade legislation proposed a seventy percent reduction of greenhouse gasses come 2050.The Heritage Foundation carried out a research on the economic implications of the Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation that shown the extent of ramifications that the cap-and-trade legislation would impose on the American economy. As an illustration they found out that the Lieberman-Warner bill would have imposed a bout $4.8 trillion on the American GDP by 2030 and close to 1 million jobs would b lost in certain years. One would only wonder what Obama policy would have. The Heritage research on the Lieberman-Warner bill also projected a huge leap upwards in the prices of energy such as gasoline. The question one would ask is if the Obama policy would be lowering oil prices or increasing them instead Renewable Fuels Mandates and Fuel Economy Standards

In the Obama energy policy, about ten percent of America's electricity will be derived from renewable sources by the year 2012, and twenty five percent by 2025.However now that food prices have soared dramatically, there is bipartisan acknowledgement as well as statements from various environmental and global hunger groups regarding the fact that that the ethanol mandate has been an total failure.

In addition Obama proposal suggest that they should be to a million plug-in hybrid cars. The cars should be able to cove approximately 150 miles per gallon. This should be realized by 2025.The policy further suggests that all the hybrid cars be manufactured in America. There is however a lot of questions regarding this move especially the source of electricity to be used by the hybrid cars. "Plug-in hybrids are perhaps not good for all areas. States that are heavily coal, that equation doesn't work out very well for the environment." As noted by Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a Chicago-based advocacy. It is also obvious that the hybrid cars are more expensive due to the high manufacturing costs associated with their production.

Increase Domestic Supply

Just recently, President Obama changed his position on off-shore drilling, but the only part in his eight-page energy plan in which offshore is mentioned is of its usage or loses of its initiative. In the plan, it is stated that "oil companies to diligently develop these leases or turn them over so that another company can develop them." This plan has a general view that that. oil and gas play a critical role in U.S. energy policy and includes a mention of drilling activities in Bakken Shale (Montana and North Dakota), Barnett Shale formation (Texas), Fayetteville Shale (Arkansas) and most importantly the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A)

Increase Nuclear Power

President Obama recognized that "It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option." The problem however is that plan deems the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain unsuitable It however he will lead the efforts of the federal government in looking for safer and better long-term storage facilities. If given a chance the plan would not lead in the right direction through the increase of supply together with the support for nuclear energy.

The other bad part his plan is that it keeps on reiterating the similar mistakes of the failed policies introduced that were introduced in the 1970s.

The Obama's energy policy can be viewed as a three thronged plan. The first plan is dedicated to the reduction of America's dependence on foreign oil. The second plan is dedicated towards the establishment of alternative sources of energy while the final one is dedicated towards the confrontation of the eminent global climate change. The main… [END OF PREVIEW]

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