January 31 2011
IWF in the News: A Time to Drill?
The crisis in Egypt and the question over oil helps bring into sharp relief the Obama administration's flawed energy policy. It is irrational for the government to try to determine which energy research areas or technologies have the greatest potential. Unlike markets, no man or woman in the White House can have the knowledge necessary to determine where best to allocate resources. Nevertheless, that's exactly what President Obama is trying to do by focusing entirely on "clean energy," as he announced in the State of the Union last week.
I wrote in The Daily Caller last summer that corruption is picking winners and losers. A progressive government like the Obama administration mandates lawmakers take from some in order to give to others. Even before the crisis in Egypt, the president announced who will be the energy winners (clean energy) and who will be the losers (oil companies) this year.
But this is a recipe for disaster. The best government response regarding oil and the crisis in Egypt would be to do nothing, other than to roll back government policies that prevent the exploration of domestic energy sources or favor one industry over another (and yes, that means eliminating any tax credits for oil companies as well as subsidies for "clean" energy providers). Instead, they should let market forces determine what the best energy solution is for the country.