“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rudy is Energized

"I guess we'll be seeing each other in some familiar places."

Giuliani has a reputation for being a nuts and bolts politician that understands the mundane and obvious things that need to be done to make a huge city work. The song says if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. His ideas are pragmatic and no one should ever doubt his ability to follow through and lead after he sets a goal.

The left detests him, the Republicans may as well get used to him. He is there best shot.

In this essay on energy there is absolutely nothing new, except you have to believe he will get it done.

Leading America Toward Energy Independence

By Rudy Giuliani
July 26, 2007
Real Clear Politics
America needs to become energy independent.

We should have started to move toward energy independence back in the 1970s, when oil prices spiked and there were the long lines at gas stations. Presidents Nixon and Carter talked about energy independence, but not a lot got done. The next President of the United States is going to have to make it a major goal of their administration. Most people will say it's impossible, we've tried before. I'm running for president because I know how to get things done.

I will move America toward energy independence. It will require setting goals, sticking to them and energizing the American people to achieve them. It will require expanding our reliance on a much more diverse range of energy sources that America can control.

Ethanol and other bio-fuels are already helping America move toward energy independence. But it is embarrassing that Brazil is so far ahead of America in the use of ethanol. It should be other way around. Seventy percent of the new cars sold in Brazil can use ethanol. In the United States there's only a very small percentage. In Brazil you can pull up to most gas stations and get ethanol. That's not the case in the United States. Our goal has to be more growth in ethanol. Because every percentage that we increase our use of ethanol, we reduce our reliance on foreign oil from volatile areas of the world.

Just like Brazil is ahead of us in ethanol, France is ahead of us in nuclear power. Eighty percent of the electricity in France comes from nuclear power. Only twenty percent of electricity in America is generated by nuclear power and it's going to go down to fifteen percent in the future if we don't do something about it. We invented the peaceful use of nuclear power, but we've let other countries get ahead of us. There is no reason for that. No one's ever died from nuclear power in the United States. Despite that fact, we haven't licensed a new nuclear power plant in the United States in 30 years.

America has more coal than Saudi Arabia has oil. If we can compete and make cost effective the process of carbon sequestration, clean coal, we can rely on coal to a much larger extent. And we can rely on it without harming the environment.

We also must increase our use of solar power, wind power and hydro-power. We can reduce energy costs and reduce pollution through conservation. And if we can figure out how to change our electrical grid to a digital grid we'll be able to use our energy on a much more efficient and consistent basis.

The government needs to help business establish competitive, cost-effective technologies in the short-run. That doesn't necessarily mean larger subsidies. But it does require government helping those developing industries and technologies. In the case of increasing the number of oil refineries and nuclear power plants, it means breaking down some of the bureaucratic burdens.

In the long-run, energy independence can become a great industry for America. We can sell our advances to countries like China and India. They need energy independence even more than we do and they are further behind us in this effort. If we approach this challenge from a position of our strengths, not our weaknesses, we can find new opportunities and create new jobs right here in America.

The government has to approach energy independence the way we put a man on the moon. When the Soviets put a man in space, President Eisenhower was embarrassed and angry. President Eisenhower said we're going to get to the moon first and he started the space program. President Kennedy took it over and expanded it. President Johnson continued the job and President Nixon got it done. That's two Republican presidents and two Democratic presidents - not thinking about partisan interests, but thinking about the national interest. That is the way America achieves great goals.

The bottom line is that there is no one answer: Ethanol and bio-fuels can't do it all, conservation can't do it all, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hybrid vehicles - none of these are silver bullet solutions. But if we increase our use of each one of them to a higher level, we can achieve energy independence in the future while creating a new engine for the American economy.


  1. Saw my first Ron Paul sticker on the Beltway last week.

    I'm sending for mine.

  2. Hell, you might as well vote for me. After all, I can fit on a soapbox and have been listening to the very same speech,since, o, say 1978. I can do better..

    Americans! I'm gonna make the wind howl, just for you.

    Folks, I'm gonna make the cellulose sweat for you, yearning for the light, American light!

    I'll make the very atoms, burst for you, just for you Americans!

    Rivers seeking the oceans just for you The very sunlight itself shining just for you, Americans!

    You're something special.

    Those of you who have moved to Canada, seeking American exceptionalism, I call you home, come home America, come home Ash.

    Two hybrids in every garage in America, and not one in the shop, ever, and biodeisel with no federal tax.

    Rudy's gonna have to jazz that stump speech up some, to make it competitive, in the current market.

  3. Highways to Everywhere, I say! And no flat tires!

  4. I'm always amazed at how ready people of the party that used to promote fiscal conservatism and small government are willing to embrace corporate welfare for industries whose very existence depends on the maintenance of massive subsidies.

    Rudy Giuliani wants "more growth in ethanol", presumably U.S.-produced ethanol. He says, "[I]t is embarrassing that Brazil is so far ahead of America in the use of ethanol. It should be other way around." Why is it embarrassing? Is it embarrassing that Brazil also leads the USA in coffee production, and in the production of natural rubber? Should we be worried that Madagascar maintains its lead over the United States in vanilla production?

    Hello! Hasn't this guy ever heard of the principles of natural and comparative advantages? Brazil has fewer people, with a much smaller demand for transport fuels, and lots of land; it produces its ethanol from sugarcane, a higher-yielding crop that can be more efficiently transformed into ethanol; its labor costs are lower than the USA's.

    The only reason that the USA has a fuel-ethanol industry at all is because of the 51¢/gallon volumetric ethanol excise tax credit (VEETC), similar tax incentives provided by various corn-producing states, the 54¢/gallon import tariff, and now a federal mandate for the product.

    Unfortunately, almost no presidential candidates are calling for an end to ethanol subsidies. Certainly, it seems, not this one.

  5. It's embarrassing that we developed the nuclear energy industry, and don't take advantage of the technology we have, and have sat on our ass all these years, while other countries have 'gone green' with nukes, and don't let themselves be subject to any more stresses from the world markets than they are forced to do.