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  • A House Divided

    By Aaron Ball

    Is energy policy dividing the country in the same manner as the divergent commodities and manufacturing economies of the pre-Civil War United States?

    Now, more than ever, lines are being drawn around the fundamental concepts of how to (literally) fuel our economy. States who have placed their land and shores "off limits" to drilling are populated by the same voters who decry American involvement in the Middle East, advocate the use of alternative fuels, complain about the high price of gasoline, and advocate ending so-called tax "breaks" for oil companies.

    Policy aside, these divergent views represent fundamentally different views of the role of government and private enterprise--and the chasm seems to widen every day. A Secretary of Energy whose goal is to drive gasoline prices as high as possible is acting not as a referee in the market, but judge, jury and executioner. The same may be said for an administration for which government, not the market, decides which energy sources will grow through subsidies, while others are saddled with taxes and regulation, with the ultimate goal to drive the fuels of "yesterday" into the ground.

    Even more alarming is that the government led view is simply not supported by facts, but dogma and religious-like zeal matched only by the Taliban. This should be an alarm to all Americans who value the liberty of the free market system, since once government controls energy, it controls the economy.