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Government takeover of the energy sector?

Maxine Waters, the infamous and incompetent congresswoman from California (surprise), let the genie out of the bottle last week. Congress had one of its many grandstanding sideshows (er, excuse me, “hearings”) where the evil oil executives were subjected to the grand D.C. Inquisition with the cameras rolling. While Congresswoman Torquemada was grilling the CEO of Shell Oil, she made a startling threat that the federal government would socialize the oil and gas industry if prices don’t come down. She quickly realized her gaffe and tried to backtrack amidst the restrained laughter of her colleagues. See video here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUaY3LhJ-IQ[/youtube]

However, this is no laughing matter. It is well documented that the radical environmentalist movement is driven by the unholy trinity of worldviews: evolution, paganism, and marxism. The communists have found a new home in the radical green movement, and millions of well-meaning Americans have been duped into destroying their own nation’s prosperity – all the while thinking their doing something good by “saving the planet”. I would estimate that a substantial number of Democrats and probably a few Republicans secretly share Waters’ desire to socialize the energy sector, healthcare, agriculture, and every other facet of our economy.

Socialism is a historical failure every time it is tried, and is antithetical to the revealed Word of God and the U.S. Constitution. Imagine the potential abuses under a government-run energy system. Energy rationing would be a given, consider that smart power grids and thermostats are already being designed and installed in many areas of the country. These “smart” systems are ostensibly designed to help consumers manage their energy consumption by having access to real-time load and price information, but how much of a stretch would it be from encouraging energy reduction to mandating it? As far as gasoline, imagine a secondary card reader at the pump where you must insert your government-issued energy card to have access to fuel. The card would monitor your fuel consumption and cut you off if you over the limit.

Or, what if you are labeled a subversive or “troublemaker” by the government? It would very easy to ensure compliance with tyranny by simply restricting energy access. If you want your energy, just be a good little citizen, keep your mouth shut, and live like a tree-hugger with your cold showers and 50 mph matchbox car made out of aluminum. People would live in absolute fear of protesting government action at any level, and the U.S. could quickly be turned into a socialistic Orwellian nightmare without a shot being fired.

The CEO of Shell wisely retorted to Waters that he’s “seen this movie before” – it’s called Hugo Chavez and Venezuela! People rightfully are looking for solutions to lower energy prices and reduced pollution, but the free market is optimal solution for such. The free market is not a utopian solution, but certainly better than an energy sector run with the efficiency of the motor vehicles department and enforcement tactics of the IRS. Having said that, corporate America is not off the hook either in this mess. Industry and business leaders must yield to the advice of William Penn 300 years ago: Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.

Godless capitalism with its unscrupulous business practices, shady accounting, price collusion, poor stewardship, shoddy quality, market manipulation, etc. will undoubtedly lead to Maxine Water’s vision coming true. Without a moral foundation to commerce, people will scream for socialism as the demand for basic necessitities of life is not going to diminish anytime soon. There is not a line item for morality on a corporate balance sheet – however industry would be wise to conduct itself according to the principles of Proverbs, or it will find itself conducted accourding to the principles of the Communist Manifesto.

Posted in Public Policy Radar.