‘Are You Better Off Today Than You Were 10 Years Ago?’ — The ‘Cheney Energy Task Force’ recommendations would have spared America from high gas prices

Written by Italia Federici — Reprinted With Permission

Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Ten Years Ago

By Italia Federici

This month — May 17, 2011 to be exact — marks the tenth anniversary of the Bush administration’s National Energy Policy report, referred to colloquially as the product of the “Cheney Energy Task Force.” In fact, it was the product of the National Energy Policy Development Group, a body headed by Vice President Cheney that included thirteen cabinet members, administrators and senior administration staff whose positions were such that they held sway over America’s energy future.

This report was amongst the very first undertakings of the Bush Administration. White House meetings with NEPD Group non-member-advisors began in February 2001 a mere three weeks into the new presidency. The reason for the Bush administration’s sense of urgency was the then crumbling of America’s energy infrastructure and the need for new domestic exploration to meet the country’s energy needs. That crumbling continues today. Here’s why:

The report’s stated goal in its Overview was to make recommendations that would alleviate a number of America’s energy problems citing that “Many families face energy bills two to three times higher than they were a year ago. […] Some employers must lay off workers or curtail production to absorb the rising cost of energy. Drivers across America are paying higher and higher gasoline prices.”

The report made 105 policy recommendations aimed at fixing the above mentioned problems including recommending that the U.S. build new refineries, engage in new oil and gas exploration, construct new nuclear power plants, plus invest in renewable energy sources.

At the time of its release, so-called environmentalists and liberals from both parties on Capitol Hill vigorously resisted the recommendations in the report. These obstructionists were most vocal in their opposition to new exploration, the construction of new nuclear facilities and the construction of new refineries.

Key among their talking points was that America need not heed the recommendations in the NEPD Group report about domestic drilling because “it would take 10 years for any crude to be delivered to refineries.” Two of the Congressional leaders who voted against domestic exploration at that time were Congresswoman Pelosi and Senator Reid. Well, even under this 10-year worst case scenario, we’d have that oil now, not $5.00 a gallon gas. Are you better off today than you were ten years ago for