Monday, February 27, 2012


    While reading a Wall Street Journal article recently, I had an epiphany.  President Obama stated recently that there is no "silver bullet" to solve the problem of high gas prices and our energy costs in general.  Unfortunately, the President has not seemed willing to use any of the weapons in our arsenal (domestic drilling, ANWR, off-shore drilling, fracking, Keystone XL pipeline) to stand in for the mythical silver bullet.  Presently, the administration's energy policy seems to lack even a silver lining, much less a bullet.
     Here's where my epiphany comes in.  Let's have the Energy Department use its regulatory authority to require everyone to buy Energy Insurance.  And I'm not talking about insuring oil rigs or drilling platforms.  I'm talking about peace of mind for the energy consumer, which is, of course, everyone.  (We may have to convince Congress to pass a 2,500 page Commerce-Clause-inspired law first, but how difficult can that be in light of the crisis in which we find ourselves?) After all, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in the 21st century are empty platitudes without the Right to Energy.  And with the volatility of energy prices these days, household budgets are already overextended.  Now that ObamaCare has taken care of Americans' concerns about healthcare, EnergyCare is the next logical step.
    There is a slight glitch in this plan, that being that there are no consumer-oriented Energy Insurance companies.  But with a few well-placed subsidies, incentives, and a little corporate cronyism, no doubt a vibrant industry could be up and running in a few years.  (If there's one place the president likes to use magic bullets, it's subsidies for start-up industries.)  Once things are humming along nicely, my plan can be implemented.  Executives of the evil Energy Insurance corporations (it goes without saying that they will be evil) can be dragged before Congress and forced to testify about their plans to impoverish Americans. (The impoverishing part seems counterproductive, but it's a necessary step to gin up public support.)  EnergyCare will be the obvious solution.  Everyone will be covered, everyone will have the energy they need, and costs will finally be under control.  Who needs silver bullets?  (Oh, and we'll cut out waste, fraud, and abuse.)
    Now there are some on the left who oppose the use of fossil fuels (with an almost religious fervor) on environmental grounds.  These zealots would not want their money going to provide natural gas or other non-renewables to anyone.  In that case, the Energy Insurance companies would simply be mandated to provide those fuels free of charge to all comers to allow the environmentalists to have a green -- er, I mean clean -- conscience.  Compromise is a beautiful thing.
    Perhaps it is a stretch to call this idea an epiphany since it's a blatant rip-off of ObamaCare, but it works for healthcare, why wouldn't it work for energy?  The Commerce clause is still rather stretched out of shape after having ObamaCare crammed into it, so surely it can hold EnergyCare as well.  After all, health care expenditures make up one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  Energy is only half that.  Who knows what else a benevolent federal government might find room for in there.

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