The Spectacle Blog

Re: Further Note on Treen

By on 7.17.08 | 3:44PM

Yesterday I promised to provide excerpts of the speech on energy policy given by Louisiana then-Gov. Dave Treen to the Republican National Convention on his 52nd birthday back on July 16, 1980. The point is that not much has changed politically in 28 years. Treen was right then, and he's right now. After complaining that the Democrats repeatedly had blocked efforts to "lift controls on domestic oil," Treen went on to say this: "We have the solution to the energy crisis. It lies not in some new scheme for production of energy by government. It lies not in some vast bureaucracy allocating and rationing energy. it lies no other place than in the free market. Yes, the answer lies in freeing the imagination and initiative of all Americans to match energy supplies to energy demands.

"Permitting the law of supply and demand to operate in the energy field will deter wasteful use of energy; it will provide the incentive needed for the production of more of our traditional forms of energy -- oil and gas and coal; it will sput the genius of American technologists to find ways to convert our vast deposits of coal into readily usable forms of energy; it will produce other scientific breakthroughs; it will provide the capital to put into production new forms of energy made economically feasible by a pricing system which works in an atmosphere free of restraints.

"And the benefits to Americans will be enormous. We will eliminate the monumental cost to taxpayers of monstrous regulatory bureaucracies. We will lessen our dependence on foreign sources which imperil our national security. We will provide more and better jobs for people not only in new energy-producing industries, but all across a revitalized American economy."

Treen was outlining some pretty simple concepts, and concepts that proved abundantly true through the 1980s and 1990s. For the congressional Democratic leadership to still be arguing in the alternative is just mind-boggling. They are largely responsible for the high energy prices today, and the American people are surely smart enough to hold them accountable.

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