As we all have seen, in the past few years there has been a strong political push for the United States to turn away from fossil fuels and move toward using more “environmentally friendly” fuels, such as solar and wind. (I wish government would encourage more use of nuclear energy, but it isn’t.) But government’s approach isn’t working. Why? Because governments are not good effectively at setting standards in the marketplace – so those attempts almost never work. Instead, governments should do their best to put honest information out into the marketplace, and then allow people to make their own choices. For example, if our government would let us know honestly what the government of China is doing to hack into our trade secrets, I would consciously attempt not to purchase any goods from China until it reversed that policy. And I’ll bet you would do the same. So we would likely get results, because our actions would hurt their economy. And the same thing would likely be true with our decisions about energy IF what government encouraged actually could be seen to work. But mostly what government is pushing in these areas is politics.

For example, are you aware that several of our large oil companies are drilling for oil in the Amazon regions in Ecuador? And in doing so they are both disrupting the natives in those areas and causing large environmental damage there as well? (Remember, the plants and trees in the Amazon convert lots of carbon dioxide into oxygen!) And are you aware that at least ten percent of all oil products sold in California come from Ecuador? That means that we are importing more oil from Ecuador than from any other country. (Saudi Arabia is second.) Imagine the devastation that our ten percent is causing in the Amazon. And also imagine how much energy it takes to bring that Ecuadorian oil up to California for us to purchase. Wouldn’t it be much better both for the environment and our economy for us to drill for oil here in California, particularly since the oil coming from California burns much cleaner than that from Ecuador? That means that the environment would be less harmed both by the cleaner-burning California oil being used, as well as the reduced pollution caused by transporting so much oil here from Ecuador. And it also means that our economy would be strengthened. So come on governments, just help to cause honest information to be provided to us consumers and get politics out of the formula, and then let the markets decide!

Quote for the week: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com., as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.