It was the headline that caught my eye:
Maybe he’s talking about OPEC, right?
Nope. He’s talking about the monopoly the oil companies have on transportation in America. According to Huntsman, fossil fuels are the only game in town, and that needs to change:
“We cannot simply drill our way to energy security; we also need to use the power of the marketplace,” the former Utah governor said at the University of New Hampshire.
Heck yeah! The marketplace rules. Leave it to the market:
“This means breaking oil’s monopoly as a transportation fuel, and creating a truly level playing field for competing fuels.”
“I will systemically begin to eliminate every subsidy for energy companies, whether it be oil, natural gas, wind or solar,” he said. “Under my presidency, the United States will get out of the subsidy business.”
Sounds good to me. Let’s do that.
“And if necessary, I will use my executive authority to act unilaterally.”
That money would instead go to energy research.
How exactly does taking money from the people, not giving it to “oil, natural gas, wind or solar” but instead using it to conduct energy research equate to using “the power of the marketplace?” That sounds like a federal government actively working against an industry that has helped build this nation and employs countless Americans?
Does Huntsman understand what is meant by “free market,” or is he like Vizzini in “A Princess Bride,” just using a word without really knowing what it means?
The final leg of his plan calls for innovation led by states.
Here’s the last thing I’m putting on here from the Politico story:
“States are laboratories of innovation, yet federal rules handcuff them with red tape,” he said. “Washington needs to give states more flexibility to develop unique energy solutions.”
Huntsman is half right. States are laboratories of innovation, and federal rules do handcuff them. But Washington doesn’t need to give states more flexibility. It needs to get out of their way. It needs to be constrained to the limits outlined in the Constitution.
It doesn’t need to cut them some slack. It needs to cut them loose.
Huntsman talks a lot and says little. And what he does say shows he’s not serious about free market economics.