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NUGENT: DOE must go

Fedzilla agency failed its mission

- - Thursday, December 9, 2010

One has to wonder what end zone the Obama administration is running toward by shutting down oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the next seven years.

The oil spill in the Gulf was bad enough, but making decisions that only serve to strangle America and make us even more dependent on foreign oil is much worse. Under the rookie misdirection of President Obama, if Fedzilla were in charge of eye exams, the first thing they would do is stick us in the eye with a sharp stick.

One of the contributing factors for the oil spill was that Fedzilla mandated that oil companies drill in deep water where there is arguably more risk instead of the more pragmatic drilling in shallow water, thereby contributing to the cost of drilling and increasing the risk. Typical of Fedzilla. Make things more risky and more costly and then tell us its for our own good.

Admit it or not, America runs on oil - not green energy such as wind, solar or hydro. The sticky, oily fact is that America will be dependent on oil for many decades to come. Knowing that, it only makes sense that we drill where we can to make us energy independent. Our energy solution is not blowing in the wind. But somebody is.

This leads me to the Department of Energy (DOE), a Fedzilla agency that gets nothing done. The DOE is a self-licking ice cream cone that should be made extinct. Put that in your debt commission pipe and puff on it.

President Jimmy Carter established the DOE almost 40 years ago with the goal (I hope) of making America energy independent. The results? We are more dependent on foreign oil today than when the DOE was established. That comes as no surprise to me.

Steven Chu is the secretary of energy. He's an academic green-energy guy with no private-sector energy experience except possibly paying his energy bill. It would come as no shock to me if Secretary of Green Energy Chu views the oil companies as villains, despises nuclear energy and believes burning coal causes global warming and is akin to genocide.

The average American wouldn't know Mr. Chu if he knocked on their door and introduced himself as the secretary of green energy, even though the DOE has an annual budget of 23 billion tax dollars and employs 100,000 people. The average American has no clue what the DOE has been doing for decades and how many hundreds of billions of our tax dollars have been spent by the DOE. I bet the DOE is equally clueless.

I can't think of a singular real achievement of the DOE. Not one. Same goes for the Department of Education, Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor.

What I do know about energy is that we haven't built a nuclear reactor or an oil refinery since the DOE was established. Why? Because of massive Fedzilla red-tape regulations that serve to strangle real energy innovation and creation. Meanwhile, Europe has largely gone nuclear and many other countries are building nuclear power plants to supply their nations with affordable, clean and safe nuclear power. Not America. Our energy solution is to tilt at windmills. Amazing.

Here's an idea for you new GOP congressmen: Every Fedzilla department and agency should be required to inform the American public weekly about what they have done to advance or destroy America. Nothing complicated, just top-level facts such as the top three initiatives, their costs, what we should expect from these initiatives and when they will be complete. Make this your No. 1 agenda item.

For example, the DOE could have told us that oil drilling in the Gulf has been banned for the next seven years, how many new windmills were built, how many Americans rode their bicycles to work, how many tankers full of foreign oil we imported this week and how much that imported oil cost America.

We toss stacks and stacks of tax dollars at Fedzilla and by and large have no idea how our hard-earned money is spent and, more importantly, what we are getting for it - or not getting for it. The bureaucracy of Fedzilla is mind-numbing. From where I sit, it appears that Fedzilla is working against America, not for us. There is no accountability, no real transparency. Zippo.

Let's make the DOE extinct. It's running on empty.

Ted Nugent is an American rock 'n' roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" and "God, Guns & Rock 'N' Roll" (Regnery Publishing).