June 21st, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Opinion: Getting off oil easily is a fantasy

David Frum
CNN Contributor

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/21/frum.oil.reality.check/tzleft.david.frum.ckennedy.jpg caption="David Frum: President Obama didn't level with people about the real cost of getting off oil" width=300 height=169]

President Obama is right: We can take the U.S. off oil. But he omitted to mention the fine print: Doing so will be slow, will be expensive, and will involve huge dislocations in American lifestyles and business.

When politicians talk about energy, they like to talk about magic machines: cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells, electricity that flows free from solar panels on the roof.

But when change comes, it will not come through magic. It will come because changes in relative prices have induced changes in behavior.

We've seen such changes before.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Opinion • President Barack Obama
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Psp Sup

    people are nuts, most have no idea the origin of their breakfast cereal let alone the origins of the gas in their tanks. It would be better served if your were to explain that. especially to the people we elect in office.
    Asking the people and congress their option regarding the need to change is futile. The American consumer has a herd mentality when it comes to gas.
    Getting electric or other is an action that will require the herd to by into and that starts with education of the source, example most know where milk comes form now ... Energize scotty!

    June 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Mitchell Frodnal

    I would have to agree it will be difficult. I think will maintain and increase the amount we produce in the US will be better off. Were working on coal technology as well as natural gas alternatives with built in solar tops on cars. I think overall no we will not get off oil because its needed to keep things moving and from rusting. We need to get off anything foreign related to energy.

    #1 we need more power plants that are clean. Solar and Neuclear. Our government is so complicated now we can even keep up with China on building power plants its sad... really sad.

    June 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  3. shanitonyc

    Continuing to live on Fossil Fuels is a (limited) fantasy too. #IfNotNowWhen? #EVOLT

    June 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm |

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