America is faced with three critical problems. Fortunately they are closely intertwined. In my view President-elect Barak Obama, Congress, and even President Bush have been grossly misled by the environmental lobby.

The fiction that global warming is caused by man is seriously impacting efforts to solve energy problems and turn our economy around.

Al Gore and his fellow travelers, with the help of a biased and compliant media, have avoided debating the cause of global warming by promoting the lie that science is on their side. This has led to the conclusion that we must pull out all the stops to prevent a catastrophe.

Before Obama and Congress take steps to halt efforts for U.S. energy independence and further weaken our economy, they should promote a series of public debates on the subject.

These should be true debates with a moderator serving primarily as time keeper and questions from the audience balanced between "true believers" and "deniers."

If a series of true debates took place, I'm convinced that Al Gore and other global warming alarmists would come in a distant second. Known climatological cycles and records just don't support their theory. They ignore the fact that the earth's temperature was warmer during the Medieval Warming than it is today. Nor do they realize that the warming observed after 1800 is what you would expect after a "small ice age." They also can't explain why the earth's temperature has been steady, or even declined slightly, since 2000 while the release of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere has rapidly increased.

Once the majority of Americans, including our politicians, realize that tilting at the windmill of carbon growth is a waste of time and money, they can vigorously attack real problems. In fact the opportunity costs of cap and trade would preclude addressing other serious problems.

Russia recently planted a flag at the North Pole "to demonstrate its intention to maximize the size of its Arctic Exclusive Economic Zone." President Dmitry Medvedev said "that developing Arctic petroleum reserves is our responsibility ..." Denmark, Canada, and Norway are also planning exploration efforts in Polar regions. Even the European Union agrees that Arctic oil and gas are vital to Europe's energy security.

The U.S. must get serious about developing an energy policy. Let the market decide rather than government. Government should not try to pick winners through subsidies or tax incentives. We should fully utilize our free enterprise system to exploit every possible source of energy.

Government can help by immediately opening off shore areas, at least 2,000 acres of scrub land in ANWR, and the Navy's Alaskan Petroleum Reserve to exploration and development of both gas and oil reserves. Congress should also revisit its recent decision to block the use of more than a million acres in Arizona.

Supposedly this is "sacred" land to Native Americans. Unfortunately, this move voids the use of more than 1,100 active uranium mining claims. I would think that only a few hundred acres could truly be considered "sacred."

If we do this we should be energy independent within six to eight years. Plus, the government will be making money instead of spending money on energy development. If we don't, the price of electricity and gasoline will make last summer's prices look like a bargain.

With two problems out of the way, we can focus our attention on the economy. Actually, the economy should start to rebound as the actions described above get underway. Additionally private businesses will undoubtedly expand employment by several million as we achieve energy independence and reduce our trade deficit.

I know that some of you will look at our current economic mess and try to blame it on free enterprise run amok. Actually Congress initially interfered with the free enterprise banking system when it passed the Community Investment act of 1995. This act amended the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.

Although well intentioned because its aim was to "enhance the availability of investment capital for low-and moderate-income housing in low-and moderate-income neighborhoods," it forced lending institutions in less affluent areas to grant loans to people who weren't qualified.

In fact the Act and its implementing regulations included punitive measure for non-compliance. This combined with the failure to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac undoubtedly greatly contributed to our current credit crisis.

Hopefully, you can understand why I prefer to put my faith in the free enterprise system.

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