Picken(s) winners and losers

We've been consistent here about the undesirability of letting government, at any level, pick winners and losers.  Same is true—I know, this is shocking—even when the potential winner is natural gas and related industries.  Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

At the Weekly Standard today, Daniel Halper has what should be a must read essay regarding T. Boone Pickens and the NATGAS Act currently being considered in congress. This is one of those subjects where I frequently find myself dealing with conflicting feelings. I am, without question, a huge supporter of the domestic energy potential of natural gas and the jobs it can bring, along with improved positions on national security, well into the next century. Halper notes, however, that Pickens tries to steer the conversation into an area where the government should not stray...

...Natural gas, particularly in its compressed form, is already in wide use and current technology holds the promise of expanding that use into many other areas. We may well be the “Saudi Arabia” of natural gas, and this could be a major piece of the puzzle in terms of leading us on a path toward energy independence. But natural gas must – and in most cases already does – prove itself to be fiscally sustainable without being propped up on the taxpayer dime. That’s precisely how we got into so much trouble with ethanol, solar and other adventures too numerous to list.

Read the whole thing.