In his radio address this week, President Bush speaks about energy. It all sounds good, but I can’t help but think that all of the planning that’s aimed at curbing consumption of oil and its refined products is ultimately going to consume greater amounts of my shrinking take-home earnings. My apologies for sounding so cynical about this, but I think you’ll agree with my assesment. Read on…
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning..Last Saturday, I addressed the annual retreat of Democrats from the House of Representatives. I thanked the Members of the new majority for their service in Congress. And we discussed our responsibility to work together on a wide range of issues — from fighting the global war on terror, to making health care more affordable, to balancing the Federal budget.
Of course, the Dems want to surrender instead of trying to win the war, nationalize 1/6 of the US economy, and "balance" the federal budget by raising taxes on "the rich", AKA anybody with a job. Other than that, though, I’m sure they’ll "work together" with President Bush to make things right. He continues:
One area with great potential for bipartisan cooperation is energy policy. The need for action is clear. Our Nation’s reliance on oil leaves us vulnerable to hostile regimes and terrorists, who could damage our economy by disrupting the global oil supply. A spike in oil prices anywhere in the world could lead to higher prices at gas pumps here in America. And burning oil and gasoline creates air pollution and greenhouse gases.
Which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on whose scientific "evidence" one believes. I agree with being vulnerable by relying so heavily on oil that comes from bad places. That’s why, even though we don’t like it, we have to "fix" the bad places. Oh, and we should just drill for more oil in our own backyard, like in ANWR and offshore.
Republicans and Democrats both recognize these problems. We agree on the solution: We need to diversify our energy supply and make America less dependent on foreign oil. The best way to do that is by developing new energy technologies here at home. So the Federal government has provided more than $10 billion over five years for research into alternative sources of energy. Our scientists and engineers have made great progress, and our Nation is now on the threshold of dramatic breakthroughs in clean energy technology.
I’m not sure we "agree on the solution", as I’m pretty sure the Dems would have us riding bicycles or driving lawnmower-like cars (other than your Algore types who are just too darned important) while at the same time banning windmills and tearing down dams to save the fishes.
And why would anyone think a bunch of politicians in Washington DC are going to solve anything so great a task as this, anyway? Carol Shea Porter’s gonna create "the formula"? I think not. President Bush continues and outlines his plan, with a name reflective of the goal our governement will dictate:
These advances in energy technology will help us meet a great new national goal: to reduce America’s gasoline usage by 20 percent in the next 10 years. I call this goal "Twenty in Ten," and appreciate the support that many Democrats and Republicans have shown for it.
Of course, if the wacko environmentalists that control many of the Democratic politicians get their way, "Twenty in Ten" means twenty bucks a gallon in ten years. People will have to walk and they can blame it on "big oil." Sort of a two-fer…
I know there are different views about the best way to meet this goal. Some say we should increase the supply of alternative fuels. Others say we should decrease demand for gasoline. I believe we need to do both. So on the supply side, I proposed a new mandatory fuels standard that will require the use of 35 billion gallons of renewable and other alternative fuels by 2017. That is nearly a fivefold increase over the current target. On the demand side, I proposed to reform fuel economy standards to make cars more energy efficient, just as my Administration did for light trucks.
Sure– all it’s gonna take is some more government decrees. Don’t you think if Ford could come up with an amazingly improved fuel efficient vehicle that wasn’t the size of a toaster, they would have rushed it to market, selling large numbers, thus making money for their quicky faltering company, as opposed to what’s happening? New regulations might be the death-knell for Ford or their American counterparts. All we need now is for the government to pay for what private industry must undoubtably be already doing. Lucky for us, that’s just what the President is proposing:
This past week, we took a key step toward my "Twenty in Ten" goal when I sent Congress my budget for the next fiscal year. The budget proposes $2.7 billion to expand alternative energy research, a 53 percent increase over the 2006 funding level. These funds will support further research into cellulosic ethanol, which can be produced from sources like wood chips and grasses. These funds will also support promising technologies beyond ethanol, such as new forms of biodiesel, lithium-ion batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells.
And all this time I thought the Energizer Bunny was doing this. Although he does mention the private sector:
I look forward to working with Congress to pass this budget and to meet my "Twenty in Ten" goal. I’m optimistic because the technology we need to achieve this goal is advancing every day. A few weeks ago, I traveled to a DuPont research facility in Delaware, where scientists told me that they are close to making the use of cellulosic ethanol a reality. Imagine what technologies like this would mean for your daily life. You could fill up your gas tank with fuel that comes mostly from an American prairie or farm, instead of an oil well overseas. You could drive to work in a car that runs on electricity instead of gasoline, or on hydrogen fuel cells that emit no pollution. You would see the rise of dynamic new businesses that create jobs for American workers and sell alternative energy products around the world.
Unfortunately, I’ll bet most of the dough ends up in the hands of the usual list of universities and other "non profit" outfits that provide little to no accountability to those footing the bill: you and me.
This is an ambitious vision, but with the talent and enterprise of our people, it can be achieved. Every Member of Congress who cares about strengthening our economy, protecting our national security, and confronting climate change should support the energy initiatives I have set out. By working together to pass energy legislation soon, we can help solve one of the great challenges facing our generation. And we can leave behind a cleaner and better world for our children and grandchildren..Thank you for listening..END
What about nuclear power? What about some tax credits? As I said, what about expanding our domestic exploration and supplies? Liquefied coal? Gasp!
I’m not sure what it will take to force government to simply step out of the way and let true market forces take over. Probably a real crisis– for which we will all pay dearly.