Monday, August 08, 2005

Money for nothing: Bush's energy bill

Q: How do you spend $14.5 billion and get virtually no results?
A: Put it into the 2005 energy bill just signed by President Bush.

I guess it's an art form perfected by generations of politicians, spending billions to no good effect. Even BushCorp™'s head cheerleader can barely bring himself to say anything positive about the legislation:

"We're not going to solve our energy challenges overnight," he said. "Most of the serious problems, such as high gasoline costs and rising dependence on foreign oil, have developed over decades. It's going to take years of focused effort to alleviate those problems."
And certainly, if our sole focus is on developing new energy resources answers are likely decades away.

So why is this bill, complete with its bi-partisan support, the best Congress could come up with? Why does this bill, which took 4 years to get through Congress, lack the one thing, conservation measures, that might actually help soon?

Becuase conservation doesn't line the pockets of the energy corporations who are the measure's main backers. So instead of putting into effect steps (like lowering speed limits, and yes I hated 55mph as much as Sammy Hagar) that would improve this country's energy consumption TOMORROW, and cost NOTHING, Congress spends billions on measures that may never help, and may well hurt efforts to address America's energy needs.

And speaking of America's energy needs, unless we're sitting atop oil fields that dwarf Saudi Arabia's (something NO-ONE suggests) all that verbiage on all sides warning of the dangers of dependence on FORIEGN oil is ridiculous.

Or problem is dependence on oil, as well as all other finite fossil fuels, period. If the government was serious about limiting US dependence of foreign oil the solution would be simple, though rather painful: halt foreign imports and let the market determine the price of US oil production.

So, Bush is right on one point, alleviating US energy problems of "focused effort". Sadly, it seems obvious that under the current administration, no such effort is possible, or even contemplated.

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