Running on empty

With the ever-increasing price of gasoline, once again all the politicians are talking about our “addiction” to oil — especially foreign oil — and the need for a new energy policy. Funny thing is, those most loudly blaming Bush for the problems tend to be the allied with the same folks who have spent their whole lives shooting down a lot of the alternatives for imported oil.

1) Expansion of our domestic oil production. Can’t do THAT. Drilling is bad, evil, dirty, messy, and hostile to the environment.

2) Wind power. They’re starting to turn on Ted Kennedy, who has been opposing a wind power project off Cape Cod that might infringe ever so slightly on his ocean view.

3) Nuclear. Oh, no! No nukes! Nuclear power is bad and evil and DANGEROUS and scary. After all, look at Homer Simpson!

4) Hydroelectric power. DAMN those dams and their evil, fish-killing ways!

5) Solar. This they might like, but it’s just not feasible on any kind of scale yet. Take it from someone who lives in New England. Or ask anyone who lives in Washington State.

And when one looks at their policy on gas prices, it’s even more schizophrenic. (Yes, I know that’s not entirely accurate, but there really isn’t a word that sums up the attitude so succinctly. Sue me.) Gas consumption is bad, so to discourage people from driving, we should raise the price of gas through taxes. But if market forces drive up the price of gas, that’s bad and evil and must be investigated. Gasoline must be kept affordable for everyone until we can get around to taxing the hell out of it even more.

My more cynical theory is that the particulars are unimportant to them; they just want more and more money in government coffers and out of the private sector. As I said, it’s a cynical theory, but it fits the available facts.

I’m left to conclude that John Kerry was indeed the perfect standard-bearer for the Democrats in 2004, because his attitudes seem to permeate their energy policy. They were for higher gas prices before they were against them. They are against our dependence on foreign oil, but oppose most of the viable alternatives — just like a lot of people didn’t vote FOR Kerry, but AGAINST Bush.

The day they harness that simple fact — that people want to SUPPORT something, not just OPPOSE something — and actually get behind something positive is the day that they will once again take power in Washington. And the day they do that, they will actually DESERVE to do so.

Until then, though… anyone know where gas is cheapest around Manchester, New Hampshire?

Pardon my absence
Bumper Snickers

55 Comments

  1. Lee May 1, 2006
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  3. HeadCase May 2, 2006
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  5. Wendover May 2, 2006