Thursday, June 11, 2009

Unclear on the concept

The House Republicans just released their alternate energy plan. It's heavily slanted toward nuclear power, offshore and Arctic oil exploration, and alternative fuels. None of that is particularly new. The generous response would be to say that, although we might not agree with their plan, it's good to see that they have a plan and are participating in the debate. The cynical response would be to say that this is another bit of debate posturing like their work on the stimulus bill. That is, we can expect them to extract concessions from the Democrats, vote against the (to show the base how tough they are), and then to take credit for the bill they voted against. Count me among the cynics.

The elements of the plan that have so far elicited the greatest response from Left Blogistan are sections 502 and 503. These two sections amend the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act to prohibit the agencies that enforce those acts from considering greenhouse gases or climate change in their decisions or from taking any action that might improve the situation. The Republicans have finally crossed a line from being sincere climate change skeptics or big business advocates into a childish realm of being for climate change just because liberals, environmentalists, and Democrats are against it. Maybe if told them we were against suicide they would put themselves out of our misery.

It's worth a comment or two that their emphasis on fossil fuels doesn't square very well with their newly acquired desire to see the American auto industry die. Let's end our dependency on foreign oil just in time to start a dependency on foreign motor vehicles. That's not quite right. Considering the start up time for new oil fields, we would go through a transition period of a decade or so while we were dependent on foreign sources for both our oil and our cars. That would certainly go a long ways toward ending our economic strength and global relevance. If we listen to the House Republicans we will finally achieve parity with the Russians. And, by pitching our economy into the crapper, we can end the problem of illegal immigration. Emigration is another matter.

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