Thursday, November 10, 2005

House Rules

Just when you thought drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was money in the bank...those moderate republicans do us all a favor. Today, the House of Representatives decided to remove the drilling measure from the now tabled budget bill that cuts over $54 billion from federal benefit programs. Over 12 moderate GoOPers played a key role in helping to keep the bill off the floor after expressing concern over cutting extensive social programs that would hurt the elderly and poor. This means is that when the Senate and House meet next week to reconcile their differences on the proposed budget bills there's going to be a battle. Drilling in ANWR has been a major piece of the Bush Energy Plan and as Scott McClellan says, "We continue to urge passage of that initiative."

It's too bad that Bush and fellow republicans are appealing to America's lowest common denominator on this. Undoubtedly, we as a nation when facing challenges in the past relied on American ingenuity to bail us out. We are a nation that responds well to challenges and the current energy problem is one that drilling in another undeveloped pristine landscape will not solve. Conservation is certainly not the only answer. But forcing automakers (especially American automakers) to create cars and trucks that get 45 mpg while swapping our coal power plants for solar techonology and redesigning our cities and suburbs are all easy first steps that when combined with conservation will save us 10 times as much oil (and money) then ANWR would.

So when does AI (American Ingenuity) have a negative effect on national progress? See our esteemed former EPA Chief Gale Norton for a scary look on why AI is keeping people from believing in an energy crisis.

We're glad to see that some moderate republicans helped keep ANWR out of the House budget bill, but their motives for tabling the bill were much different than NRDC's or Sierra Club's. In the end though, its one more roadblock for the Bush Energy Policy. Bush is keeping America from paving the way to a sustainable energy program, one that would lead the world into the new eco-centric future. Instead, he wants us to keep sucking down the oil by drilling in a land untouched by development for enough black gold to last us all of two years.

Oh, and an interesting tidbit regarding our national leaders and ANWR. Checkout where Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) gets most of his money from.


Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matthew said...

Japhet, while I agree with you wholeheartedly on the direction we need to take, man, I would still just not refer to swapping our coal power plants for solar techonology and redesigning our cities and suburbs as "easy first steps."

I mean, they're important and necessary steps, but redesigning a city is anything but easy.

Japhet said...

This is true. The first easy steps are at least starting on a small level with flagship communities that can serve as the guinea pigs. When I say redesigning cities I didn't mean flatten what we have and start over. Its a slow process and long evolution but the first initial steps (baby steps if you will) are rather simple.

And many of these changes are easier to implement than others. Here's to hoping someone begins taking the first steps.

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