Do Nothing Republicans Fail on Energy

Reading through an article on the soaring energy prices in CQ Today's Midday Update (a free email service) yesterday, a key fact jumped out at me.

The escalating pump prices, less than a year after the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PL 109-58) was enacted to establish a national energy policy, puts the Bush administration and Republican congressional leadership in a political bind. An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted April 6-9 found that 74 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is handling gasoline prices. While Republican-backed proposals to boost long-term domestic petroleum supplies remain stalled in Congress, the options for doing anything that would impact short-term gasoline prices are limited. [emphasis added]

As President Bush, stumping in California this weekend, tries to distract Americans' attention away from gasoline prices in excess of $3 a gallon by pushing a nostrum called hydrogen, let's not forget for one second that the White House and the Do Nothing Republican Congress had ample opportunity to address America's very real energy crisis in last year's energy bill. While the times called for the insertion of language that might either lead to a short-term decrease in the price of oil or help wean the country off of Middle East petroleum in the long term, the Republicans instead wrote legislation to help pad the wallets of their energy industry allies. Talk about dereliction of duty.

This abysmal record on energy gets to the heart of one of the major problems with Republican rule over Washington. Earlier this week over at Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall asked his readers to think of a single instance in which President Bush took action that in the short run was perceived to be politically-unwise but would be vindicated in the long term. Thusfar neither Josh nor his readers have come up with an example to fit the constraints of the question, and the Republican "Energy Reform" certainly doesn't.

By passing an energy bill last year, the Republicans gave the public the impression that they were actually concerned about the very imminent gas crunch. But less than one year later, we can already see that the bloated and expensive bill did little to nothing to alleviate either the immediate or systemic problems facing the America's energy supply.

To be fair, the Republicans cannot solely be blamed for the rising gas prices as increased worldwide demand undoubtedly has put an unbearable strain on the international market. That said, they cannot be absolved by the market either. And as voters become increasingly less happy with their tab at the local gas station, they must come to understand that respite can come with a vote for a Democrat on November 7.

Tags: Do Nothing Republicans, Energy, Oil (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Re: Do Nothing Republicans Fail on Energy

The anti-pollution formulations are often used as the excuse for the seasonal shift in gas prices. That, and refinery maintainance. Standardized formulas and tighter inspections of the refineries could really help. Profit controls on oil companies, which are all essentially monopolistic isn't a bad idea either. Price controls are not a good idea: you take away an incentive for conservation. But that would require congressional action (which is unlikely) signed by a president interested in the "common weal" which we don't have.

It IS their fault!

by shirt 2006-04-22 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Nothing Republicans Fail on Energy

The public can easily understand that if you have oil men running the government the oil industry will make a lot of money.  These guys have zero incentive to push for alternative fuels.  Bush goes to the hydrogen dog and pony show now? In year six of his presidency?  This is an easy issue for us.  America can't trust Republicans bought and paid for by the oil industry to do what is right for our country.

by Fitzy2 2006-04-22 07:15AM | 0 recs
We need efficiency

Congress could raise CAFE standards to 40 mpg if it wanted.  This would do more for our environment, national security and, in the long term, our economy than any other single step we could take.  If Big Oil and Big Auto didn't own the current Congress, we would have done this long ago.

by lorax 2006-04-22 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Do Nothing Republicans Fail on Energy

The sad truth is, our whole culture is failing on energy.

Yes, hydrogen is fool's gold.  It's not a fuel, just a means of storing energy. Where does that energy come from?

And yes, Republicans -- especially greedy oil men -- are the last ones we want at the helm. And Dems in charge of the Congress next year are the only chance we have of starting a national dialogue before the rug gets pulled out from under us.

Make no mistake, the world can not run on oil much longer. But can you imagine any politician standing up and saying:

"Our way of life -- our suburbs, our cars, our food and goods produced mainly outside our country -- has led us into a trap. It has held us hostage to those who wish us harm, and it has fed us an illusion that it can continue indefinitely. To continue to exist as a free and civilized nation, we must face a drastic re-organization of society that none of us want: a society without the life-support and many luxuries of the Oil Age. But to fail to meet this challenge would be invite our own destruction."

When we do hear these words spoken by a politician, it will mark them as a courageous and visionary leader, and I don't doubt that it is much more likely to come from a Democrat. I hope fervently to hear this (or something remotely similar), and soon.

But what I fear is that we won't hear it until that drastic re-organization of society is forced upon us, in ways not of our choosing, and that we will have delayed too long to have much control of the tremendous changes that will take place in the next 10-20 years.

by bruorton 2006-04-23 04:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Do Nothing Republicans Fail on Energy

Anyone see the NBC coverage of challenger John Cranley in Ohio call out combover incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot and the other Bushies for being bought off by big oil?

It ran on NBC Nightly News and The Today Show.  I hear it was on MSNBC all weekend too.

A link to the nightly news broadcast:
http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?g=f1 77eb3a-5d22-4107-9b70-d1aebed85d35&f =00

Congressman Chabot looks bad.  What an idiot for blaming "liberals" when he's giving oil companies billions in corporate welfare, then getting bankrolled by them in his campaign.  Typical Bushie.

by alexwinter2006 2006-04-25 01:58PM | 0 recs

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