Unfortunately, the race towards renewable energy has more to do with politics and positioning for power than climate change, energy security, environmental stewardship, economic prosperity and the needs for America. One is not too naïve to understand that politics have always ruled over all matters concerning health, education and welfare. Like these humanitarian issues and standards of living, energy resources and consumption is what differentiates industrialized from developing nations. Therefore, a national energy policy should be a key strategic priority rather than an afterthought or necessary evil with our leaders on Capitol Hill.
The sad truth is that while President Obama learns how to lead a nation prior to the 2012 election and congressmen stage gladiatorial games, our country’s energy priorities continue to suffer along with unemployment and the economy. While energy may be a separate state of affairs, energy is inextricably linked to the general health of our nation that few in Washington or those seeking the throne seem to grasp.
Capturing national headlines earlier in the week, Governor Rick Perry of Texas declared he doesn't believe in manmade global warming.” Perry's skepticism over anthropogenic global warming is another testament to his inability to lead and his need to capture votes over the long term interests of America. Leaders are visionaries anchored in reality. Whether the climate changes seen all over the global landscape is or is not human induced is less of an issue than Perry’s gambling with the future of our planet. It’s an indisputable “scientific” fact that the combustion of fossil fuels generates CO2 (carbon dioxide), which is a greenhouse gas that will have some impact on the earth’s weather patterns. Secondarily, our country must achieve energy security and independence by reducing our reliance on imported oil. Perry’s insistence on refuting these facts and goals lies in his appetite for “Texas Oil & Gas” and deep alliance and financial support with Texan’s Oil Industry. While there is no skepticism of Perry’s political prowess, there is skepticism of him as a presidential candidate, his dedication to our country’s future and ability to deal with issues on a fair and impartial basis.
Then comes Congresswomen Michele Bachmann’s brilliant statement that under her presidency “you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again." Her verbal diarrhea clearly shows her lack of understanding of the need for renewable energy and at the lowest levels fuels from domestic resource bases. Simply put, the lower the price of petroleum the more complacent the public, private and industrial sectors become towards the use of alternate fuels. Then, oil imports either levels out or increases, domestic output of fossil fuels declines, and our trade imbalance further increases. Gladly, sustained low petroleum prices are a thing of the past and less likely than the moon turning into cheese.
From a national security perspective, Michele forgets that the power of oil adversely alters the economies and politics of the petroleum producing countries, some of them petro-oligarchs with regimes, which conflict with U.S. interests. Under this scenario of low cost petroleum mixed with the lack of metal in Washington, few if any will push Obama’s proposed initiatives to improve fuel efficiency standards for light- to heavy-duty vehicles. A good step that falls far short of a “politically risky” comprehensive energy policy!
In closing, like the storming of the Bastille, the time has come for a more vocal and visual grass roots effort to jettison Washington to reality. That is if our leadership has the capacity to abandon self-interests, party politics and ballot counting. Curious, if there ever was an election where ZERO votes were cast and how the election committee would view the outcome.
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