On March 30, 2011 President Obama called for reducing oil imports by a third by 2025. Obama’s speech came at a time when U.S. gasoline prices are up nearly 80 cents a gallon from the previous year. He laid out four areas to reach this target: lifting domestic energy production, fostering the use of more natural gas in vehicles like city buses, making cars and trucks more efficient, and boosting alternative energy by encouraging biofuels. The President’s administration also released a Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future that outlines a comprehensive national energy policy.
The question is what happened to this Blueprint? Where is the legislation to develop and secure America’s energy supplies, to provide consumers with choices to reduce costs and save energy, and to innovate ways to a clean energy future? What’s being done is far too little, way too late.
A faint whisper was heard the other day when President Obama announced new fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for the model years 2017 through 2025 and the first-ever fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks such as semis, garbage trucks, buses and 3/4-ton pickups. Something is always better than nothing. As predictable as the sun rises and sets each day, the rhetoric for a sustainable energy future has toned down with the recent decline in crude oil prices. Once retail gas prices drops below $4.00 per gallon, compliancy sets in on Washington. No longer do our elected officials have to address the hard issues facing national security on the energy level. Also, Election Day is too far away to rewave this flag.
In closing, it’s a safe guess that our country’s political, employment and economic turmoil is providing a safe haven for our inept leaders and energy officials to hide from the sorry fact that America has no idea, resolve and willingness to tackle the hard truth. But not until we enact an encompassing and forward looking energy plan that stays the course, will America free itself of docks full of ships delivering oil to our shores. Seems multitasking on a meaning level is no longer an option on Capitol Hill. Words we don’t need; action we do.
To read Barry’s discussions, please visit http://tinyurl.com/barry-stevens311
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