Thursday, April 21, 2005

It's about the oil...stupid!

No one will mistake me for a treehugger. Ya know, those hippie, stuck in the 60s, would jump in front of a car to save a blade of grase type people. I'm about as far from that as William Lynch is a Republican. Yet, even I have to take a second glance when I hear that the House of Representatives voted late last night to allow oil drilling in Alaska. Yes, I understand that our gas prices are high. But is the solution more drilling? Though this is a diversified bill (contrary to what the liberals may tell you) drilling in Alaska seems like a bad idea. Here are some of the specs of the bill, according to MSNBC:

  • more than $8.1 billion in tax breaks (most of which will go to coal-based refineries...yuck!)
  • Require for refiners to use 5 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol by 2012, a 20 percent increase over what the industry is expected to produce this year, and a boon to farmers.
  • Expand of daylight-saving time by two months, so it would start on the first Sunday in March and end on the last Sunday in November.
  • Provide tax breaks to spur the construction of natural gas pipelines and improve the nation’s electricity grid. It also would require grid operators to comply with mandatory reliability standards instead of industry self-regulation.
  • Provide $1.8 billion in incentives for development of less polluting “clean coal” projects.

Definitely diversified, but I think we need to do more. We must face the reality that by 2100 we cannot rely on oil as much as we do now. I like that this energy bill contains $1.8billion for 'clean coal' projects, but we need more. Actually, I think gas price increases as well as automakers push to create hybrids is going to cause future administrations to rethink their energy policies.

For instance, hybrid auto sales continue to break record after record. As demand for these vehicles increase and the price of gas increases, the demand for gasoline will decrease-putting pressure on automakers to produce even more fuel effecient vehicles. I see that as a good thing for the environment, too bad this Congress doesn't have the same foresight.


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