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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thomas Friedman is starting to sound like one o'them lefty bloggers
Posted by Jill | 6:58 AM
And damn it, he owes us after spending the last decade extolling the virtues of outsourcing everyone else's job while his own was safe and defending George W. Bush's war.

But even so, we must give credit where it is due, and so kudos to Friedman (good Lord, did I just actually say that?) for pointing out that John McCain's bellowing about how Congress needs to get back to work on an energy plan is just so much hot air:

John McCain recently tried to underscore his seriousness about pushing through a new energy policy, with a strong focus on more drilling for oil, by telling a motorcycle convention that Congress needed to come back from vacation immediately and do something about America’s energy crisis. “Tell them to come back and get to work!” McCain bellowed.

Sorry, but I can’t let that one go by. McCain knows why.

It was only five days earlier, on July 30, that the Senate was voting for the eighth time in the past year on a broad, vitally important bill — S. 3335 — that would have extended the investment tax credits for installing solar energy and the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficiency systems.

Both the wind and solar industries depend on these credits — which expire in December — to scale their businesses and become competitive with coal, oil and natural gas. Unlike offshore drilling, these credits could have an immediate impact on America’s energy profile.

Senator McCain did not show up for the crucial vote on July 30, and the renewable energy bill was defeated for the eighth time. In fact, John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year — which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.

“McCain did not show up on any votes,” said Scott Sklar, president of The Stella Group, which tracks clean-technology legislation. Despite that, McCain’s campaign commercial running during the Olympics shows a bunch of spinning wind turbines — the very wind turbines that he would not cast a vote to subsidize, even though he supports big subsidies for nuclear power.

Barack Obama did not vote on July 30 either — which is equally inexcusable in my book — but he did vote on three previous occasions in favor of the solar and wind credits.

The fact that Congress has failed eight times to renew them is largely because of a hard core of Republican senators who either don’t want to give Democrats such a victory in an election year or simply don’t believe in renewable energy.

Last week the friend who is afraid to vote for Obama because of the e-mail smears forwarded me another gem from one of her wingnut friends. This one was about the states in the U.S. where there is oil and that we should tell the "dipsticks" in Washington to get drilling. What the e-mail didn't say was that the oil leases in these states aren't being used and that it has nothing to do with Congress; and it also didn't say that at the same time as oil companies want to drill off the coast of the U.S., they are exporting an ever-higher percentage of the oil they do find. I don't usually forward political material to her, because she has pretty much decided who she's going to believe, but on this one I had to send it along. I can't fight vestigial racism, particularly racism that is not acknowledged by those who still have it (much as they would like to believe they don't), but I can fight complete and utter horsepuckey.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, it's good to see bullshit called on this.

Blogger Bob said...
It's probably a common misconception that Alaskan oil stays in America & West Texas crude is sold to American refineries at a discount on the market rate.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
Jill, didja read Friedman's article last sunday about Denmark's strides toward energy independence? It was good enough for me to link to, even though I still consider Friedman a functional idiot.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
Btw, dcup, I still desperately want to sleep with you.

That is all.

Blogger Unknown said...
JP - me, too but I am not desperate.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The one thing that is impossible to get across to most people is that Big Oil has spent quite a bit of time and money to get to where they are right now. Unbelievable profits for how many quarters now? Why would they have any interest in doing a single thing to cut that profit? They don't care what we pay at the pump. They don't care if people freeze to death in winter for lack of heating oil. It's all about the money.