Thursday, August 18, 2005

Tired Of High Gas Prices?

Representatvie John Carter has an editorial in the week's Hill Country News. It about the recently passed energy bill, A sound energy policy for America:
The energy bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the president has several highlights. The new bill seeks to wean Americans from a dependence on foreign oil by encouraging domestic production of oil and natural gas. These traditional sources of energy can be produced in our own backyard. This means we can add jobs and limit our use of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), proposing a win-win scenario for energy production and Americans.

The next step is to couple the production of cleaner-burning domestic energy sources, such as nuclear power, ethanol and liquefied natural gas, with our traditional methods. The benefits of such innovations include: cleaner-burning fuels that are good for the environment, utilizing our farmers and domestic crops, and providing jobs for our workers. A positive aspect of these new innovations will be their renewable nature.

Tax breaks, for businesses and consumers, will be paramount in spurring the next generation of energy development. In all, $14.5 billion in tax breaks will create the incentive needed to develop technologies and encourage their use among the population.
The Austin Chronicle has a little different take on it, Energy bill: it ain't all pork:
The Bush Energy Bill, signed into law last week, bestows the oil, gas, and coal industries with billions in far-reaching tax handouts - even as oil companies continue to break all-time profit records, and evidence of the ecological and social peril posed by fossil-based energy sources continues to mount. The law designates disproportionately less for renewable energy development and efficiency efforts, and takes some arguably counterproductive steps aimed at diminishing our insatiable thirst for imported oil.
From what I know of the bill it will not change anything in the near future and very little over the long-haul. It's no big surprise to anyone that it's nothing but a huge giveaway to the oil and gas industried. In my opinion the Apollo Alliance has the right idea:
The Apollo Alliance provides a message of optimism and hope, framed around rejuvenating our nation’s economy by creating the next generation of American industrial jobs and treating clean energy as an economic and security mandate to rebuild America. America needs to hope again, to dream again, to think big, and to be called to the best of our potential by tapping the optimism and can-do spirit that is embedded in our nation’s history.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to send a man to the moon and return him safely home again within the decade. It was an audacious dare. The technology did not yet exist, but he marshaled the resources of a nation -- focusing public investment, research, science and technology education, worker training, and America’s industrial might on a common purpose. It was leadership toward a common positive goal and it worked. In less than eight years Neil Armstrong placed the first human footprint on the lunar surface, and President Kennedy to this day remains honored for his vision and as a leader of courage.

Now America has an Apollo project for the 21st century. Today the stakes are much, much higher. We face an economy hemorrhaging its highest paying and most productive jobs, cities falling apart with over a trillion dollars in unmet public investment in crumbling schools, transportation, and infrastructure. The middle class is increasingly insecure as career ladders are broken and not replaced in new service sector jobs. And on a global scale we face never before seen environmental disruption, rising social inequity, and the emergence of fundamentalist anger that threatens our very security. We need new leaders of vision, and a new unifying call to action.
Representative Carter along with the those currently running our country and our state are still rooted in 20th century ideas, mainly fossil fuels, to provide energy. The have no new ideas, just drill more. With the approach the Apollo Alliance is taking we can become energy independent.


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