Democrats Unveil Energy Plan Amidst High Political Hopes

By May 21, 2006Energy

On Thursday of last week while the rest of the energy world was fixed on the House of Representatives and the debate of the Peterson Amendment that would lift the moratorium on exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, the New York Times chose to run a piece about the Senate Democrats’ unveiling of their energy plan. Saturday, the WaPo ran their story under the headline, “Democrats to Focus on Fuel“, noting that the Democrats are hoping to turn their energy policy into votes in November.

According to the Times story, the Dems’ plan would cut domestic consumption of oil by 8 million barrels a day by 2020. Their bill also provides a bunch of incentives for folks to buy alternative-fuel vehicles (like $3/gallon gas isn’t enough incentive) and will prohibit gas gouging and market manipulation. Last we checked, this is already against the law. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has an entire office dedicated to it. No matter.

The House Democrat plan, unveiled May 11, focuses solely on biofuels. Lest you think this isn’t very ambitious, here’s this quote from Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Chair of the Democratic Campaign Committee:

“It’s perfect for an Iowa open congressional seat. It’s perfect for a Montana Senate race. An Indiana or Kentucky race.”

Whew! We were worried that folks were actually trying to accomplish a solution and not just score political points.

As far as all the alternative fuels and conservation goes, mark us down as in favor. Manufacturers are at the cutting edge of efficiency and conservation after all. But while we work on the demand and alternative fuel side, we also must be about the business of boosting production. We can’t turn a blind eye to that part of the solution, and none of these many ideas are mutually exclusive. Time for our elected representatives — at least those interested in driving down prices — to get to work on the supply side as well.