Dems on Energy — and A New Idea from Us

By November 29, 2006Energy

One of the issues the lame duck Congress and the new Congress will face is energy, an issue that has bedeviled generations of policy-makers. For our part, we think Congress should reconcile the House and Senate energy bills in lame duck and get it done. (If you’ve not already weighed in, click here to do so.)

There was a good editorial in Investors Business Daily on Monday on the topic of the Democrats’ energy agenda. Says the IBD, “Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to put energy independence at the top of next year’s agenda, but his party is pushing the same solutions that have failed for decades to make a dent in oil imports.” To bolster their argument, they make some salient points:

  • Washington spends more than $3 billion a year on renewable and alternative energy programs… Yet … In 1970, [oil] imports accounted for about 20% of the country’s oil supply; today, they account for 60%.
  • As a result [of CAFE standards], cars on the road today are 52% more fuel efficient than they were 30 years ago. But that hasn’t cut gasoline consumption. Average per-person spending on gasoline is up 4% since 1975 after adjusting for inflation…One key reason: People are driving more, offsetting the gains in efficiency.
  • Since 1978, the federal government alone has kicked in more than $11 billion to support renewable fuels. By 2020, these sources will supply only 2.8% of the nation’s electricity needs.
  • [F]ederal and state governments have for decades forced manufacturers to achieve higher efficiency rates, and what’s the result? Per-household consumption of electricity has climbed 17% since 1978. Consumers are trading efficiency gains for greater levels of consumption.
  • Finally, says the IBD in conclusion, “If Reid and his fellow Democrats are serious about energy independence, they will have to do something more than push costly remedies that have already been tried and proved ineffective.”

    For the record, we agree with alternate fuels and efficiency — as we’ve said many times in this space, we drive the latter and invent the former. And, we ought to tap the resources we have here, in the Outer Continental Shelf and in ANWR. No other country has a moratorium on their own energy supply.

    However, in the spirit of bipartisanship that is sweeping Washington these days, we do have a new solution on the alternative fuel side. Thanks to our own James Skelly, we have this photo. We hope you can make it out. Yes, that’s the Capitol building and yes, those are windmills. We figure it might be a good way to harness some of the, uh, natural energy emanating from that building as the 110th Congress convenes.

    Join the discussion 2 Comments

    • bill b says:

      Seriously, if you want anyone to read this propaganda you should try to be truthful with the numbers.
      How bout ya figure the “energy usage” in gallons per vehicle and not annual spending. YOu can make the numbers say anything you want. If you cut to the chase you will quickly find that we are using less fuel per person per mile. You will also find that automakers are getting a big break on CAFE. They manipulate the output of certain vehicles and classify vehicles differently in order to bypass the requirements set out to curb the problem

      If someone tells you they dont smoke anymore so they should be healthy it looks good on the surface. However if they simply substitute smokeless chew products… well they told the truth but manipulated the information.

      YOu do it all the time here, how bout ya knock it off and be truthful?

    • M.C. says:

      Your article is ‘right on’. I should no longer be amazed at the short-sightedness of the political crass (I know–should be spelled ‘class’) who always seem to stumble to their outdated looney toons.
      Keep up the good work!
      Your windmill ‘photo op’ is a nothing short of fantastic.
      It would be a great Christmas card to send to all of our windy wordy unworthy folks in the other Windy City. mc