June 15, 2005
President Bush has came out swinging in urging the Senate to pass the energy bill recently approved by the House. The main controversy is opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, but various tax provisions have also come under scrutiny. Here are some of the main points from a speech to the 16th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington today, from the White House Web site:
It's interesting that he cited France as a model to follow in terms of nuclear power. It's nice to see the President taking on yet another critical issue that must be addressed, and I'm particularly glad that he effectively linked the national security and environmental issues, since that's one of my personal interests. It's too bad, however, that some of his proposals are old fashioned lame gestures and half measures. He could accomplish what all those proposals would do but in a much simpler and more direct way by just raising taxes on gas and diesel fuel to a level commensurate with their real long-term scarcity and environmental impact! Why is it so hard to enact such a measure? Oh yeah, because most American people regard cheap energy as an entitlement, and they'd rather have someone else pay for the consequences. The President has a long way to go before the gas guzzling public gets the message.