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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Candidates respond to Senate's (watered down) Energy Bill

The latest energy bill that was just passed by the Senate contains a lot of loopholes for auto manufacturers and only an average fuel efficiency requirement of 35 MPG by 2020. It looks like those campaign contributions are already paying off! As Thomas Friedman points out in today's NYT, the hoax is not the threat of Global Warming and Climate change, but rather the promises of our politicians to do something about it. Besides a huge failure on vehicle fuel efficiency the Senate failed to include a mandate for utilities to provide 15% of their power from renewable sources.

Here are some of the comments from a few of the 2008 Presidential candidates. Some of the BS on this bill makes me gag.

Senator Hillary Clinton:
“This bill is an important step towards increasing our energy independence and fighting global warming,” said Senator Clinton. “As we move forward I hope we can do even more to spur investment in clean energy and create new jobs.”

My comment: Unlike many of her Democratic rivals Senator Clinton is definitely not playing the "anti-big business" card. Sure, she can trash the Bush administration, but where is the tough talk on the automakers and oil companies?

Governor Bill Richardson: "The Senate's energy bill makes progress, but not nearly enough. I especially congratulate Senator Feinstein and conservationists who finally got SUV's included in the fuel economy standard. But overall it's another band-aid approach, not the comprehensive medical treatment our nation's energy policy needs. The fuel economy standards will not spur serious technological innovation and change. They are still far below those of Japan, China, and Europe. To be world leaders, the United States has to be serious about fuel economy. The Senate's failure to adopt even a 15% renewable electricity requirement is another failure. The future lies in sustainable, renewable energy and both the Congress and the President are failing to prepare for the future."

My comment: I think Richardson is definitely one of the few who truly get this issue. Too bad his state is ranked close to last place in about every major category from education to healthcare.

John McCain: "We don't want to do anything that would kill any of the Big Three", "I would prefer to see it done voluntarily, myself..." "You're seeing a different attitude on the part of the manufacturers," he said. "They're going to have to make adjustments. Manufacturers all know that. And the industry is in trouble. We all know that."

My Comment: What ever happened to that wily maverick named John McCain? Talk about selling out.

What about Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, and Barrack Obama? Unfortunately I did not find any quotes related to this energy bill but I did want to mention a few of my observations.

Obama did go to Detroit to speak to the automakers and mentioned a plan to trade health care insurance assistance for higher fuel standards. He also proposed a plan to increase fuel standards by 4% annually. Obama's website had some nice content on where he stands on Global Warming and I think he is a candidate that is serious about breaking the oil addiction.

I would have to say that John Edwards' website has a lot of information on the issue as well, although when listening to him and by reading the press releases from his camp energy issues do not seem to be anywhere near the top of his list of priorities. Thats just my opinon though.

I couldn't even get passed the introduction page to Rudy Giuliani's website. If this was an exam he would fail before he even got to question #1. Maybe this is Rudy's way of forcing you to donate to his campaign?

Last but not least is Governor Mitt Romney's website. I have to say I've been impressed with Romney overall so far but the lack of details on energy issues at his web site is disappointing. Here are some video clips of him speaking to energy issues and energy independence. He doesn't get into specifics and his responses seem to be very generic. I would have to say the jury is still out on Mitt for this issue although I really liked his quote that "Healthcare, education, and the environment are not Democratic issues. They are American issues."


Anonymous said...

I agree that Romney has not made specific proposals about reaching energy independance. However, he has committed himself to the goal and to leading an energy revolution. Romney sees this as a national security issue. This postition is a very favorable position for a common front with people who want to see emissions and reliance on fossil fuels reduced for other reasons.

Schultz said...


I see what you are saying but I have not seen any evidence that suggests Romney is truly "committed" to leading us through an energy revolution. Does he realize there is a need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Absolutely, but so does every other candidate running in 2008. I guess what I like to see from these candidates are original ideas on how to solve the energy crisis, like Senator Obama's suggestion to use health care subsidies to enforce increasing the fuel standards. That may not be the best answer, but at least it is a possible step in the right direction.

Remember, we are trying to be non-partisan on this blog so we try give everyone a fair evaluation. I've seen a lot of rhetoric from all the candidates on the energy issue but only a few have actual plans on getting us to an energy "revolution."