Thursday, February 09, 2006

Addicted to Oil, Part 3

Y'know, you wait for the other shoe to drop, and with this administration, it always does. Under the cover of the NSA hearings and the riots in the Middle East, comes this little gem (HT Miss Cellania):
Energy gaps seen in Bush's budget
Plan would cut funding aimed at conservation
By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | February 8, 2006

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's latest spending plan is unlikely to substantially reduce US oil consumption in the short term because it slashes $100 million from federal programs promoting conservation and falls short of the commitment in last year's energy bill to make vast new investments in renewable and emerging technologies, like hydrogen fuel and solar power.

Despite Bush's ambitious goal of cutting Middle East oil imports by 75 percent within 20 years -- outlined in his State of the Union address a week ago -- the president's budget calls for an 18 percent cut in programs aimed at reducing energy consumption, like financial aid to help needy families better insulate their homes and research to make cars use fuel more efficiently.

Critics say the budget sends a mixed message on energy policy: The president wants to invest in renewable energy but would spend less on it than he promised in the energy bill he signed and would scale down efficiency programs that would more quickly reduce the nation's demand for oil.
Small steps, to be sure, but immediate ones. And small steps may be what we're forced to take right now, since there are enough barbarians at the gate to warrant a full-scale assault on this idiotic idea floated by Bush of cutting overseas oil dependence by 75%.

Noble in its aim, so please don't mistake me for someone who WANTS us to import more oil. I fully support alternative energy research, and I want it now. But what's idiotic is the idea that this failed oil man, whose entire life has been serving the Saudis, and picking up the crumbs they drop in his food dish to gain access to power, is the instrument of this effort. That's utter nonsense, and anyone with a lick of intelligence ought to see that (so basically, that's maybe the 60% of the country that doesn't lead with its right wing).

There are so many things we could do right now to cut oil imports by 25%. These programs, targeted to assist the poor, are one. Another idea I've had is to re-classify both SUVs and pick up trucks, as, well, trucks, not just for CAFE standards, but also for insurance purposes.

Want to see people abandoning their SUVs by the side of the road and running into buy hybrids and electric cars? That's how you do it! Ban them from anything but the interstate highways & streets designed for commercial traffic. Take them off parkways and side streets. Make our lives cleaner, healthier and less dependent on oil.

And Bush could do this with the wave of a pen. And it's not like he'd be hurting Ford or GM...

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