Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keystone Sops

Tim from Colorado e-mails to share his frustration with his elected representatives when it comes to energy policies that might actually work:

I was out of town at the end of last week when the Senate vote on the Keytone XL Pipeline project took place, and didn't get a chance to hear a good reason why the Senate turned down the project.

I did some internet surfing tonight and still haven't found a good reason why the clowns in the Senate turned this project down. I was most disappointed to find out that both of my Senators from Colorado voted against the project, but I was not surprised. Both of my Senators voted for the Health Care Bill, so why should I think that they would not remain lap dogs for President Obama?

The only reasons listed in a CNN website article were that a) there are concerns about leaks, and b) that a section of the pipleine crosses a small, environmentally sensitive, area in Nebraska.

Leaks? Well, let's look at the Trans-Alaska Pipeline for a little background. The most significant leaks that occured were caused by sabotage, and the most recent leaks were small in nature and completely contained. But while we're on the subject of leaks, I guess my smarter-than-the-average-bear senators think that delivering oil by tanker truck or rail car is a safer method than a pipeline. Experience shows us this is not the case, but you shouldn't confuse a senator with facts.

As for the section of the pipeline that crosses an environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska, I'm sympathetic. Everyone involved in this project has said that this issue is not insurmountable, including the Governor. My Senators voted for the Health Care bill before they read it and before they knew all of its details, so now they're telling me they're reading bills now before they vote on them and every detail must be completely worked out, and they expect me to believe that?

I expect a form letter from each senator trumpeting how they have voted for renewable energy programs toeliminate our dependence on oil; I don't want to hear it. Our senators are terribly misguided. Their focus should be to first eliminate our dependence on Middle East Oil. Renewable energy programs are nothing more than heavily govenrment subsidized (read: paid for us up front whether we want it or not), novelty energy gimmicks that cannot give our country abundent, reliable energy at a price that will continue to sustain our economy.

The simple fact is that we've been promised a comprehensive national energy policy for the last 30 years and all we've gotten so far are programs that line the pockets of the politicians and their friends. I'm not singling out senators here, it's just that they had the most recent chance to change this trajectory, and they chose to turn their backs. The president and the congressional leadership are no more serious about energy policy today than they were in 1970.