Sunday, July 27, 2008

Red, Blue and Green

Here are a couple of things that I find amazing. To begin with, the Democrats are allowing the Republicans to define the issues regarding energy. This is not just my opinion. Dave Roberts at Gristmill is starting to take this seriously. First, he commented that the Republican are bluffing on drilling. Then, he complained, like I have just done, that the Democrats are allowing the to get away with it. According to Roberts you should "never let your enemy choose the battlefield."

I could not agree more, and forwarded that to my Congressman, Democrat Jerry McNerney... known around here as McWind for his background working as a wind energy consultant. But that is just the beginning. I have more to say.

To begin with, the most well known oilman in the country is telling everyone that this is one problem that you can't drill your way out of. I am talking about T. Boone Pickens who is buying a lot of ad time and, in effect, telling us all that Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) are just trolling for votes with their talk of offshore drilling. At least, Pickens recognizes the scope of the problem and says that he has a plan.

At least, Pickens provides the best evidence that McCain and the rest of the Republicans have concluded that the public is a bunch of fools and easily bamboozled. They went out, took a poll and found out that people hate the high gas prices. So, they offer a 19th Century solution for a 21st Century problem. This issue by itself tells me McCain has no bleeping idea about what this country needs to do.

On the other hand, we have Obama shilling for renewable, especially corn based ethanol. This is as bad as McCain in that he seems to know there is a problem and chooses to use the problem to buy votes rather than to actually do what we need.

My bigger question is that of where is the Green Party. We need to be out telling people the true story every chance we get, but I don't see it. We have absolutely the best opportunity to hammer home that the demagogues in our major parties are all tuned in to sound bites and image projections. If there were ever a situation that makes the perfect argument for 3rd parties, this is it. Yet, as the one party that does not have to put on an act to have Green in our name, we are silent.

Cynthia, what are you going to do about this? We don't need to hear about 911 any more. There are bigger problems. It may not be the issue on which you are the most comfortable but it is one big issue on everyone's minds and both Republican and Democrats are treating us like they think we are fools.

Carol Wolmann, Barry Hermanson,
Carol Brouillet, Peter Meyers, Tom Lash; are you attacking your opponents over their lame energy pollicies? Why not?

Mike Thompson (CA-1) takes the Democratic Party line on Energy. From his latest release:
  • Allow for additional withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to increase domestic supply. The SPR is currently at 98% capacity, and reducing it slightly to 90% would immediately increase supply, reduce prices and still maintain a substantial amount of reserve;
  • Work with Congress to take aim at speculators who are artificially increasing the cost of oil, and;
  • Require oil companies to use existing oil and gas leases, which according to the Department of Interior covers nearly 70 million acres – roughly the size of Colorado – and are estimated to have billions of barrels of recoverable oil.
If you read Dave Roberts, you know that this is a dumb strategy but it is what their playbook says to do.

Jackie Spier (CA-12) has not been around long enough to have much to say, but at least she has an idea. Change the speed limit so that we burn less gas per mile. My experience driving 101 is that we don't enforce the speed limit now. How, pray tell, is this going do anything more than than allow her to tell her constituents that she is doing something.

Anna Eshoo is so oblivious to the problem that her Congressional Web Site talks about the Caliofornia Energy Crisis on 2000, 2001. Maybe, though, of the entire list of House Candidates with Green opponents, she is might do the least harm just because she is doing nothing.

Mike Honda (CA-15) is not even there yet. Here is his plan to make it easier to find and burn more oil. Again, he is solving the Republican's problem.
  1. speeding the development of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) by requiring the Secretary of Interior to offer at least one lease sale annually in the NPR-A.
  2. reinstating a ban on the foreign export of Alaskan oil.
  3. incorporating the ‘Use It or Lose It’ legislation, which simply requires oil producers to drill on the leases they already have or relinquish them so that another company can produce the oil there.
  4. calling on the President to use the powers of his office to facilitate the completion of oil pipelines into the NPR-A and to facilitate the construction of a Alaska natural gas pipeline to the continental United States to move the product to market.
Now, for Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) who we know is hopeless. Again, he has a plan to burn more oil more quickly than anyone else.
...the American Energy Act. The bill – a product made possible by energy policies proposed by Members throughout the House Republican Conference – will increase the supply of American-made energy, improve conservation and efficiency, and promote new and expanding energy technologies to help lower the price at the pump and reduce America’s increasingly costly and dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Not a single one of these Congress Critters, all with Green Party opponents, makes a modicum of sense. Since our candidates are not making this a major issue, let's do it for them.

We need to have letters goign to the editor of every newspaper in each of these districts, especially the local community weeklies. We have a much greater chance of being printed that way.

T. Boone Pickens tells the truth. This is not a problem that you can drill your way out of. Neither his problem (money spent on foreign oil) nor the greater problem of global warming can wait for a solution. Time to give 'em all a little Hell.

And to all of you who are worried about that spoiler issue, here is the perfect example of why we need to have more than two parties. At least, Greens are going to tell you the truth.


Anonymous said...

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Roger, Gone Green said...

Absolutely; Wes this is dead on. But even Greens are being timid here: I have a solar roof and have driven an electric car -- Gore got this one right. (My electric bill averages $25 per month, with central AC . . . would have been $0, if I had just put up a couple more panels.)

The Dems -- not to mention we Greens -- really should make the Republicans defend further oil dependence, when event the anti-intellectual in the White House has said we are addicted to oil. Heck, if an alcoholic oil man says you are addicted to oil, you better believe him!

Wes said...

Roger, your comments are typical. Like you, most true Greens have made the choices for a more rational life. However that has not translated into political action at any level.

Too many Green activists would rather impeach Bush and Co. for past crimes than save the world from future calamity.

Roger, Gone Green said...

Wes, I hear you in that too many early adopters of something like Green Values are perrenial outsiders -- complain and deconstruct, but often unable to take affirmative steps in the community.

BUT let me point out that here in Pasadena our local Utility was headed for a 30 year re-up on a big coal electricity contract. As a pro forma thing they had some public meetings when a couple of us on the Utility Commission suggested the community might not support it. When a dozen Greens off our local list showed up and (1) critiques the contract and (2) expressed support for specific alternatives, the utility then dropped the coal contract. Later, when the 20 year energy plan was WAY low on non-fossil alernatives and seemed to be business as usual, the Environmetal Advisory Commission refused to endorse it, recomending instead that we direct our utility to find new power after an exhaustive consultation with stakeholders and OUTSIDE experts. The utility now makes out like we didn't force it on them kicking and screaming the whole way, but that it was actualy their own idea. . . . ROFL.

The bottom line is step up and get involved in meetings etc. Offer proactive solutions (not just complaints) and you can make changes . . . Stay tuned as Pasadena draws closer to imposing a plastic bag ban with teeth . . . (grin)

Anonymous said...

And again I'll say, Wes, that I think you only have anecdotal info from a few GP lists you are on, that makes you think more Greens are working on, or concerned about impeachment, than climate issues.

My mileage differs. None of us has a clear snapshot, i think, of what GP activists are REALLY doing out there-cuz the best and most active ones, IMHO, are not the ones pontificating about impeachment or anything else, on listserves, they're out DOING things.

Wes said...

I know that activists are out there doing what they can. I also know that people like Roger are making a difference... in Pasadena and all over the country.

What I don't yet see is that our candidates are taking advantage of any ecological issue. I start with McKinney and go on to the California Congressional candidates. Every one of them is focused almost entirely on such issues as 911 Truth, Bush impeachment or Iraq.

We have to separate activists like you from the candidates.

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Anthony Butcher