The American people’s environmental and economic interests have been ignored, because of cable media’s misleading, pro-Big Oil, talking head spin and John McCain’s old-style politics. And it doesn’t help when cable media persists to give McCain undeserved, favorable news coverage regarding energy policy. The McCain campaign has tried to muddle the conversation on energy policy. They have engaged in archaic, below the belt politics that have tried to distract from focus on more productive energy initiatives to solve our economic problems. The McCain campaign has engaged in flagrant flip-flopping, character assassination, divide-and-conquer political maneuvers and cannon fodder as an alternative to focusing on the real issues that have caused real pain at the pump and an empty wallet.
John McCain has only talked about oil drilling, reversing his long opposition to it, and more nuclear power. However, he has refused to go into talking about other choices of energy that are cleaner and more useful. The cable news media has also assisted the campaign’s manipulation of dialogue and information by creating a monopoly on what we talk about on the energy subject. Oil drilling is not the be-all, end-all of what we need. In fact, oil drilling is a choice that would take, according to experts, 10 years to come to fruition. Even when it does it would only give a break of only a few cents, and would swiftly be swallowed up by the oil speculation and price gouging of the oil companies. Even if they started tomorrow, it wouldn’t help. Bush’s own Energy Department reports that off shore drilling would produce no relief until about 2030. The McCain campaign needs to be realistic about the real problem and the fact that Americans are truly suffering. I guess we should not expect that much when McCain’s former energy adviser, Phil Gramm, said a little while ago that America was having a “mental recession” and that we are a “nation of whiners.” That doesn’t sound understanding of our energy problem and needs.
We have more immediate choices by demanding President Bush to release the oil in our strategic national reserves and to demand that Congress discontinue the corporate welfare tax subsidies given to the oil companies that they do not need. John McCain has talked about creating 40 new nuclear power plants when we don’t even know what to do with the nuclear waste created by the ones we have now.
Have we forgotten the problems of nuclear power? It takes 10,000 years for the waste to break down, there is no place to dispose it in, and it is terribly harmful to humans, animals, plants and our food/ecosystems. Have we forgot the horrible disasters that nuclear power has the potential to cause, especially the damage that it has caused to lives and the environment in Chernobyl (genetic mutation to the survivors), in Japan, and what almost happened at Three Mile Island in the 70s? Why go down that road when there is fresh, innovative energy in front of us that can be made fast and easy?
Wind power equipment can be constructed really fast. Nuclear power plants cannot be built as immediately. And wind power has potential to deliver as much power as nuclear power can without the excessive environmental damage and looming threat to our way of life. Then there is geothermal energy for our home.
Geothermal energy is natural energy that can used without damage to the environment. What about titanium solar, hydrogen fuel cell, and plug-in electric energy? They can be made with the fraction of the price of what it would cost to build the older, more wasteful forms of energy. And we can create domestic jobs that can put our American worker back into employment and build our American image as a strong competitor of independent energy that won’t be exported from Saudi Arabia or other nations that support terror with our money. Those are better choices than continuing to feed the Big Oil monster that has the struggling American worker over its knee.
We cannot take at face value information coming from the McCain campaign; when John McCain has recently received campaign contributions from the very same oil industry that is making record profits at our expenses. For example, Exxon has received 11.7 billion dollars in profits over the last 3 months. The Arizona senator has been pocketing more than a million in contributions from oil executives and the money is going into an ad that promises he’s taking on the oil industry. McCain is trying to make a fool of your judgment. What about the Obama energy plan?
The Obama plan will cut U.S. oil consumption of foreign oil by 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, take 50 million cars worth of pollution off the road, and save American consumers more than $50 billion at the gas pump. At a time when Americans are paying record gas prices, John McCain proposes an additional $1.2 billion tax break for big oil companies.
Barack Obama brought together supporters and opponents of gas mileage standards to support bold legislation doubling fuel economy standards in 18 years. Obama’s plan establishes concrete efficiency targets while giving industry the flexibility to meet those targets. The Illinois senator has been one of the strongest proponents in Congress for increasing the national supply of home-grown American renewable fuels. Obama introduced the American Fuels Act with Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) to increase domestic production, distribution, and use of biofuels. Obama also championed successful legislation to make gas stations eligible for tax credits to install E85 ethanol refueling pumps.
Barack Obama will also establish a 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that 20 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived by clean, sustainable energy sources. This requirement will create thousands of new American jobs, especially in rural areas.
We, as a country, need to demand that the talk on our energy policy is as transparent, whole, and as constructive for all of us as possible. In a time when we are facing an environmental crisis, like climate change, we need to be more pragmatic about energy choices that doesn’t destroy our shores, beaches, our national wildlife refuges, or cause more damage to our planet. It is possible to have productive energy choices while protecting our planet for our children and their children.