They’re not blaming the earthquake on Obama (yet), but…

The bitter little joke I made earlier about FoxNews not having blamed the earthquake off Japan on President Obama was meant to be funny, but…

This morning, I saw this Tweet:

FrumForum

@FrumForumFrumForum

Boehner Blames Obama for Energy Costs: GOP: Obama to Blame for Higher Energy Costs http://bit.ly/f1cYtQ #tcot

What are you gonna do with people like that?

Of course, he’s got half of a point:

“They’ve canceled new leases for exploration, jeopardized our nuclear energy industry, and imposed a de facto moratorium on future drilling in our country. They’ve even pushed a cap-and-trade energy tax that the president himself admitted would cause the price of energy to skyrocket,” Boehner said.

Republicans have repeatedly criticized the administration and congressional Democrats for what they perceive to be a lackluster response to the rapidly rising cost of oil.

… but half a point, in the hands of partisan ideologues, is a very dangerous thing.

I say “half a point” because the president is no more an Energy Party man than the speaker is. Both of them only see the half that their respective ideologies allow. Boehner is for drilling, domestic exploration, nuclear energy and the like. Obama is for alternative energy sources, conservation, and other “green” initiatives. When the truth is, we need to do ALL of those things, and more, to achieve the critically important (economically and strategically) goal of energy independence.

Yet another way that our two-party system prevents our leaders from even considering real, comprehensive solutions to compelling national problems. Which is another reason we MUST not allow them to further strengthen their death grip on our electoral system.

One other thing: I allowed this comment from our persistent gadfly Steven/Michael/Fred/Luke/etc. earlier today:

… so that I could say this: You’re absolutely correct. But callin’ it business as usual don’t make it right, boss. It just makes it twice as wrong.

Vote UnParty.

7 thoughts on “They’re not blaming the earthquake on Obama (yet), but…

  1. bud

    When the truth is, we need to do ALL of those things, and more, to achieve the critically important (economically and strategically) goal of energy independence.
    -Brad

    Is that really “the truth”? That kind of statement is very provocative and hardly in keeping with someone who professes to be a moderate thinker. Frankly I find many of the things you say are debatable or even flat out incorrect. First of all it is not necessary a “critically important” goal to attain energy independence. Nor is it even realistically possible. Isn’t it much more sensible to import oil from sources that can produce it cheaply compared to the high costs we need to drill here? We should devote our resources to producing stuff for which we have a competitive advantage. That is certainly not expensive ultra deep water oil.

    The second point is that burning fossil fuels has costs beyond that of extraction and refinement. The ecological costs of burning coal and oil are enormous.

    Then there’s nuclear. Given the potential problems with nuclear plants in the event of a terrorist attack or a nature disaster (check out what’s happening in Japan) we shouldn’t just automatically consider this a clean, safe energy source.

    Perhaps some of the less obnoxious forms of fossil fuels will be needed as we go forward. But I would manintain that it’s a radical and dangerous approach to direct an inordinate amount of resources to continue our reliance. I don’t find the energy party platform a centrist platform that pulls the best ideas from dems and the GOP. Instead I find it a dangerous and radical misreading of the facts.

    What we need is a drastic reduction in the amount of energy we use. That should be the focus of our energy future. Any plans that focus on expanding the use of fossil fuels is not only wrong but extremist.

    Reply
  2. Brad

    Truth? Yes. The only kind of truth that any of us can state: That which we are able to determine to the best of our abilities, as Lincoln said, “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.”

    It also surprises me that people who get on my case for the economic woes that would ensue if we raised gas prices further via a tax increase can turn around and suggest that we bring about “a drastic reduction in the amount of energy we use,” which is a recipe for economic disaster that would make the current problems we face look like a walk in the park.

    Our economic badly needs to GROW. You can’t do that by “drastically” reducing the net amount of energy consumed. The only way to achieve sensible goals (protecting our planet, greatly improving our strategic situation in the world) while preserving our economy from disaster is to pursue several tracks in parallel. And two of those tracks are 1) pursuing alternative, safer, wiser ways of producing energy with all our might, while 2) taking every step we can to make sure the oil that we will inevitably have to consume between now and the time the magic beans grow into viable replacement sources does NOT come from unstable, often hostile, foreign sources.

    None of this can be accomplished by waving a wand, or wishing. Conservation is part of the solution, but a small part. Alternative energy is a part, but (so far, alas) a small part. Drilling domestically (because, and I can’t say this often enough or strongly enough, our economy WILL continue to be extremely dependent on oil for some time to come, no matter how aggressively we pursue alternative sources or conservation/efficiency) is a part of the solution, but a small part.

    Our energy salvation does not lie entirely in any of these solutions. It lies in all of them. And that’s the truth, as God gives me the power to see it.

    Lincoln also wrote this: “We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war [insert “energy crisis” for “terrible war” to see the application to our topic] long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom, and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best lights He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains.”

    Excuse me for getting all preachy, but when we start doing like Pontius Pilate and questioning the nature of “truth,” I tend to turn to ultimate sources.

    Reply
  3. Karen McLeod

    I think we need to continue to drill, but not without fail-safe (or as close as we can get) protections in place (which we don’t have, especially with deep water drilling). Such long term pollution of our oceans is a scary thought, partially because we don’t know what the long term result may be. I pray that it’s not too serious, because we are more dependent on the sea than most realize. I don’t like gas costs going up either, but that does encourage people to consider energy costs more, and just might encourage a general transit system that actually worked to come into being around here. So far, even with a severe quake, Japan’s nuclear stations have remained safe. But for our own sakes, lets put the bulk of the money into alternative sources. We may squeeze out of this situation without doing so, but if we’re not prepared for the next big energy crunch, we may not survive it. Just think how much better off we’d be today if Reagan had continued Carter’s conservation efforts, and the funding for alternative fuels This is “the next time” after that warning; I don’t think we want to see what the next time after this one brings.

    Reply
  4. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Gas guzzler tax, with special low income tax credits. If you are able to afford a gas guzzling SUV or truck, you should pay the true cost and not expect the environment to bear the burden.

    Reply
  5. Doug Ross

    @Kathryn

    The “gas guzzlers” pay more in taxes already. Every gallon they use is taxed.

    Now define “gas guzzler”. That’ll take millions of dollars of tax dollars to define, implement, and monitor.

    Reply
  6. Karen McLeod

    Kathryn, part of the problem is that when the cost of fuel gets high, the ‘gas guzzlers’ flood the used car market, while the more fuel efficient cars disappear. That leaves those who are unable to afford a new car having few choices. The poorer they are, the more likely they are to end up with a car that costs a lot to operate (assuming of course that they can put a used car on credit).

    Reply

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