Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Addicted to oil? Well, duh...

What 12-step program did coke-head Bush attend?
Bush to Say 'America Is Addicted to Oil' in Talk (AP)

In his state of the union speech tonight Bush will suggest that "America is addicted to oil...The best way to break this addiction is through technology."

I'm sure Bush's proposed technology fix for American oil dependency is really intended as a means of directing millions of "research" dollars to his buddies at Halliburton, ExxonMobil, etc. Such "research" spending will likely have similar results as all the "reconstruction" spending in Iraq: enrichment of Bush cronies, a few photo-op projects, and increased hardship for the purported beneficiaries.

A more cost-effective and immediate way to break our oil addiction is through conservation and greater efficiency. Among other things, this would mean improving mass transit, biking, and walking--giving people an alternative to driving. Cleaner air and improved public health would be additional benefits of such an approach.

But such conservation might hurt the bottom line of the oil companies. And Bush ain't gonna go there.


Blogger Jym said...

=v= In 2003's State of the Union address, the Shrub mentioned allocating $1.2 billion so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free." With this turn of phrase, his speechwriters (1) reinforce the idea of driving cars as a rite of passage and (2) suggest that there's no pressing need to fix cars for another 15 years or so.

People who should have known better were encouraged. The record from the White House at that point is pretty much the same as it is now: slashing energy conservation and clean energy research from budgets, aggressive promotion of fossil fuels and "clean, safe, nukular energy," and absurd tax breaks for SUV drivers.

I looked at the FY2003 proposed budget that went along with that speech, and wrote, "The Department of Energy executive summary stresses 'clean' energy, but as you read on you find that the big money's going to (surprise!) fossil fuels and nuclear energy. We also see that the automotive technology money is going into the 'Freedom CAR' program, which as we know simply throws money at Detroit without any real accountability or goals."

Take a look at the actual budget that goes with this year's speech, and you'll see nothing new:


Well, actually, there is something new. In 2003 the very high cost of decomissioning nuclear power facilities was categorized as "renewable energy." In 2006 it's been renamed environmental management."

9:33 PM  

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