The use of alternate fuels and exploring other sources of renewable energy is almost as old as Aerosmith. While most people were crankin’ DREAM ON through their car’s KRACO AM/FM Cassette player stereo; junior high students were furiously writing out science reports about “cutting edge” technology such as wind turbines and solar power. Bush is presenting this like he just came down Mount Sinai with 2 stone tablets, but in this case; a bunch of papers and a teleprompter.
However, Bush is also adding to the mix. He has also brought bad science to the table with the “Hey, let’s tap the Alaskan Oil Reserves!” theme. This, of course, does nothing to decrease our dependence on oil (which is a complete shocker since Bush and his family have made a name for themselves by being in the OIL business.) Geologists, according to the Allentown paper ‘The Morning Call’, say that only about 3% of all the world’s oil is in the Alaskan reserve. The bulk of that, say about 60%, lies under those countries in the Middle East that we are either fighting in a war or just those who burn flags and political effigies in the streets everyday. Although he does say this will take years to develop (once again, a bunch of 6th graders 25 years ago knew that already), Bush says we can break away from the stranglehold foreign oil has on us. Once again, we will be again free to squander petroleum products at will. Congress, of course, has done their share. The giant tax loophole that allows 3-ton super-sized sports utility vehicles to get $25,000 tax breaks when used exclusively for business use, while gas hybrids get a skimpy tax break. The real capper is that the use of ethanol-blends in gasoline won’t really decrease the cost of the fuel, because there will be so much expense to convince companies to create the supply…for a demand that may not be there because of how few incentives there will be. It’s not like hybrids will start cheap, be as easy or convenient to use, or include enough power to do the job they are needed to. For example, the hybrid cars I have seen are little more than small two-seaters. What about those of us who haul a family around? Can’t we be environmentally aware and concerned too? Can anyone make a hybrid that can hold a car seat, diaper bag, stroller, and have enough power to work?
Energy conservation and better, more efficient vehicles are something we should have taken seriously long ago.
Nice try, George. This time we ARE going to pay attention to the man behind the curtain, but we doubt he will be able to take us anywhere outside Oz.