Saturday, October 01, 2005

BushCo's Energy Fiasco

Our leader thought we could fight a War on Terror without asking for any shared sacrifice. Nevertheless sacrifice is coming, and it won't be evenly shared. Home heating costs are soaring. Families that grumbled at the cost of filling up their SUVs, will be buying kerosene heaters (remember them?) to warm their homes this winter.
Wasn't the Iraq war supposed to open up the flow of oil and pay for the invasion and occupation? It has been 30 months since President Flightsuit declared "an end to major combat operations" on May 1, 2003. But the LA Times reports that mismanagement has kept production below pre-war levels:
Despite the United States' spending more than $1.3 billion, oil production remains below the estimated prewar level of 2.5 million barrels per day and well below a December 2004 goal of up to 3 million barrels per day.
The biggest problems: failure to connect a water pipeline to oil fields from the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant, failure to repair pipelines to the Al Fathah oil field and a cancelled contract to repair Southern oil wells. The company involved: Kellog Brown & Root, a subsidary of Halliburton.
We're in the fifth year of an administration run by two oil executives. Energy prices are sky-high. Even Bush has called for conservation. (Older readers will remember the slogan, "Is this trip necessary?" from WW II.) Maybe it's time we took another look at energy policy.
CEOs including Jim Rogers of Cinergy, Jeff Immelt of GE and Jeremy Bentham of Shell Hydrogen have spoken out for the need to look beyond oil and gas to meet the world's energy needs. The News Journal reports that Representative Mike Castle (R-DE) yesterday visited a GE solar cell factory and a University of Delaware solar energy research facility:
"To a great degree, I think, in Washington too many decisions are being based on the economy of a certain industry," Castle said. "I think we need to spend a lot more time, energy and resources on conservation and alternatives."
Castle was one of 31 House Republicans who voted against the BushCo energy monstrosity passed only two months ago. (How bad is the Energy Policy Act of 2005? Take a look.) Even though the ink is hardly dry on that mess of porkage, our president is busy relaxing environmental standards and talking about opening even more public lands for oil and gas drilling, an idea Castle is not inclined to favor.
Middle class familes with soaring heating bills will not be helped a bit by provisions in the energy monstrosity such as this one giving more than $1 billion to an oil company institute in Tom DeLay's district. Our national government has handed over public lands, billions of dollars and no-bid contracts to the oil companies, and all we got are record energy prices. Perhaps it's time to hold Bush, Cheney, DeLay and their cronies accountable for the mess they've created.


Blogger Coeruleus said...

<< Institute Director Robert W. Birkmire cautioned that other nations are moving more quickly to embrace solar cells, or "photovoltaics," leaving the United States in danger of losing its lead in industry and in technological development.>>

Partly to blame is GE itself, which for years lobbyied against measures that would have helped the fledgling solar industry. As a result, one of the most promising companies, Astropower, eventually went bankrupt and the pieces were bought up by GE. Now that they've got the technology for cheap, they're showing it off.

Disclosure: I lost a bunch of money on APWR back in the days.

10:30 AM, October 02, 2005  

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