Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush recently declared this country's excessive reliance on foreign oil as "a national security problem." If so, then where's the many billions of dollars thrown at this problem? Oh, that's right, alternative energy sources lack a significant K Street presence and are not big campaign donors.

Bush is touring the country, attempting to convince people that he truly supports non-oil solutions to our energy problems. However:
"It's great that the president is talking about our addiction to oil, but his policies are feeding the habit," said Jeremy Symons, director of the National Wildlife Federation's global warming campaign and a former staffer on Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force. "The budget that came out funds less than half of what the recent energy bill promised for renewable energy and energy efficiency - the two most readily available opportunities to break our addiction to oil," Symons said in an interview. Most benefits from the alternative energy sources that Bush favors are years away from practical use, and some of the technology is unproven or financially impractical now.
Many a right-winger will exclaim, "he finally backs some leftist solutions and this is what you do? Criticize him??" Uh, yes, because it's mainly lip-service bunk.

This recent charade helps to illustrate two classic Bush administration traits:

1) Publicly propose "bold" initiatives -- but then quietly underfund them. Reap the pomp and fanfare but ultimately do very little. Garner the favorable public opinion via splashy headlines and glossy rhetoric, but in the trenches where it counts, come up very short.

2) Stress years into the future -- when you don't have to. There already exists many technical breakthroughs that could be implemented fairly quickly if Bush would just offer the leadership to make it happen. Example: raise the MPG on the US fleet of autos/trucks, forcing the use of existing technical know-how to make vehicles more fuel efficient.

Instead, as with global warming, GW chooses to emphasize the more-science-is-needed approach, thus stalling any impetus to do something, anything, now. He pushes out the urgency. The end result: very little will get done, later rather than sooner.

Notice how his SOTU speech had near zero bragging points on his achievements over the last five years.... My point.

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