Just As I Thought

Didn’t they see the “Energy” segment of Schoolhouse Rock?

There are so many billions of things in this world that I don’t understand, and I’m sure you can guess that hypocrisy is one of them.
Now, I’m under no misconceptions about political hypocrisy, because those people don’t work in the realm of reality. But what I can’t understand is how the American people don’t call them on it…
Remember back in the 90s, when oil costs crept up to, frankly, a fraction of what they are today? Remember how the Republicans lambasted President Clinton for not releasing the Strategic Oil Reserve to lower prices? Remember?
Well, why haven’t any of those Republicans been calling for President Bush to do something? And why, when we have such record prices, have they passed an “energy bill” that not only does nothing to wean us from foreign oil, but gives huge tax breaks to oil companies that are now reaping record profits?
Am I the only one confused here?
Meanwhile, they’re still touting ANWR as the solution:

Rep. Anne M. Northup (R-Ky.) said she heard from concerned constituents at every stop this month, including at a gas station in her district, where it cost her $41 to fill up her Ford Escape, one of the smaller sport-utility vehicles on the road. She said one of her messages to voters is: Pressure Washington to allow drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The energy policy recently passed by Congress and signed into law by Bush does not permit drilling in the refuge, but Republicans hope to open this area to drilling as part of this year’s budget agreement.

It would take a long time before oil can be pumped from the ground in the refuge because oil exploration and the start of production typically take years. Though ANWR production would slightly reduce the growth in U.S. imports, experts say, its impact on prices is less clear.

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence and math skills will tell you that the potential oil reserves in ANWR would do little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil other than offset some of the coming increases needed to supply our thirst. Meanwhile, it’s been shown over and over again that increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles would do astronomically more to reduce our dependency… but the energy bill doesn’t touch that third rail.

… In the past, lawmakers have sided with the Big Three car companies in opposing broad increases in CAFE standards, which require vehicles to get more miles from each gallon. A number of legislators are now considering plans to increase the standards.

The obvious benefit to consumers is the savings resulting from better gas mileage. But Ben Lieberman, an energy expert at the Heritage Foundation, noted: “People aren’t going to drive their SUV off a cliff, and run out and buy a more economical vehicle.” He added: “You are talking about something that would take a decade or more to have an effect.” Others say it would take less time, but still years.

[Washington Post]

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