This is really sad. Paris Hilton’s energy policy sounds more logical than either John McCain’s or Barack Obama’s.
“Paris for President” sends chills down my spine, but as far as energy policies go, she takes the tack I’d like to see our next president take: a common-sense, multi-faceted, middle-of-the-road approach.
Drill off-shore, especially where oil companies already hold drilling leases. Expand the off-shore drilling while observing environmental guidelines. Stay out of ANWR; it’s a designated wildlife refuge, fer cryin’ out loud. Fire up all those refineries we shut down and start building new ones if necessary.
Support T. Boone Pickins, a Texas oilman who knows energy, and his Pickins Plan for developing energy in Texas and Oklahoma. I’m from Oklahoma; wind and solar power have been obvious but mostly ignored choices there since time began. Hell, there’s more sun and wind there than anything else. I live in Colorado now, and opted to pay a premium for my “wind-generated” power. (You know how that works: I don’t have a wind turbine in my yard; I just pay a premium to help support the wind farm that generates part of the power company’s output.)
Solar power. So obvious, and now more promising than ever.
Nuclear power. Yes, yes, and yes. I was married to a nuclear engineer for three years and lived just 10 miles from the power plant where he worked. No big whoop. (Well, we were a little tense right after 9/11, but so was everyone else living near a sensitive target. Besides, my ex assured me the containment building was designed to take a direct hit from a 747. The real vulnerability, he pointed out, was the transmission lines and towers that carried the power to the customers downstate.) I listened to all his “day at the office” stories and became convinced that this is a safe, valuable technology we aren’t using nearly enough. If the Europeans can use it as much as they do, so can we. I don’t, however, support “glow” trains running all over the country carrying nuclear waste from the nuke factories; the waste should be stored at the plant that produces it.
Hybrid cars and cleaner-running cars — build them. More fuel-efficient cars — insist on them. Enforce regulations on the auto manufacturers. They have the technology; force them to use it. Develop biofuels as fast as possible, with the exception of corn-based products. Concentrate on cellulosic ethanol, that uses waste cellulose, not food crops.
Europe burns a lot of its trash in giant incinerators that harness and distribute trash-fueled power. With all the trash produced in this country, we should be developing the idea. Europe was forced into it because available landfills are filling up and more land is scarce. There’s a lesson in this for America.
We talked just like this in the ’70s during the Arab oil embargo. We heard, “it will take 10 years to get more wells online,” “it’s not economically feasible yet,” “it will harm the environment.” So nothing was done. When the embargo ended, so did the talk. And our oil dependence kept growing, as it did around the globe. Now it’s 2008, and we talking the same talk again. Did we learn nothing?!
Folks, talk is cheap. Talk won’t generate a single kilowatt of power. Talk won’t put a more efficient car on the road. Talk won’t change a damn thing. It accomplished nothing thirty years ago and it’s accomplishing nothing now. It’s time to stop talking and start doing, on every front. Now. Today.
Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.
— George Santyana