This from Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Progress Report May 17th:
At this year’s State of the Union address, President Bush declared, “we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil.” What Bush didn’t mention is that his policies have made the situation worse. Last summer, he signed energy legislation that included billions of dollars in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry but provided meager support for alternative energy and efficiency. The plan was written, for the most part, by Vice President Cheney’s energy task force, which consulted extensively with “petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industry representatives and lobbyists,” but did not have “any substantive meeting with environmental or energy conservation advocates.” (Oil companies subsequently spent $367 million over two years lobbying Congress to pass the legislation.) President Bush claimed the Cheney plan (95 percent of Cheney’s recommendations are now law) would reduce energy prices and our reliance on foreign oil. Since that time, the price of a gallon of gas has doubled — from $1.46 to more than $2.90, the price of heating oil is up 162 percent, propane is up 105 percent and natural gas is up 46 percent. The average American family will spend about $1800 more on energy in 2006 than in 2001. Meanwhile, dependence on foreign oil has increased substantially. In 2000, the U.S. imported 58 percent of its oil. Now, we import 65.5 percent. Had enough? Today, American Progress is launching KickTheOilHabit.org, a campaign to expose our dysfunctional energy policy and promote a new, progressive alternative. Visit KickTheOilHabit.org, learn more, and take action.
So, as a result of Dick Cheney’s secret energy task force and the resulting legislation we now have higher costs for oil products and increased dependence on oil. One of the few items on Cheney’s wishlist that has not been legislated is ANWR drilling. That always elicits a snarl and a sneer from Dick as he refers to the environmentalists who he considers responsible for locking up this national treasure.
“Q: A couple of policy questions here before you go: In his focus on energy independence last night, for the first time in a long time, the President did not refer to drilling at ANWR. Is that off the table for you all? THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, it’s not off the table by any means. We’ll keep pushing it because we think it makes eminent good sense. And we came very close in the last session to getting it, and we’ll keep working on it.” ( “Vice President Cheney Comments on ANWR”, http://www.anwr.org/archives/vice_president_cheney_comments_on_anwr.php )
Cheney has little respect for the ideal of conservation — but then, we already knew that, right? When he outlined the Bush Administration’s energy plan at a meeting in Toronto in 2001 (see “Cheney’s energy plan focuses on production”, USAToday) he said telling Americans to do more with less is not enough. “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” Of course not! Conservation doesn’t make money for oil stockholders! Between 2001 and 2006 nothing has changed except the price of gas and oil and the dependence on those same products and those changes have been increases!
The only thing they say that I agree with is that it is an addiction and we, The People, WON’T, not can’t, even try doing without or with even a little less of it! We MUST change our attitudes!