Is it really that hard to have a new energy policy?

Clinton had no energy policy. Bush has no energy policy. We’re at war over our supply of oil—and other issues. The world’s oil supply is diminishing. The price of energy is rapidly rising. Tension is mounting between nations over the availability of energy. Still no energy policy. Burning fossil fuels is seriously, perhaps irreparably harming the environment. Still no energy policy.


The current crop of candidates sings variations of the same tune. “We need to do something different. We need an energy policy. We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. More solar! More wind power! Tax oil companies!” These non-specific plans will never happen because they are non-specific.


Is it really that hard? The Democrats see an opportunity to get money—carbon tax, gas tax, usage tax. The usual Democratic approach—tax it!


The Republicans want to protect “industry”. What industry? Under the Republicans we’ve seen a huge exodus of our manufacturing base. The Republicans want to protect profits, not industry—or jobs. We’ve got 25 million people in this country who are not here legally. They use energy. Bush thinks we need to keep them here.


So why not outline measures that will conserve energy and provide that outline to the public? Get rid of the incandescent light bulb. Reduce the excess use of plastics—is it necessary put the smallest item in a two foot square of 30 mil plastic? Can’t we return to reusable glass containers? Couldn’t products come in containers we might want to keep and use rather than use once and toss? You can buy disposable plastic tubs at the store. Why not put products in these so we have a reusable tub after the product is consumed?


And then why not give a weekly report on the energy saved by conservation measures? If we are really at war, can’t we pull together to eliminate the dependence on imported energy? I think we would. Elimination of the incandescent light bulb would nearly eliminate our need to import oil. It certainly would save the burning of a lot of highly polluting coal.


People want to conserve. Make it easy for them to do so and they will.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog