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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Kerry, you swine!
We need a balanced energy policy that protects consumers from high gas prices, invests in renewable energy and promotes responsible development here at home. -- John Kerry, quoted in the NY Times, reacting to "high" gasoline prices.

I knew Kerry would do the wimpy political thing on gas prices, but it's still disappointing to see that I was right. Gas prices are NOT high by either historical (inflation-adjusted) or world levels. A gallon of gas still costs less than a gallon of milk, and the price is not high enough to cause most Americans to have a second thought about buying an SUV or taking an unnecessary trip. "Investing in renewable energy" means handing out research dollars to multinationals like BP-Amoco, now one of the leading makers of solar panels. (There really should be anti-trust action to keep big oil's hands off of the solar energy business. We need that good old American entrepreneurial spirit in the renewable energy field, but with giants like BP and Siemens dominating the market and ready to buy up--and shut up--real innovators, we won't get it. BP's interest is in keeping solar from becoming affordable.) "Responsible development here at home" means more drilling.

No candidate is serious about protecting the environment, nor about protecting America from foreign terrorists, who is unwilling to seriously promote conservation. Most people in this country could probably cut their energy consumption in HALF without any noticeable lowering of their standard of living. But gasoline, electricity and natural gas are so absurdly cheap that they see no incentive to do so. Kerry doesn't even MENTION conservation as part of a "balanced energy policy."