03 Feb 2006 A Green Texas Oil Man
Our Ryan Balis has thoughts about the State of the Union address:
In Tuesday’s State of the Union speech, President Bush announced the goal to replace America’s dependence on oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent in 20 years. This goal, he said, would be met with more big government investment in cleaner – read greener – non-petroleum energy technology.
Not only did the president put forth a laundry list of green energy initiatives incapable of solving America’s current energy woes, but he employed a rhetoric formerly only heard in leftist circles. According to the President, “we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil.”
That statement abandoned conservatives’ pleas to remove barriers to expanded domestic oil exploration – such as the drilling in a small portion of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (a position Mr. Bush himself alluded to in his 2002 address). It also squandered the bully pulpit in a fool’s errand of leftist appeasement.
Indeed, supporters of the hard environmental left did not embrace this greener version of “Texas Oil Man”:
“The president said tonight that Americans were addicted to oil but this administration is addicted to oil companies, and we won’t achieve energy independence until the administration breaks its addiction,” charged Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).
Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) echoed Schumer’s remarks: “Last night President Bush belatedly acknowledged that ‘America is addicted to oil,’ but for the past five years his Administration has pursued policies which have effectively subsidized the oil company ‘pushers’ who have fed this addiction with tax breaks and other federal subsidies and his speech last night was nothing more than hollow promises and empty rhetoric that totally belies the Administration’s record.”
Since President Bush – quite predictably — failed to win the support of hardliners in the environmental movement through his rhetorical commitment to kicking America’s supposed oil addiction, one wonders who it was he hoped to please.