Saturday, July 30, 2005

The energy bill

Congress finally passed an energy bill. Great. Now all of the already rich oil and gas executives will be able to afford yet another Hummer, while the rest of us struggle to fill up our own cars with gas. Sure, there are some token tax breaks for alternative fuel vehicles and maybe a dollar or two here or there to build a wind generator, but most of the bill goes straight into the pockets of oil and gas companies.

If you think about it, that's not such a big problem. We're clearly reaching peak production of oil, which means that we're going to run out sooner rather than later, meaning that these executives are going to be out of a job sooner rather than later, and we're all going to be up shit creek without Mel Gibson in a badly dubbed American accent to stop the Humongus from taking over the world.

(That's a "Mad Max" reference. Go watch that movie.)

I'm glad that the bill increases spending for nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is the only safe alternative to fossil fuels that is practical for national use. Solar and wind power are fine and good, but it would be impossible to convert the entire national power grid to either of them. You'd have to blanket every piece of desert in the Southwest with solar panels or cover half the Rocky Mountains with wind farms.

Russ Feingold, a guy I greatly admire, seriously, and I hope he runs for President in 2008, tried to block the bill because it violated the Senate's own budget rules. He was shot down. Still, the fact that the bill violated the Senate's budget rules really says something about it--it's an overblown tax giveaway to the corporations who are ruining the environment with toxic pollutants and encouraging people to buy military grade vehicles for their suburban homes.