Colorado’s Senator, Michael Bennet, was appointed to fill the vacancy made when Ken Salizar was appointed to be Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Salizar is also receiving less than glowing grades from us. (See other recent posts.) Bennet, who was formerly a Denver Public School superintendent, graduated from the Yale School of Law. Senator Bennet’s recent statements indicate that he’s very much in favor of using natural gas as the new oil alternative. Allow me to retort:
The new motto is clearly “Burn, baby, burn!” These “representatives” aren’t looking for non-combustion solutions. They’re not leading us towards energy technologies that are renewable or free. They’re moving us from oil to natural gas, and not terribly quickly either. They claim that natural gas is less expensive… but for how long? When vehicles start increasing the demand, of course, then THAT commodity’s prices will rise. (Propane and CNG already go up with winter heating fuel’s demands.) In the final analysis, we’ll be no better off than we were before, except that we’ll be slaves to a gas supplier instead.
Natural gas may burn clean(er). Perhaps there’s more gas left than oil (though it may not have started that way 100 years ago.) But we’re still talking apples and oranges. Cars use a lot more natural gas than gasoline to get a mile down the road, so we don’t really know what the practical comparison may end up being.
What we DO know is that solar, wind and tide generation of electricty does not pollute, is entirely inexhaustible, and can cost a fraction of what pulling gas out of the ground costs, in the long run. So why aren’t our elected representatives rallying behind these ecologically sound energy sources? In a word, MONEY. Gas comes out of the ground cheaply once found, and is sold for huge profits. Meanwhile, alternative energy technologies require larger up-front investments, and provide slower returns on that investment. Perhaps even more importantly, alternative energy resources hold potential for the everyman to be producing his own energy, sans tax or profit. Government officials and energy sellers are both against that idea.
First we had the Republicans crying out “Drill, baby, drill,” as their mantra. Now we’ve traded them in for pseudo-ecologist Democrats who suggest “Burn, baby, burn!” is a good thing. Both are twin sons of different mothers, and neither has any intention of leading us to true energy independence. Meanwhile, concerns like “Energy Tomorrow” and the Pickens Plan keep on telling us about the virtues of (burning) natural gas in our combustion engines, and doing a lot of flag-waving about the economy. Long-term investments in alternative energy can yield us energy for a fraction of what we’re paying now, and provide us with greater prosperity, but that wouldn’t please the power brokers, now would it?
The reign of oil mogul George W. Bush, is over; Now is the time of the Democrats. The King is dead — Long live the King! Trading “Drill, baby, drill” for “Burn, baby, burn!” doesn’t seem like much of an improvement. The supposed advantage is that we’re not sending money overseas, but other countries supply us with natural gas too. From this writer’s perspective, the difference that makes no difference is no difference. Is this is the change we voted for?