Monday :: Jan 5, 2009

Where’s the Energy Plan?

by paradox

It’s been a well-known public polling fact for a long time that Americans absolutely loathe the concepts of energy “dependence” or “addiction,” for very good reasons, obviously, so it’s been amusing over the years to see energy lobby and public policy language constantly dance around this little problem. LithiumCola of Daily Kos is correct, McClatchy does have a cool graphic of the Obama cabinet, but earnest Americans looking for change for won’t find it at the Department of Energy slot there.

“We will now have an energy policy that can mean the US will have a chance at obtaining energy self-sufficiency.”

[sighs heavily] Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate, Berkeley Professor, I’m a tiny State undergrad nobody, but I’m still not stupid. I’ve been working out hard for six months in the gym’n the Trek and now I have a chance to discover the tensile strength of Alicia Silverstone’s panty elastic, oh yes, I do. It can mean that, sort of. Right?

Look, if this guy Chu can’t talk straight to little people I’m going to assume he’s a little California energy lamb being lead to Washington DC slaughter until empirically shown otherwise. An incredible brain and academic record with good conservation credentials, does that really have a chance against Senators like Inhofe and limitless oil lobbying dollars to slam home the energy change America desperately needs?

I know, the economy is going down like the first hill on the Big Dipper at Santa Cruz, two wars are on with hordes of hungry, homeless Americans growing by the hour. First the economic stimulus plan will come out, supposedly ready for Obama to sign just a few days after being sworn in, and then attention will turn to other problems, priority and triage of which are totally unknown and unsaid at this time.

Apparently there will be a lot of public works, help for the un-insured and unemployed, and tax cuts. Health care is immediately going to get action. The 2010 Iraq withdrawal timetable is tentatively there along with ramping up Afghanistan, so far this much has leaked out for the early Obama agenda.

As humans we don’t get to choose in responding to the threats against us, we effectively deal with all of them or perish. Just because Earth can’t lobby doesn’t mean the planet isn’t alarmingly warming, we must move on global warming for the early 2009 agenda as aggressively as we do on economy and foreign policy, reality isn’t going to allow us to sit around and bloviate platitudes.

Furthermore, energy is intimately entwined in economy and foreign policy, solving problems in energy instantly pays off for multiple policy wins across the board. Energy security is in fact part of Dr. Chu’s language, but the US would be a lot more secure if in fact we will be energy-independent, but there’s been nothing presented to the American public about that so far in the transition news.

Why not? Al Gore got a visit and a good photo op with Obama and Biden, but that’s been it, and it simply isn’t good enough. How is it in fact possible to address so many of our urgent problems without using good energy policy? Is there in fact energy policy in the works that’s really aggressive? Get on with it and release the early details, then, Earth and Americans are tired of waiting.

Dr. Chu, I do hope you’re settled into a nice DC renter by now—trust me, rent in that town, sir—and if you’re not, do it by the end of the week. Your boss is a very wise man, get in shape if you’re not, and forget whatever you thought working hard was and start communicating energy policy that gives Americans hope. If it takes sixty hours a week 49 weeks a year for four years, well, there you go. Oh, and please fix the current transition language for your department, it’s embarrassing.

Impatience is one thing, failure of duty another. For the warming planet, for the economy and most of all, for our people, there is only one implacable fact of screaming urgency, Dr Chu: we’re out of time. Please get moving.

paradox :: 5:46 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!