Similarly to my reaction to a speech by Bush about a year ago, The Bush Speech – Energy, I was happy to hear part of his state of the union speech focused on energy. I also liked what has become the tagline, that “America is addicted to oil.”
Now, trying to be fair, although I know I’m not as fair as Fox News, I would like to show some mild appreciation of this.
To anyone who may be suprised by this, I’ll answer the questions in advance:
- Do I think Bush is really committed to the cause yet? No, although I do think he believes in it. I don’t think any politician has the guts since a major overhaul of energy policy would be risky politically.
- Was it a wily political move intended to woo moderates and quiet the left-wingers? Probably.
- Will this speech accomplish anything? Not by itself, although I guess some good news is slightly-increased funding for research areas.
What it comes down to is this: there is a lot of value in a Republican president (or any, for that matter) admitting the US has a problem with oil. Every single person already knows it, but this public acknowldgement will make future policy changes easier. I’d like to know if Clinton ever made similar statements.
I would honestly forget everything I currently think of Bush if he would be the president who decided to make energy reform his legacy. Bold steps are going to be taken some day, by someone, and the sooner the better. If Bush went headfirst into alternative energy and conservation the number of people he’s already killed would pale in comparison to the number that might be saved from dying in the wars for oil of the future if no one acts now.
But, alas, we still need to wait for that person. Who’s that Nader guy again?