Monday, November 15, 2004

Innovation that Protects the Environment and the Economy is an American Value

Industry sources report today that Republican lawmakers will flex their political muscle next year with a renewed push to permit drilling for oil and gas in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Some Republicans are also optimistic that their bigger Senate majority will help them advance broader energy legislation (HR 6), which stalled in November 2003 over a provision to limit liability for producers of MTBE, a fuel additive that can pollute groundwater. Some Republicans--including House Energy land Commerce Committee Chairman Joe L. Barton of Texas--have said they would like to push the energy legislation this month during the lame-duck session. Domenici has said that plan is unrealistic.

Meanwhile, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is poised to consider revising the 1990 Clean Air Act and the 1973 Endangered Species Act (PL 93-204) building on legislation (HR 2933) approved by the House Resources Committee in July that would make it more difficult to set aside land for endangered plants and animals.

Welcome to the Polluted States of America.

Of course, what we really need, and won't get with this administration, is a Manhattan project to get this country off of oil. It would improve our foreign relations, our environment, and our economy. Properly done, a Manhattan project would create jobs and new technologies that would allow us to stop polluting and still maintain our economy. However, given the oilmen in this administration and this administration's blinding short-sightedness concerning all global problems, don't hold your breath. Or, do; it might be better for your lungs.

Reader Rick makes a good point. There's no real need to move the scientists to Manhattan. The web now makes it possible for people all over the world to cooperate on a project like this and they would do so, particularly for the sort of rewards Rick suggests.