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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Editorial overview: Bashing the energy bill

Here's a sampling of opinion from recent newspaper editorials on ANWR and the Republican energy bill:

Detroit Free Press
"The bill does little to help average Americans while it dishes up tax breaks, other subsidies and drilling privileges to current energy producers. It is protectionist pork at a time when every dollar and every tactic ought to be devoted to easing the country's dependence on foreign oil... This backward-thinking policy would position America poorly for years to come."

Toledo Blade
"Over in the Energy and Commerce Committee, GOP leaders pushed through an amendment to prohibit strict efficiency standards for ceiling fans that have been set or proposed in a dozen states. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Nathan Deal, Republican of Georgia, at the behest of Atlanta-based Home Depot, which sells … a whole lot of ceiling fans. ... Conspicuous by its absence is any provision to spur badly needed conservation by requiring better gas mileage on new cars and trucks."

N.Y. Times (subscription?)
"Step outside the White House and Congress, and one hears a chorus of voices begging for something far more robust and forward-looking than the trivialities of this energy bill. It is a strikingly bipartisan chorus, too, embracing environmentalists, foreign policy hawks and other unlikely allies."

All these editorials (and more) are opposed to ANWR drilling. I don't post this on the pretense that these opinions will make a difference. Indeed, I've heard it said that many politicians consider a newspaper's endorsement a "death knell" at the polls. That's not because newspapers are unable to pick a winner. It's because newspapers tend to speak for the people, and they tend to have future well-being in mind.

Politicians, on the other hand, tend to speak for whomever packs their wallets the fattest. I think the energy bill reflects that.

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