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UPDATED 6:02 pm EST:Mrs. Slaughter has been running around today since this post was put up. We are going to sure the Congresswoman read all of the comments and feedbacks coming from this great community. Also in case this hasn't been flagged yet according to the latest AP news blurb the President will say'America Is Addicted to Oil'. This is going to be a huge issue. Please fire away with your comments. They are invaluable feedback/suggestions for our report which the Congresswoman referenced in her post below. - Staff

Please only recommend this diary if you think others should see the information I'm posting.

I read in the news yesterday that President Bush will be using his tonight SOTU speech to talk about "alternative energy". Well this President is a day late and gallon short if he wants to talk about conserving energy, considering the only "national energy plan," the Bush Administration (whose top leaders are former oil executives) and the Republican Congress have developed was centered around their efforts to repay the energy industry for its strong political support.

With the price of gasoline and home heating fuels higher than ever, Americans must find it hard to believe that the Bush White House and the Republican Congress have spent the past few years developing a national energy policy.

The only thing their "national energy plan" has done so far is to provide a dizzying array of tax breaks and special subsidies for various parts of the energy industry, without significantly lowering the cost of energy for American consumers and businesses, or reducing our country's dependence on foreign oil. -LMS  

I am enclosing for you some background information on this Administration's less than stellar record of addressing America's energy challenges. This information is part of a report my office will be releasing later this month showing how because of Republicans oil and mining industry executives are shaping our energy and environmental policies, pharmaceutical industry is controlling health care policy. And in the process it's average Americans who are suffering and paying a heavy price.


Here are the details:


: Early in the Bush Administration, Ken Lay, the now-indicted former head of Enron, was not only helping write America's energy policy, headed by former Halliburton executive, Vice President Dick Cheney, he was also interviewing candidates for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and recommending the ones who would be most friendly to Enron's agenda.  Lay even offered to put in a good word for a FERC Commissioner with the White House if the commissioner changed his policy on electricity competition. [Lowell Bergman and Jeff Gerth, "Power Trader Tied to Bush Finds Washington All Ears," New York Times, 5/25/01.]

COMPANIES SUCH AS KEN LAY'S ENRON CORP. RACKED UP HUGE PROFITS AT CONSUMERS EXPENSE WHILE GAMING CALIFORNIA'S ENERGY CRISIS IN 2000-01: Enron was one of dozens of electricity wholesalers that "allegedly gamed California's haphazardly deregulated wholesale electricity market."   California utility customers, hammered by soaring bills, learned how "Enron employees chuckling about how they had forced "Grandma Millie" and other helpless ratepayers to spend more to keep their lights on."  "Enron's widely copied manipulation schemes, dubbed such colorful names as "Fat Boy" and "Death Star," pulled billions of dollars from the pockets of California ratepayers and contributed to the rolling blackouts that plagued the state during the crisis." [Marc Lifsher, "Trader's Effect Felt Powerfully in the West," Los Angeles Times, 1/30/06]

CHENEY'S "ENERGY TASK FORCE" MADE UP OF OIL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES MAKES INDUSTRY FRIENDLY RECOMMENDATIONS: Bush Administration formed an "energy task force" (officially known as the National Energy Policy Development Group) headed by former Halliburton executive, Vice President Dick Cheney.  The Cheney task force met secretly for several months and then issued a report in May 2001 making a number of energy industry-friendly recommendations, such as opening protected lands to oil and gas drillers, building hundreds of power plants, and easing some environmental regulations. [Joseph Kahn, "Bush Advisers On Energy Report Ties To Industry," New York Times, 6/3/01.]   Although the White House refused to release the names of the industry executives the Cheney task force met with (and even went to court to block a Congressional inquiry), later investigations determined that 18 of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign's top 25 energy industry campaign contributors attended Cheney energy task force meetings. [Don Van Natta Jr. and Neela Banerjee, "Top GOP Donors in Energy Industry Met Cheney Panel," New York Times," 3/1/02.]

ADMINISTRATION CODDLES ENERGY INDUSTRY THROUGH POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS WHO PROTECT BUSINESS IN FAVOR OF CONSERVING ENERGY: This administration's political appointments from the energy industry have loyally protected big business from any proposal to conserve energy or hold the energy business accountable for environmental harm they cause.  The recent Sago mining disaster in West Virginia highlighted the Bush Administration's industry-friendly mining safety policy, which has resulted in fewer safety inspections and fewer fines for safety violations. [Seth Borenstein, and Linda J. Johnson, "Under Bush, Mine-Safety Enforcement Eased," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/8/06] As former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-FL) recently commented, the Bush Administration's hiring energy executives and lobbyists to fill government positions is like "foxes guarding the henhouse." [Joe Scarborough, "Scarborough Country," MSNBC Transcript, 1/10/06, 10:00 PM EST.]

Below are three quick egregious examples:

*J. Steven Griles, the former Deputy Secretary at the Interior Department, received payments from his former lobbying firm totaling more than $1 million while acting as the number-two official in that agency.  In spite of promising to avoid conflicts with his old firm and clients as a condition of his Senate confirmation, Griles continued to assist the energy and mining industry clients his old firm represented.   Soon after joining Interior, Griles held a dinner party for department officials at the home of his former lobbying partner.  He also intervened in a case regarding the right of his old clients, Chevron and Shell, to drill for natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of California.  [Rick Weiss, "Report Critical of Interior Official; Inspector General Calls Deputy Secretary's Dealings With Companies Troubling," Washington Post, 3/17/04] He helped another old client, Advanced Power Technologies, Inc., win more than $2 million worth of sole-source, no-bid contracts from the Bureau for Land Management (BLM) for aerial mapping work the BLM never requested. [John Aloysius Farrell, "A Fox in Interior's Henhouse," Denver Post, 4/4/2004.]

*In 2002 and 2003, Philip A. Cooney, former oil industry lobbyist and then-Chief of Staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, made dozens of changes to government climate reports that greatly weakened the reports' stances on global warming.   Contrary to the findings of the scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, Cooney's changes minimized the links between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. [Andrew C. Revkin, "Bush Aide Edited Climate Reports," New York Times, 6/8/05.]  Cooney had no scientific training, but had worked as a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute for more than ten years.  As a climate team leader there, his focus was on defeating legislation that would restrict greenhouse gas emissions. [Revkin, "White House Calls Editing Climate Files Part of Usual Review," New York Times, 6/9/05].  Two days after Cooney's revisions came to light, he resigned from the White House and took a job with Exxon Mobil, which has long lobbied against cutting emissions and has continually questioned the risks of global warming. [Revkin, "Former Bush Aide Who Edited Reports is Hired by Exxon," New York Times, 6/15/05.]

*On January 30th, 2004, the Bush administration proposed new industry-friendly mercury pollution regulations for power plants.  Reducing mercury emissions is an important public policy goal because mercury can cause serious neurological and developmental damage.  A large portion of the proposed regulations was taken, sometimes verbatim, from suggestions drafted by industry lobbyists from Latham and Watkins, a major firm representing utility and energy companies with a vested interest in the regulations. [Eric Pianin, "Proposed Mercury Rules Bear Industry Mark; EPA Language Similar to That in Memos From Law Firm Representing Utilities," Washington Post, 1/31/04]   Instead of requiring coal-burning utilities to use the best possible technology to reduce their mercury pollution (as was discussed in earlier in the rulemaking process), the final Bush rules imposed only a lower standard endorsed by the energy companies.  The architect of the new rules and head of the EPA's air policy office was a former partner at Latham and Watkins. [Pianin, "EPA Led Mercury Policy Shift; Agency Scuttled Task Force That Advised Tough Approach," Washington Post, 12/30/03]


: Republicans failed to pass the Cheney energy plan in the first four years of the Bush Administration and finally passed it in the first session of the 109th Congress.  While the final version of the bill did not contain many of the most controversial provisions Republicans had pushed during the course of the debate, it still contained billions of dollars of subsidies for the energy sector at a time when oil companies were recording historic profits.  In fact, according to a 2004 analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy, the Republican energy plan will not reduce the overall amount of energy consumption in the United States, and will cause the average gas prices in the year 2015 to be 3-8 cents higher than they would be under current law. []

RECORD HIGH GAS AND HOME HEATING OIL PRICES: According to a recent report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy, the average price of gas per gallon will rise to $2.41 in 2006, households heating with home heating oil will likely spend 23% more ($275) for fuel this winter than they did last winter, and homes using natural gas will spend 35% ($257) more than last winter.  [EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook, 1/10/06]

AMERICA CONTINUES TO GROW MORE DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN SOURCES OF ENERGY  As a group of concerned national security experts and environmentalists led by prominent conservative Frank Gaffney recently wrote in an open letter to the American people: "America consumes a quarter of the world's oil supply while holding a mere 3% of global oil reserves. It is therefore forced to import over 60% of its oil, and this dependency is growing. Since most of the world's oil is controlled by countries that are unstable or at odds with the United States this dependency is a matter of national security. At the strategic level, it is dangerous to be buying billions of dollars worth of oil from nations that are sponsors of or allied with radical Islamists who foment hatred against the United States." [Set America Free Coalition, "Open Letter to the American People," available at:]

Originally posted to Rep Louise Slaughter on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:34 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks again ... (4.00)
    for standing up for all of us Cong. Slaughter. This information is invaluable and we are looking forward to your report. Recommended.
    •  Alternative energy, Bush style (none)
      "As an alternative to Citgo, please try the gasoline from the good folks at Chevron-Texaco, a patriotic and god-fearing Merican oil company."

      Come see TV from the reality-based community at

      by MarkInSanFran on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:13:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, thank you (none)
      i only hope these points are made in the democratic response to bush's SOTU tonight with the same emphasis that you have made here on kos.  in other words, i hope this message will not be watered down when addressing the nation as a whole in an effort to "broaden the appeal."  the country needs to hear this. we need to hear it all, and we need to hear it NOW!

      "i was always dreaming of very powerful people, dictators and things like that." -- arnold schwarzenegger in "pumping iron"

      by hoodoo meat bucket on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:48:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  honorable louise, you rock star, you, (4.00)
    you need to put chevron and exxon's PROFITS at the top of this with an update.
    exxon and chevron now have in their pockets the reason that bush was put in office. it's all been one big DISTRACTION for big oil's orgasm. what a phallic symbol that oil well is...
    •  I thought that as well (4.00)
      I know people who are dropping their health insurance so they can pay their heating bills.  The tax credits for putting in insulation, energy efficient appliances, energy efficient windows etc... isn't enough to make people willing to sustain that expense with the tax credit in mind.  The most you can get for windows for example is $200 tax credit.  I am having new ones put in my house.  I bought at the slowest time of the year with a 45% discount direct from the factory. I'm getting 6 windows and it will be at least $4,000 to buy from a company that stands by their work and the windows are made in America.  Average people can't afford it.  Meanwhile they want to give tax cuts to the rich again and forever.  It's just not right.  Keep fighting for us!!

      Winning without Delay.

      by ljm on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:25:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You got that right (none)
        I'm currently sitting in my house where the thermostat has been set to 57 F since mid-November when we got our first heating bill of the season.  We've got 3 kids; it was either go without food or go without heat.
        Are consumers ticked at Bush's policies?  This consumer is.
        •  I thought 63 was low! (none)
          57F is even lower than my setting.  I splurge on 2 hours of 68F in the morning to bathe and dress.

          We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

          by Fabian on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:18:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, you moneybags, you! (none)
            I've got mine set at 65°F no matter what.  If it gets cold, we get the comforter out and snuggle.  Space heaters are also quite useful to take the edge off.  If I feel really cold, I'll make soup.

            But here in Texas, the weather has been so warm because of global warming that it hasn't really been a problem.  You might say that particular situation resolved itself - we may be running out of gas to heat our homes, but the good news is that we'll never need to heat our homes again!

            Sit at the feet of the master long enough and they start to smell. - John Sauget
            -8.00, -6.05

            by Jensequitur on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:49:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mine is all timed ... (none)
              Have young children, thus there is a limit to how low I'll go ... but ...

              Day time 57 degrees when no one is in the home (0830-1730 ...

              Mornings / evenings:  69 degrees

              Night (2300-0630):  64 degrees

              If working at home, use space heater in office space and raise home to 63 degrees so that can walk around (make lunch / etc) without freezing ...

              9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

              by besieged by bush on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:53:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  warm at night? (none)
                Our programmable thermostat is set to free fall at bedtime.  In reality it means that it is set to 50F.  I regret staying up late or having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  Brrr.  The good news is that waking up is easy - I wake up when  I'm too warm to stay in bed.  

                For the super energy efficient, we used to heat just the bathroom with a space heater.

                We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

                by Fabian on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:04:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Young children ... (none)
                  With three children under the age of 10, not prepared to let the temperature "freefall" at nighttime --

                  9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                  by besieged by bush on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:14:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And might not be worth it... (none)
                    Remember this rule of thumb:

                    The amount of money you save by letting the temperature drop is approximately equal to the cost of raising the temperature back up. It used to be thought that it cost more to "bring the temperature back up", but this is fortunately not the case. So...

                    You save money at the equlibrium point, this is true because your furnace cycles on less often to keep the house at 60 than to keep it at 70.  Once you reach a static temperature your savings kicks in.

                    In other words, a "freefall" might note be the most efficient use of a programmable thermostat.

                    •  Of course, we've got a waterbed - (none)
                      So our temperature in the house doesn't matter when we're in bed, because we're toasty warm.

                      Sit at the feet of the master long enough and they start to smell. - John Sauget
                      -8.00, -6.05

                      by Jensequitur on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:29:04 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Taking night into effect? (none)
                      It costs more to heat a house when it's 10 degrees outside than when it's 35 degrees. It also costs more to heat a house when the sun's not shining on it. So running your furnace less at night and more in the morning means you're running it when it's probably warmer outside — which means the new heat you're adding to the building isn't leaving it so fast as if it were added at night — and the sun also has some chance of helping heat the building.

                      Sun alone on my east-facing house can bring the inside temp up from, say 62 to 70 by midmorning on a clear day. And 62 is about where it starts out if the furnace is shut down when going to bed the night before. So unless it's cloudy I get that heat back for free.

                      •  The laws of thermodynamics. (none)
                        The rate of heat loss (or gain for AC) is directly proportional to the difference in temperatures.

                        So heating a house to 65F and keeping it there is easier when it is warmer outside - usually during the day.  When the temperatures drop at night, your house loses heat faster and then becomes harder to keep at a higher temperature.

                        I knew this when I left my house after an ice storm, heatless and powerless last year.  If the temperatures were only going to drop to about 20F, I wouldn't have worried.  This is because the house started at 65F and would initially lose heat rapidly due to a high differential.  As the temperature inside approached the outside temperature the rate of heat loss would slow significantly.  But after 20 hours I left the house, the temperature outside below 0F and the inside temperature under 50F.  I would be gone for three days and the highs those days would only be 20F.

                        When the power and I returned, the house was frigid but the pipes were not frozen.  The insulation and some daytime solar heat gain were enough to keep the temperatures up.

                        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

                        by Fabian on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:35:01 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Actually not ... (none)
                      This assumes that there is zero cost in maintaining the temperature ... the temperature falls as, obviously, there is leakage in almost all homes ... while I am working to seal air gaps and improve insulation, mine has a long way to go before the seal is of high quality.

                      Thus, this formulation is simply wrong in terms of the actual cost dynamics of heating / cooling homes.  

                      The basic research (don't have sources in hand at moment) have shown that this type of reducing of temperature for extended periods will reduce one's fuel bills by roughly 10-15 percent.

                      9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                      by besieged by bush on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:48:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  two kids under 5 (none)
                    They wear tshirts and something warm and fuzzy.  The beds are made up quite warm.  Autumn kept cycling up and down through the warm and cold.  Put covers on, take covers off - I was glad when it finally chilled down.

                    We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

                    by Fabian on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:19:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I've kept our thermostats (none)
            at 55 (off) and have three electric space heaters going most of the time.  My electric bill was $231 last month.  Filling up the propane pig cost us over $900 last time and we used to go through a tank in 6 weeks deep winter.  The fire place comes in handy on really cold days.  The winter here has been the mildest in memory. That has helped.
            As for Bush, talk is cheap. He's not to be believed.
      •  In agreement with sentiment ... (4.00)
        You are absolutely right that the incentives are off in terms of providing more efficient shells for homes and businesses.  Hard for many Americans to see a 10% credit as enough to act.  I, for example, will be doing this but the 10% is a benefit on top of choice rather than something that enables it or is required for me to insulate my house better.  (Just provides a better ROI for me rather than justifying doing insulation.)

        And, it is a bit odd to me that insulation is capped at $500 for a 10% benefit when windows are capped at $200 -- very easy for any homeowner to spend $1000s on new windows.  $5000 in insulation would be a pretty serious bill.  (My home is looking to total in the range of $2500 for improved insulation, and that includes a company coming in to spray insulation into the walls, and my improving attic insulation (both sealing air gaps and spraying in additional insulation).

        For anyone interested, this is a decent site re the tax incentives for efficiency investments.  This also has decent links for advice about what one can do in the home re air leaks, efficiency, etc ...

        As part of the Energize America 'team', I've been pushing hard for efficiency incentives and investments.  This includes revamping the profit incentives for utilities to drive them toward investing in 'demand reduction' with the same enthusiasm that they show for creating new production.  The incentive should be there so that utilities send home energy auditors out to virtually every home and then invest to reduce that home's energy requirements -- with splitting the 'savings' between utility profits and reduced bills to the consumer.

        But energy efficiency should be a central part of all energy policy ... For example, probably not relevant for your world, in terms of efficiency, I believe that 'home heating aid' should be matched with home energy audits and efficiency investments to any household that receives that aid to pay utility bills.  We -- as a nation -- should tackle this assistance in a way that enables the recipient to function without (or with less) assistance in the future.  Replace old (inefficient) furnaces, seal air leaks, insulate, provide new thermostats, etc ... cut that future fuel requirement and that future requirement for home heating assistance.

        Mea culpa ... let me step off a soap box ...

        9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

        by besieged by bush on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:19:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Analysis... (none)
    of an abysmal record, Rep. Slaughter.  Thank-you for reminding us of all the gory details of this shameful record.  I hope the traditional media doesn't overlook all of these inconvenient facts as they gush over this born-again conservor.
    •  Undercuting Bushies BS spin (none)
      lets make sure this important info. doesn't get buried. We need to use every information resources available to make sure we can undercut all of his BS spin. Recommended.
    •  Timely (none)
      Not just because of the start of the Enron trials, but because the framing for them has left out entirely how Enron exacerbated the California energy crisis in Bush's first year.    

      Enron is not just about corporated mal-administration.  It's about cronyism at the highest level of government and ignoring the suffering of millions to make sure that a few became very wealthy.  It's also in part about how Bush punishes his political opponents and how we are not all equal under his law.


  •  He's certainly conserved a lot of wealth... (4.00)
    for his big oil buddies...

    Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

    by Dood Abides on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:40:16 AM PST

  •  I Thought AWOL Bush's 'Energy Plan' Already Passed (none)
    Those Republicans claimed your future was rosy pink because Congress passed his plan. It certainly is wonderful if you're an exec. at one of the big oil companies.

    Seriously, there no way he can offer up anything helpful to our energy future.

  •  Thanks for the history... (none)
    ...however, all I need to do is look at my gas bill (and my checking account balance!) to see how atrocious BushCo's policies are and how real people are suffering as a consequence.  And I am much better off than so many.

    It would be great if we could hear some Dems talking about alternative reforms!

    Thanks for posting here and for everything else you do, Rep. Slaughter.

    Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's grief...You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

    by Albatross on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:44:15 AM PST

  •  Recommended ... (none)
    As a California - I appreciate the effort to expose the ridiculous smears of blaming those rolling blackouts on Gray Davis. Recommended.
  •  Think what Pres. Gore (4.00)
    would have done.

    Bankrupting the treasury for a bogus war & destroying Social Security: Bushco has created a World War Economy.

    by mattes on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:48:49 AM PST

  •  Thx - Please help push for Energize America 2020! (4.00)
    Thanks for your continued integrity in governance.  It will, indeed, be a bitter pill to swallow tonight listening to the oil & gas puppet talk about 'energy independence.'  Especially when Kossacks have created a comprehensive and eminently workable strategic energy plan that will ensure ENERGY SECURITY for the US.  

    You may be aware of Energize America 2020.  Please endorse this plan if you think it an appropriate path forward.  And please keep up the great work.

    Energize America: Demand Energy Security by 2020!

    by Doolittle Sothere on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:54:39 AM PST

  •  time for me to step away from the computer (4.00)
    Oh, this makes me furious.

    "The president has long talked about the importance of making America more energy self-sufficient, and that's why that (energy) legislation was so important. But there's more that we need to do. Energy prices remain too high," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday.

    Self-sufficient?  omg!  Energy prices remain too high?  No kidding.  How will you lower them?  Haha.  Oh never mind, the WH likes energy prices high.

    So where's the tax breaks for solar & wind power development?  Where's the federal grants for building solar & wind power generators?  Where are they?

    So what's next?  Bush the environmentalist.  The lies from these monsters never stop.

    In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

    by yet another liberal on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:06:40 AM PST

  •  Minor Edit Needed? (none)
    Something seems to have gone awry with this sentence (unless there's something I don't know about fossil-based medicine):  "This information is part of a report my office will be releasing later this month showing how because of Republicans oil and mining industry executives shaping our energy and environmental policies, pharmaceutical industry is controlling health care policy."

    Thank you for the post.

    Our planet's youngest civilization has invaded its oldest... this can't be good...

    by Irfo on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:08:50 AM PST

    •  Most pharmaceuticals... (none)
      ...are made from oil.  So are fertilizers, pesticides, etc.

      One reason there are so many chemical and pharma plants near the Gulf Coast oil refineries.

      No surprise that Big Pharma would seek out Big Oil and vice versa.

      We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

      by Plan9 on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:31:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget (4.00)
    that during all of this, the major energy companies have brought in obscene profits.
  •  Ya, like (none)
    Eugene Mallove, many have been killed in the process of attempting to create a viable energy source.  The secrets are locked up in a safe over at the Exxon headquarters.
  •  please (4.00)
    All anybody needs to know about the Bush Administration's energy plan was in the news yesterday:

    Exxon posts highest profit in history!

    Profits up 30% over a year ago?!

    Give me a break - everybody knows where he stands on energy. I don't usually offer advice to Republicans, but the man would do better if he'd grow a pair and admit that the oil industry pulls half of his strings.

    •  I agree1 This information should be added (none)
      to Rep. Slaughter's diary!

      Record profits for oil companys, obscene salaries for their Corporate Executives, and the price of gas and oil continuing it's upward trend.

      Oh, and Rep. Slaughter, thank you for your work on the Abramoff scandal. Can we please get more Dems to show some strength of character and backbone? How many more of our rights and freedoms are the Dems going to roll over on? There is not ONE thing the Republicans can claim as a success, except tax cuts for the wealthy, and huge corporate tax breaks.

      When will the Dems form a unified front and bash them relentlessly with this truth? We may not have a majority now, but this is 2006, and we need to sweep the trash out of the House and Senate!    

      Nothing short of an aroused public can change things, nothing less than democracy is at stake- Bill Moyers

      by maggiemae on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:23:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  re: (none)
      I'd guess Halliburton has the other half.

      "I will to God sing aloud, for He so well to me hath done." The 13th Psalm/Franz Liszt

      by grada3784 on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:51:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, but does it matter? (none)
    The Democrats should have made development of alternative energy a major talking point over the last 5 years. Any talk from Dems now about our own plan will be seen by (and spun by Repubs) as a "me too" idea. Bush will get credit for taking the lead on the issue. Additionally, any critique by Dems of the Bush plan will be "Democrats criticizing the President's plan when they have no ideas of their own."

    Congresswoman Slaughter makes a valid case against the hypocrisy and cynicism of the Bush administration. Unfortunately, you won't hear any of it reported in the SCLM.

    We should have owned this issue by now.

    •  I'm a nonpartisan green. (none)
      If the Republicans suddenly went greener than grass, I wouldn't cry.  I'd celebrate.

      Don't worry, Bush will offer piddling efforts.  Some tax cuts for hybrids, some voluntary conservation programs don't amount to squat.  Mandatory conservation, real investment incentives for non fossil fuel energy and discontinuing giveaways to big oil would be a nice start.

      We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

      by Fabian on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:26:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Furthermore... (none)
        ... Bush will not fund any of the programs or projects he claims he is establishing.  

        This is all show biz.  He needs to give the impression that he is doing something grand.

        We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

        by Plan9 on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:32:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  NCLB part II (none)
          I'd agree with you there. Even if he has the right ideas about alternative energy, it's all just lip service with no real funding like No Child Left Behind. Or as you said it's a grand idea to make him look visionary like the manned mission to Mars. What a joke.
        •  Exactly (none)
          Which is why it is pointless to listen to his lies.  As long as he and his buddies continue to amass huge profits and wealth from oil and the energy industry, the war/corporate machine marches on....

          ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

          by rlharry on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:57:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  On a more intrinsic level... (4.00)
    Neglecting all the cronyism which you so aptly catalogue, I think the biggest problem with Bush's energy actions on a more rudimentary level are as follows:

    1. He's a one-stone-one-bird guy.  He doesn't realize that alternative energy could revive our manufacturing and export economy and solve the jobs crisis as well as the energy crisis.  He may talk a good game but when the chips are down the money is going to highly centralized, corporate-owned facilities.  We do need those but we also need decentralized, consumer owned facilities.  Some "ownership society" there -- but then, an oil man wouldn't want citizens to be partially energy independent now would we?

    2. The big disconnect between actions and words.  He says he wants to encourage small business and entepeneurs, but then he gives large companies huge subsidies -- how are entrepenuers supposed to compete now?  He says great stuff about research, but he hasn't gotten his congress to restore DOE research money to old levels -- in fact he sat by while they raided to funds for pork-style alternative energy projects.  He'll probably say he loves nuclear power, but even if nuclear power can be done safe, noone can blame people for NIMBY when his appointees fail to uphold worker safety standards -- that screams at us that no nuclear power plant under Republican laws will ever be safe.

    3. On fighting waste, he's been all but absent.  One "vampire slayer" initiative doesn't make up for the overall DOE foot dragging that has happened on his watch when it comes to appliance standards -- even to the extent of failing to meet legally mandated deadlines.  And far be it from a Republican administration to address the problem that the poor spend 25% of their income on energy.  Even if we did nuclear power, there is no way we are going to solve this problem entirely from the supply side.  So I guess this might be called a "voodoo energy policy."

    OpenSource volunteers needed to bring election accountability:

    by skids on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:21:23 AM PST

  •  Rep. Slaughter (none)
    if you or a member of your staff is reading this, please consider this response to Bush's SOTU speech:"Georgie, your'e doin a heckuva job!"

    It would make me SO very happy to see the entire Dem caucas rise up after his Rethug appluase has died down and issue this stinging retort. And I'd just love to see how the "liberal" media would spin it!

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:21:37 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the post and good work! (none)
    More than a couple of us are feeling abandoned by our party today.  It's good to hear from a real fighting Dem.

    I also have to admit the whole energy situation scares the crap out of me.  It scared the crap out of me when we had competent leadership, and now...

    Fox News--As fair as a Florida Election, as balanced as Ann Coulter when she forgets her medicine.

    by Dizzy on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:24:34 AM PST

  •  Rep Slaughter, (none)
    Thank you for this diary. It feels to me like this administration is robbing the American people to pad their pockets and the pockets of their friends.

    With a government like this, who needs enemies.

  •  Keep up the good fight, (none)
    Rep. Slaughter. When the W/H said earlier that smirky was going to speak on this was another reason to laugh/cry/gag/snort...
    Yep, President Bush is now "The Environmental President". And he cares about the health-care crisis, too, right?

    -6.13,-5.64 Our parents wouldn't allow us to have an easy button, but they did give us state-of-the-art bullshit detectors.

    by imabluemerkin on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:30:29 AM PST

  •  Thank you SO much, Representative Slaughter. (none)
    It is now our job to make noise in newspapers and call in shows and to our own Senators and Representatives.  

    Every single one of his lies needs to be publicized---oh so politely, at least to start with.

    Being liberal means one is for civil liberties, equality, social justice, fairness. ... How can someone be too liberal? Dr. P.Z. Myers

    by maybeeso in michigan on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:32:05 AM PST

  •  Hydrogen Research (4.00)
    Democrats also need to point out that the research into hydrogen fueled vehicles that the bush administration has supported is being used to avoid taking actions in the near term.

    Hydrogen is a great fuel from the standpoint of cleanliness. Research into hydrogen fueled vehicles, fuel cells, etc. is a good idea but the main barriers to a hydrogen fuel economy, production and distribution of hydrogen as a transportation fuel are not being addressed realistically. Hydrogen production at this point is primarily fossil fuel based and the next most likely means of large scale production will be nuclear based. The requirements for handling hydrogen as either a compressed gas or liquid go beyond what can be expected of an untrained person.

    Hydrogen as a fuel has two attractive properties for the administration:

    First, they can avoid taking any near term actions. Any realistic systems are 15 to 20 years in the future. Research into hydrogen fueled vehicles allows the administration to say they are doing something while avoiding more realistic and short term efforts which could improve our energy outlook. Realistic efforts for transportation would include raising CAFE standards, lowering the national speed limit, making infrastructure improvements to reduce congestion, etc.

    Second, hydrogen as a fuel will be centrally controllable the same as petroleum products. The technical requirements and economies of scale for producing and distributing hydrogen will give rise to a system very similar to the oil-conglomerates we face today.

    Democrats need to own the issue of energy independence. We need to be putting forward plans with near term benefits to reduce the cost of energy for the average person as well as long term plans for infrastructure and alternative fuels.

    Democrats also need to push the issue of personal energy independence as well as national energy independence. It is not a mistake that the current administration came from the oil industry. Oil based energy is the thread that is woven through all of our economic, national security and environmental problems. We cannot be a democratic nation and beholden to the controllers of oil at the same time. Energy is a Democratic issue.

    An empty limosine pulled up and George W. Bush got out.

    by beerm on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:37:25 AM PST

    •  And a third point (none)
      The last time Bush talked about the hydrogen car, that enabled him to turn over millions of bucks to the Big Four in Detroit.

      We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

      by Plan9 on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:35:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many times do I have to say it (none)
      Hydrogen is total BS.  

      The means to distribute, store, and carry hydrogen safely and conveniently don't exist.  Metal hydrides are the only halfway decent means of doing so, and they're not a very good solution.  They're inherently toxic and getting the hydrogen in and out is a non-trivial process.  On top of that, a "hydrogen economy" means rebuilding our entire energy infrastructure from scratch.  I don't know the numbers on that but I'm guessing they're a little intimidating.  

      Our existing infrastructure is mainly built to handle two things: liquid fuels (in particular hydrocarbons) and electricity.  

      The only sensible solution is to move from our present fossil-fuel hydrocarbon economy to a carbon-neutral hydrocarbon economy.  Fact is, diesel and gasoline (really, any hydrocarbon mixture that is liquid for temps from -10 to 120 F) are energy-dense, easy to handle, and relatively environmentally friendly.  Holds 30 times more energy than the best battery by weight.  All you really need to move them around are hoses and tanks - the rest is all window dressing.  Since they're principally carbon and hydrogen, they and their byproducts can be totally biodegradable.  The only caveats are that under certain conditions and with certain contaminants or additives they produce toxic products (which can be dealt with or prevented in a number of ways) and they produce carbon dioxide as a product of their combustion.  That's why carbon neutral fuel schemes - biofuels or synthetic fuel production from atmospheric CO2 and electricity - are important.  Both these schemes also produce cleaner fuels which lower emissions of contaminants versus fossil fuels.  Most importantly, the transition from fossil fuels to these fuels is nearly seamless to the end-user and small distributors.  

      Of course, a 5-fold improvement in battery capacity would obviate this issue entirely, because then pure electric vehicles would be viable over the long distances people travel between fill-ups.  Being inherently simpler, more efficient, more powerful (yes really), and more flexible in design than internal combustion vehicles, electric vehicles would have been here years ago if we had this one little improvement.  Of course a great many people have been working on that problem for quite a while with a lot of money, so don't hold your breath.  There are other creative solutions for all-electric systems (namely on-road recharging) but again they require a major investment in infrastructure.  The search goes on.  

      Where to get that electricity?  A mix of wind, solar, wave/current power, and hydro, with some alt-fuel fired turbines to level the supply with demand.  Nukes may be inevitable in the short term but needless to say there's a lot of improvement needed in terms of the safety and efficiency of the plants built.  In the long term, either orbital solar, fusion, or at the very least future-gen nuclear could meet all energy demands indefinitely.  

  •  Day Late / Dollar Short (none)
    We're all late AND short....what did Jimmy Carter do to solve this?....what did Reagan do to solve this?....what did Bush 1 do?....what did Clinton & Gore do?....what has Bush 2 done?...nothing and nothing. Every administration and every Congress has done nothing and nothing....have we dumped our oil burning, junker Volvo?....are we riding our bicycle to Cleveland rather than flying jet-fuel gulping airlines?... are we cursing at the potholes in the highways wishing they'd lay a fresh layer of oil based asphault?....are we fueling the economic oil-consuming boom in China by purchasing Chinese goods?...Decisions, Decisions.
    •  There have only been two Democratic presidents (none)
      since 1968. You can take it for granted that the Republican ones aren't interested.

      Carter lost to Reagan after a single term arguably because he tried to get serious about this issue. Clinton is a right wing Democrat who was in any case under continuous attack and barely able to keep the federal government running against the opposition of a Republican Congress, let alone advance ideas the American people had already demonstrated they're prepared to destroy presidents over.

      None of that excuses Bush. It's still his turn to be responsible for taking energy independence seriously, and it's still his responsibility if he avoids it.

      Finem respice et principiis obsta—Consider the end, and thwart the beginning

      by Del C on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:20:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  are we serious..? (none)
      are we riding our bicycle to Cleveland rather than flying jet-fuel gulping airlines?

      Or more practiallcy, has the Federal Government been serious about deveoping and improving intercity bus and passenger rail servie, which are the two most fuel-efficient mode of travel?

      Clearly, almost everyone in both parties agree that developing transportation infrastructure is a legitimate role of the Federal Government.  And yet what do they spend the big bucks on?  Highways to have sufficient capacity for single occupant cars and commercial aviation facilities with sifficicent capacity for ensure that everyone can fly on a discount airline, even for trips of less than 400 miles.  Much as I enjoy flying on Southwest Airlines, it's wrong that they should be able to charge only $39 for a 200-400 mile flight when the cheapest Amtrak ticket is almost twice that.

      The intercity bus has degenerated into the mode of travel that no respectable American would be caught dead using (with some exceptions).  That wasn't the case 30 or 40 years ago.

      As for Amtrak, Congress keeps it afloat, but just barely, the Members see it as mainly a low-grade form of pork, where they can have train service to their state or district.  Of course, in some states, like Ohio, all the trains stop in the middle of the night.  Rail is definitely the best travel mode for short trips, and it has the potential to carry a significant minority of market share for even long distance runs.  Not everybody really needs to jet coast-to-coast in 6 hours.  Many of us can restructure our transportation requirements for a slower trip.  I myself have found overnight trains to work very well for business trtavel.  I'd use them more if the service were more frequent and the schedules were better.  

      If the President were to show some leadership on this issue, he would get rid of the ideological privtatizers he's using to set Amtrak policy, and who seem to want to repeat the British Rail privitaization debacle on thiks side of the pond.  Right now, Amtrak costs the American taxpayers a billion and change per year, minor chicken feed in the scheme of things.  A president who wants to rid us of "oil addiciton" might figure out some way to significantly increase it, preferably out of the hide of highways and aviation.

    •  Jimmy Carter (none)
      The Carter administration passed energy conservation legislation which was later ridiculed and gutted by the Reagan administration.

      Too bad Chimpy McOilAddict realized that "we are addicted to oil" AFTER he invaded Iraq.  If only he had admitted his addiction and entered a 12 step program....

      ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

      by rlharry on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:51:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rep. Slaughter (4.00)
    Some points that Democrats need to be making:

    1. ANWR is a joke: The estimates on ANWR show that full scale drilling would only yield 600 million to 10 billion barrels of product. Considering that Americans burn through 20 million barrels a day we are looking at a months supply on the low end to slightly over a years supply on the high end.  Yet Republicans talk endlessly that ANWR is needed to get us off foreign oil - the numbers say that this is a total scam designed to do nothing more than give Exxon and others another huge profit.

    2. Renewables - No amount of renewables, in any combination, will make up for the amount of oil that we currently use and are projected to use in the future. NO AMOUNT.  People love to talk about growing plants to convert for ethanol but all those crops are grown with petroleum based fertilizer! This solves nothing. Absolutely nothing.  Besides the fertilizer issue we also don't have the land mass needed to grow enough plant material and still grow food.

    3. Hydrogen - While it sounds great in theory, hydrogen production requires electricity which is currently generated through natural gas power plants (which is going to be in short supply) or through burning coal (which accelerates global warming).  The amount of energy needed to produce hydrogen is more than you can get back out of the fuel cells.  It's produced at a huge loss and only makes existing problems worse.  Add to this the fact that there is no infrastructure and it gets pushed out of the picture even more.

    4. Peak Oil - Geologists have been scouring the Earth for decades now to discover the rock formations which normally point to oil.  They've found them all and there aren't any more. Period.  Exxon, while making huge profits this year, produced less oil than a year ago and they will continue to trend down as we move forward.  We are sucking the oil from the ground and are not finding any new sources to replace what we are taking.  As our consumption continues to rise and the resources continue to fall, we are all destined for some serious issues that should have been faced years ago.

    The only fields that are left for the US to exploit are in war torn areas of Africa, where oil workers were recently killed, in Iraq where our soldiers die everyday, and in Iran where Bush is determined to go next.  This is the great plan, to secure resources so that the American empire can continue to live in ignorant bliss.

    5. Iran / Russia / China - As we move forward the US is going to face increasing problems that must be addressed NOW AND NOT LATER.  Russia has already shown that they are capable of shutting off natural gas to Europe when weather dictates stopage or a dispute in the former republics brings punishment.  China, in its move towards supremacy will continue to take more and more of the oil resources putting them in direct conflict with the United States.  If there is any doubt that they are in a massive boom just take a look at their cement production, its off the charts compared to the rest of the world.  At the center of all of this is Iran, the last holdout in the energy world.  A conflict with Iran could not only cause American access to the Persian Gulf to be completly cut off, but would redirect resources to China and Russia instead of the West.  This is something that they are totally willing to do and it is not a gamble that George Bush can be allowed to make.

    We cannot continue down this path of domination, we need real solutions, compromise, and a plan that will bring us closer to energy independence through conservation, innovation, and initiative. The Democrats need to make this a HUGE ISSUE and there are many people out there with ideas, experience, and drive to help us change and get off this drive towards the new American Fascism.

    (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

    by Drezden on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 09:52:26 AM PST

    •  Agreed with most of what you ... (none)
      ...have written, but this They've found them all and there aren't any more. Period is a bit hyperbolic. There have been some giants finds - not supergiants - in the past decade. And there may be some more. These won't hold off the day of reckoning much longer, it's true, but we don't want to exaggerate how bad things are.  
      •  Agree (none)
        I just like to push this as much as possible because few really get it.

        For every post stating the the cold hard facts of the situation there are 20 people who downplay everything and still believe that there is some magic renewable solution.

        We missed that boat a long time ago.  

        (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

        by Drezden on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:54:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect (none)
    that Bush's forms of alternative energy are more invasive and polluting methods of coal and oil extraction or something big oil has already copped the patents on.  In no way do I expect any kind of plan that will actually offer solutions.  After all, look who the drug bill actually benefited.  Guess I better stop thinking about it and go buy that bicycle.

    Theocracy is tyranny

    by Druidica on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:03:04 AM PST

  •  bush's idea of alt. energy (none)
    "Hey, instead of driving your Hummer, take the Suburban! Instead of running the A.C. at 72, try 74."

    I dream of cherry pies, candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies. We used to microwave, now we just eat nuts and berries.

    by sadair on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:11:12 AM PST

  •  Love you Rep. Slaughter (none)
    Great Diary and recommended. After our Alito disappointment we Kossacks need something to focus on. Keep fighting this evil maladministration!

    Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought- John F. Kennedy

    by vcmvo2 on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:17:49 AM PST

  •  I Don't Intend to Waste My (4.00)
    time watching corporate spokesperson bush's "state of the corporate state" speech this evening.

    it's pointless because I'll have to do is look at the One Billion we are spending per week securing the oil in Iraq (and by proximity-- Saudi Arabia) and then look at the meager amount of money bushco has dedicated to "alternative" energy.

    BTW, ethanol is not really an optimum form of alternative fuel-- but smirky will be crowing about it since it increases the profits of his agribusiness buddies.

    "We have no right to surrender our inheritance to boors and tyrants". Paul Goodman 1962

    by Superpole on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:34:03 AM PST

    •  ethanol, not much of an energy source (none)
      No kidding.  And when people say it's a choice between 1) eating 2) heating, ethanol really emphasizes the point!

      In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

      by yet another liberal on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 10:41:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  not celebrating either (none)
      For the first time in my adult years, I am not watching the State of the Union.  This man
      is not the legitimate President of my country.  Impeachment isn't enough.  We need an anullment from this guy.  Instead of wasting all that money fighting the moronic war on terror, we could have put it into developing ways to SAVE energy resources.  

      Just listening to him talk is an insult to my ears.

      The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

      by Thea VA on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 12:55:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Almost Everything (none)
        smirky says is carefully scripted-- occasionally he throws in a comment about the family dog or something similar. other than that, the guy doesn't have an original thought in his dome. zero.

        "We have no right to surrender our inheritance to boors and tyrants". Paul Goodman 1962

        by Superpole on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:55:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This very possibly (none)
    could get me in great trouble, none the less it needs to be out there:


    From: Rosalee Fleming <>
    Date: 03 Apr 2000 12:19 PDT
    Subject: Re: Conversation w/President & Mrs. Bush

    Hi Terry -

    Ken Lay said that he would really like an update and more detail about the
    "Digital Divide" and TFA. He is attending the Fortune Battle Royal and said
    this fits right in with the subject. He will be leaving for Washington
    tomorrow night.


    Rosalee on 03/30/2000 09:59:59 AM
    Subject: Conversation w/President & Mrs. Bush

    Terry Pierce
    Enron Broadband Services
    Corporate Marketing
    Sr. Manager/Special Projects
    (713)345-8383 Office
    (713) 503-0700 Cell

    ----- Forwarded by Terry Pierce/Enron Communications on 03/30/00 10:01 AM
    | | Terry Pierce |
    | | |
    | | 03/30/00 |
    | | 09:40 AM |
    | | |


    | |
    | To: KEN LAY
    cc: |
    | Subject: Conversation w/President & Mrs.
    Bush |


    Dear Ken:

    Night before last I visited with President and Mrs. Bush and suggested that he
    give you a call regarding TFA (Technology For All)! I told him that it might
    prove valuable for his son's campaign! When we spoke with Cynthia Sandherr in
    Washington a week or so ago, she said that the "Digital Divide" was the
    topic on Capital Hill. She had some wonderful ideas on how to spin this so
    businesses create the bridge for the divide and not government! Although we
    want to stay nonpartisan with TFA, this would be a wonderful press opportunity
    and platform in Washington!

    Just thought I should give you "heads-up" in case he asks and please tell
    I said hello!

    Thank you for doing so much for the cause!

    Terry Pierce
    Enron Broadband Services
    Corporate Marketing
    Sr. Manager/Special Projects
    (713)345-8383 Office
    (713) 503-0700 Cell

    If the Honorable Rep Slaughter would like to know more let me know.

  •  Here's the Fourth Draft ... (none)
    ... of an energy plan that we (with ideas from hundreds of Kossacks) have been working on for the past six months in hopes the Democrats will take it on:

    Energize America 2020.

    A Final Draft is coming soon.

  •  One of the things that annoyed me (none)
    about the last Presidential campaign was that Sen. Kerry barely touched on air and water pollution.  Instead, he had one photo op of himself dressed up in blaze orange to counter the Repug charge that the Democrats want to take away everyone's deer rifles.    

    I live in the still relativly unspoiled northwoods.  A lot of serious outdoorsmen (and women) have weekend cabins aroud here.  They might be otherwise politically conservative, but they know what methyl mercury is, and how it gets it gets into our lakes and streams.  And it worries them mightily when their wives and small children can't eat more of their fresh caught perch.

    Conservation is not a partisan issue, and Democrats need to remember we have the high ground on this one.  


  •  Gee, this is great and all, (none)
    But where are you and the other Dems on the issue of energy, Rep. Slaughter? What are you going to do about Peak Oil and natural gas depletion? Where's the leadership I should be hearing from the Dems on this?

    All I hear is crickets chirping from the Dem side of the aisle on this matter.

    Wake me up when you guys get on this.

  •  Heh, just got a mail from Sierra Club, Va. (none)
    They asked me to send a letter to Kaine to help him out with the speech. I sent...

    Congrations on you for your opportunity to address the nation tonight in response to President Bush's State of the Union Address.  You truly deserve the honor!

    I have seen and heard that the President is expected to focus much of his speech on a new energy future for the United States.  Representative Louise Slaughter posted a diary on the website Daily Kos. In it, there is a link to Energize America 2020. You would do well to read both.

    I oppose opening up new areas of our coastline to new oil and gas drilling.  Instead, we need to focus our attention on reducing how much energy we use - in our homes, automobiles, and businesses; cleaning up our vehicles and power plants; and investing in current and new clean sustainable sources of energy.

    Waiting for new technologies to be developed is a nice idea, but misses the point.  We have technologies and ideas today that can solve many of our energy needs.  Relying on the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear industries will only worsten our energy problems, not make them better.

    We are counting on you to lay out a new vision, one that is focused on starting our future today.  An energy future that includes responsibility, sustainability, and that does not put our coasts, our families, or our communities at risk.

    Please, check the diaries on dKos. The Energize America plan is a good one. Be strong, you get bashed a bit on that site.

    Keep a good frame, be passionate for the rights of the American People. Don't respond to or parrot Republican talking points, please.

    Thank you, and I look forward to hearing you tonight!

    I love to edit form letters!

  •  Bush's "alternative energy" is... (none) at the pump vs. paying the cashier inside the station.


    Mitch Gore

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    by Lestatdelc on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:11:56 PM PST

  •  Why are you even attending it? (none)
    You and your fellow representatives should fail to show up for what will be a nonsensical farrago by the biggest buffoon ever to drive down Pennsylvania Avenue. By your presence, you are giving the impression that you are paying respectful attention to someone who shouldn't have been allowed to stand near the White House, let alone live in it! A boycott of the SOTU is really your only option anyway. Bushco don't care what you think or what you say. They are impervious to reason. So why give the impression that you are part of something, when you most certainly are not? You can vote with your feet, at least.

    Walking. It's the new driving.

    by Batfish on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:12:21 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Louise! (none)
    I just wanted to thank Rep. Slaughter. You are one of the most hardworking of our representatives and one of the few members of government I actually trust. And you are one of the VERY few who dares to speak out on the most important issues we face.

    If only there were more like you!

  •  Thanks, Rep Slaughter (none)
    Heard you on Randi Rhodes about a week ago and you rocked!  You have a wonderful, plainspoken way of making even the most complicated ideas seem like something the "folks" out there can get their brains around.

    Here's my unsolicited advice:

    I suggest you do the same with this energy issue.  The diary you posted here is outstanding and great for us politico junkies, but if called on to speak about this issue, I'd advise you to pare it down even more and get right to the issue of the average Joe/Jane's gas tank and heating bill - compared to the profits the very UN-average Dick (as in Cheney) has been raking in on the other hand.

    Keep posting here and thank you again for your awesome leadership.

    "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." - Montesquieu, 1742

    by hopesprings on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:36:09 PM PST

  •  Please, please Ms. Slaughter.... (none)
    Will you and your collegues put your own energy legislation on the floor? If the Republicans won't let it come to a vote take it to the media. If the media publicizes the alternative energy package every Republican will look bad for not letting it get a vote. We need to seriously invest in alternatives as well as protect the environment by imposing stricter regulations on industry. Please, please, you are the only ones who will support our environment and our future economy. Thanks.
  •  Its brilliant to foucs on one issue. (none)
    This is the worst President ever. To the extent that Democrats in Congress co-operate with this administration in any way we consider you collaborators and quislings.

    For most of us there's so much wrong its hard to touch on everything without making it seem like we are just focusing on the negatives, but what else is there? Is there anything, just one thing this President has done right? Even Republican support has dropped below 50%.

    The Energy issues tie in to so much more. The corruption, the favortism to cronies, the waste and pork, the failing economy, the incompetence.

    The Oil Companies made $100 billion dollars surplus profit off the people who are forced to choose between food and heat in the north in the winter or food and air conditioning in the south in the summer.

    It ties into the environment and the failure to protect the Levees in New Orleans and to clean up the mess afterwards and to make America secure in all the really important ways.

    It ties into de-regulation like that Senator Byrd mentions when he talks about 14 dead miners, and it ties into removing any accountability from drug companies like Rumsfelds that are supposed to be funded to make vacines that we know will kill people, and what congress is arguing is that it should be taxpayers rather than drug companies which pay for the mistakes

    Why would you even think of approving the Patriot Act? Why would you allow the spying to continue? Why would you bail out the government when it goes bankrupt.

    Stand up and say I'm sorry Mr. Bush but it appears you have wasted all the money we gave you and haven't gotten any of the jobs we have asked you to do accomplished.

    With your track record, why would you think the taxpayers we represent would want to allow you to squander more of their money and their childrens money and all the future generations money it will take to pay off the deficit you have created?

    Your best policy is just say NO.

  •  I agree, BUT .... (none)
    I agree with Rep. Slaughter about the lousy Bush energy policy, but, in the end, really ending our dependence on petroleum will require the kind of political steps that turn elected officials into "former elected officials."

    To wit:  Reducing petroleum use will involve somehow reducing automobile use.  I doesn't help to raise CAFE standards if eveybody takes their new hybrid cars and moves to the exurbs with 50-mile commutes and 10 mile shopping trips in single occupancy cars.   It also doesn't help energy use if people still insist on the "American Dream" of owning a detached 3,000 square foot house that is heated with oil or natural gas, or electricity generated from coal.  To really solve this problem, a large percentage of middle class Americans will have to move into apartments or row houses and use the bus as their primary mode of transport (or they could walk or use a bike.)

    Considering how nearly all the middle-class Americans I know (including many good liberal Democrats) have a whiny fit when the price of gasoline goes from $2.20 a US gallon to $2.50 a gallon, I suspect that anyone telling the American public that they shouldn't expect an entitlement to cheap and abundant fuel will end up defeated on Election Day.

    That's in addition to the fact that in order to get people to live closer to where they work, shop, and play would step on the toes of the real estate speculation, er, development industry.  Considering that the European settlemtn of North America was primarily an exercise in real estate speculation, and that, as my poli sci professor told us back in college, "the 'realtors' control all local and state politics" [and I suspect are influential on the nationals scen as well], those are some toes that politicians step on at their own peril.

    Good luck, Prepsentative Slaughter.  I hope you can push back more on Bush, and I hope that sense can prevail and rational policies can be formed on transportation, real estate development, and energy use.  But somehow, I fear that anyonw who tries will not prevail.

  •  This is in the same category (none)
    as the mission to Mars issue in one of the SOTU address - he has no plans to do anything different. He wants to impress the idiots with limit recall and get his poll bounce.

    Remember they'll say and/or do anything to throw some people off guard. They have no intention of getting us off oil.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:35:50 PM PST

  •  Why does this happen (none)

    only in one town, in one state, from one hot dog stand?

    "Trying to make it real compared to what." Gene McDaniels/Les McCann

    by Sprinkles on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 03:37:25 PM PST

    •  Because (none)
      Biodiesel is still a lot more expensive to produce than conventional diesel fuel.  It also results in slightly higher NOx emssions, which might be a problem in ozone non-attainment areas.  (NOx is one of the exhaust gases that is a precursor to Ozone, which most people know as "smog.")

      These exotic alt fuels and fun advanced technology might have their place, but realize that it only pays to use yhem when the price of regular fuel goes through the rood. And since the American public is so clueless on the benefits of high gas prices (see Professor Pollkatz' graphics showing the relation between gas prices and the Bush approval/disapproval ratings).

      Lat's face it, we Americans are in a quandary.  The only sane energy policies are ones that would get their proponents soundly defeated in any fair election.

      "We have met the enemy and he is us."

      (But it doesn't have to be that way, we could accept high gas prices and just use it less.  And in doing so be liberated from the tyrrany of owning a car and driving it.)

  •  I just did a search on this page (none)
    and apparently, biodiesel is not part of this long list of comments. Why? For more info on biodiesel, check out the "site" link in my sig, as well as my previous daily kos diaries about the subject.

    Idea:No Blood for Oil. Action:I use Biodiesel. site blog

    by KumarP on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:05:46 PM PST

  •  Clueless Liberals (none)
    I would expect such enemy abetting talk from you traitorous liberal-heads.  Why does the energy supply hate America?

    In all seriousness, thank you for this Representative Slaughter.  It is so important that those of you in government take advantage of your increased access to information and analysis and spread that knowledge to the people.  It's a function of government that we had seemed to have lost for awhile, but thanks to people like you, we are regaining it.

    Nothing to worry about as long as your papers are in order, comrade! -4.75, -4.41

    by Aethern on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:20:15 PM PST

  •  Preaching to the choir (none)
    The real challenge is to get the media to stop fawning over Bush's "bold new ideas" about energy long enough to note that the dems have been yelling about this for the last 6 years and even longer.

    So none of these issues seems to me to be as important individually as the one idea:

    Get your message out.  Frame the debate.

    We all know what you posted here, we love what you're saying.  We're sold.

    So now how to we stop these clowns from constantly co-opting our message so that the media says we have none?  How do we stop them from twisting and obscuring the message every time?

  •  Strategy (Please Read) (none)

    Our strategy for Bush's new straining America of oil should be the issue where we can take the reigns and say "here, we ARE NOT partisan, we think this idea is a good one, but the rest aren't". We can ask that Bush ask for even larger goals out of the business sector, ask him to work to get us off enery quicker, that is how we will win. Make a big deal of how we want to WORK TOGETHER to get this getting america off oil thing work as fast as possible and then when they don't work with us on the other issues, we can scream, see THESE GUYS ARE IMPOSSIBLE. Not that any shouldn't know that by now.
  •  Bush's energy plan? (none)
    Didn't know he had one.  

    From what I've seen his plan is akin to telling a diabetic to stop buying sugar from third world caribbean countries and grow it in his own backyard.  In short it does nothing to address the real problem.

    He's had 5 years and after 9/11 had a real opportunity to address the issue and he's failed and now he wants to address it?  Too little too late.

    -7.38, -5.74 This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 05:38:42 PM PST

  •  Thank You, Representative Slaughter (none)
    for keeping up the good fight.  Recommended.

    ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

    by rlharry on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:04:17 PM PST

  •  Wow! Has he really learned norhing? (none)
    27,000 allied casualties, 7000 wounded too bad to return to combat more than 2100 dead Americans deathsquads instead of police, no reconstruction, the army collapsing and Bush still wants to talk about victory?
    •  Sorry (none)
      I haven't checked for a week or so. It's now 2,446

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:29:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  victory comes to those who repeat the word (none)
      Apparently all it takes is a trust in mantras for them to become true.

      On a side note, on CSPAN2 tonight just before the State of the Union address, one of the panelists said the government figure for allied casualties which you provide as do many others is just a bit optimistic.

      400,000 troops have returned home from combat in Iraq thus far.

      30% of these troops have sought medical attention on their return.

      120,000 allied casualties is the closer number for those who prefer more accuracy.

      When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon. Thomas Paine

      by mrcoder on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:33:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I propose (none)
    methane collectors strapped to fatass Denny Hastert. BTW, why is the Speaker of the House named after the most notoriously racist restaurant food chain in the nation?

    The revolution is ongoing.

    by The Gryffin on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:59:12 PM PST

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