I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Al Gore Calls For Energy Independence

Former Vice President Al Gore challenged the United States this week to supply all of the country’s electricity by renewable and carbon free sources within 10 years. Gore’s proposal includes investments in solar, wind, and geothermal power. He calls for a promise to all coal and oil workers that they will have guaranteed jobs out in the sun and fresh air. He further calls for no new coal or oil exploration. His stand is one that why waste time and money on energy that will not ever decrease in price.

Gore has chosen an opportune time to bring his proposals into the media spotlight. We are living through a time when gas prices are at record highs, and the public anger is reaching new levels on an hourly basis. The price of a barrel of oil is hovering between $130 and $140. Based on what the news is from day to day, the price rises or drops. President Bush announces that he has rescinded the Presidential ban on offshore drilling, and the price of oil dropped by several dollars. It subsequently rose back up when congressional leaders revealed their intention to do nothing. Recent polls of the general public have shown ever-increasing angst over the rising gas prices. The public is growing weary of all of the political posturing over the price of gas, but seeing zero substantial action coming from Capitol Hill. The most recent proposal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would almost be humorous if it wasn’t such an obvious political stunt for the cameras. Pelosi proposed releasing 10% of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve and halting all of our oil exports. Releasing 10% of the reserves equates to about 70 million barrels. We currently use about 20 million barrels a day as a country. Her plan would have the effect of 3 and half days worth of oil. Halting all of our oil exports is even more laughable than the 10% idea. Last year we exported a total of 10 million barrels of oil. This plan would give us a half a day of oil. Once again Speaker Pelosi has shown us that she is more interested in political posturing than actual solutions. Is it any wonder that the Congress, under Harry Reid and her leadership, has a less than 10% approval rating by the American people?

While I agree with Gore on certain points of his plan, there are others with which I simply cannot agree. I would love to see us use less fossil fuel for energy supply in our country. As of right now, solar, wind and geothermal power are not reliable enough to supply enough power for our country. I do believe that we can get there with future innovations and technological advancements, but as of right now we are not there. We do need to invest in finding alternative methods of supplying our energy, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the known oil that we have right here in our country. We should start more oil exploration to aid in the investment of alternative energy sources. We should look at conservation ideas, but that is not the sole answer to our energy woes. A combination of new oil exploration, building new refineries, building new nuclear power plants, investing in alternative energy supplies, and conservation all have a part to play in the solution.

Gore has made a very lucrative career out of his grandstanding on climate change. He would be much more believable if he lived up to the ideals by which he wants the rest of us to live. He lives in a mansion that consumes 20 times more energy than the national average for a home. By contrast, the “evil” George Bush will retire to his ranch in Crawford, Texas that employs a geothermal heating and cooling system. For all of Gore’s pontificating on carbon emissions and the need to use less energy, it hasn’t stopped from jetting all around the world on private planes and consuming more energy in a month than most of us use all year. I guess Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only one who is more interested in political posturing than actual results.

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