Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Honk if you hate the Decider

Is this the way to go about handling the oil crisis? By easing environmental rules on oil production? Is this a responsible policy, or another one of Bush's farkakte schemes to protect his cronies in the oil business, which consists, among others, of his entire freaking family.
I'm not a maven in this category (I can't know everything, y'all). But this sounds like really bad news. It just allows oil companies to neglect their environmental responsibility to pump more oil out of the earth. Is it too much to ask the President to tell people to consider modes of alternative fuel and transportation? It won't happen in a day, but this country needs to start taking a good hard look at its criminally wasteful energy habits.

So this is what he proposes:

He also said the country needed to expand its domestic refining capacity by making it easier to get permits for building new refineries or expanding existing ones. No new refineries have been built in the United States in the past 30 years , he said, urging that Congress adopt legislation that would limit the permit process to one year.

But the ultimate solution, he said to an appreciative audience of the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington, was to reduce the nation's dependence on imported oil.

"The long term strategy is to power our automobiles with something other than oil," he said. Although he spoke today about the importance of using ethanol, which is produced from corn and other agricultural products as substitutes for oil-derived fuel, he has suggested in earlier speeches that other methods be tried.

People mention fuel made of corn, hydrogen, dog farts. Is anybody considering providing people with better public transportation systems? Take, for instance, Houston, Texas. Or Atlanta, or LA, or any of those sprawling urban centers that are mired in bumper to bumper traffic. They could be ripe candidates for a good conmuter rail public transportation system, because the only other thing they have besides endless freeways and traffic jams are bus systems that probably takes people a day and a half to get to their destination.
But no, in Houston, new freeways were being built to accommodate more cars as far as the eye could see. It's not only the car manufacturers or the oil industry's fault or the fact that efficient, clean systems of public transportation cost taxpayer dollars (oil companies should pay for them. Aren't their profits up like a zillion percent?). But it's also the drivers' mentality. People who are stuck in satanic traffic in those cities cannot conceive of abandoning their car cocoons for anything. Their cars are such an extension of them that God forbid you ask them to take a train instead. But I imagine a light, clean, comfortable conmuter rail system connecting all of LA County and alleviating the traffic, the pollution and the road rage. Am I nuts?
Meanwhile in New York, I'd vote to ban all private car traffic in Manhattan and just allow cabs, delivery vehicles and bicycles (and rollerblades, if they behave). There is no reason for anybody to use a private car in this island.

No comments:

Post a Comment