August 05, 2008

Election Season: On Energy

I try to ignore all that is happening in the race for President, I really do. One problem is that it's everywhere. Every. Where. Making it worse, I think (hope) is that we live in the middle of it. We are inside the infamous beltway. I spend a lot of time on it every morning and afternoon.

There are a lot of things that will be argued and debated in the coming months, and I think that discussion and debate is healthy. I don't think that many minds will be changed, and I honestly think that 90% or more of voters have already decided who they will vote for. No amount of campaigning is going to make me vote for McCain, and no amount of campaigning will make my father vote for Obama. With that in mind, I am choosing to believe that it's a time of great discussion, and that's okay.


Today my annoyance is Energy and Oil. (yeah, start small, eh?)

Yes, gas prices are high. It's not nearly as bad here as it is in other places. Apparently Norway is the worst place to pay for gas. I remember being repulsed at the idea of paying $1 for a gallon and how important that $10 was to my dating life. (yeah, right) Now that I'm paying almost four times that I realize how good it was back then, but also realize that we were living the good life and we will never get back there again.

One option is to drill off the coasts of the nation, and in the forests of Alaska. ANWR, I believe it is. If it would make a difference now, or anytime soon, I might be a little more inclined to support it, but it will take years for them to figure out exactly where the oil IS, and years after that to get it out of the ground, refined and into our cars and planes. There is no reliable information to even suggest that it would be worth our time and energy to drill in ANWR because we don't know how much there is in the ground.

If drilling is PART of the solution, then explore that, but it can not be the only thing on the table.

I am a supporter of the new movement being led by T. Boone Pickens and his Pickens Plan. Pickens is a former oil executive who has seen all of the facts and been on the inside of the industry. He is proposing moving forward with alternative energy sources. The video below lines out part of his plan:



My bottom line is that in order to get out of our energy "crisis" we need to be investing in things other than gasoline as we know it. Hybrids are a good idea, but there are too few on the roads to make a long-term difference so far. Solar energy is fairly expensive to get up and running (in a home) but the long term benefits and savings are incredible from everything I've heard.

I guess I want you to think about this the next time the "scare" ad comes on that says "Obama voted no to drilling in ANWR while you suffer." The reality is that we're in a jam right now that is not easy to get out of.

What we really need - and should demand - is a long-term plan from whoever ends up in office.

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