Melissafrei’s Weblog

An Evolving Consciousness

Archive for Energy Policy

The Candidates on Energy Independence

This week, I would like to take a glance at the presidential candidates on a few of the issues that are important to me and perhaps to you.  As I see it, an essential piece in maintaining national security and the foundation of a domestic economic policy should be the establishment and execution of a comprehensive energy plan.  Gaining energy independence, attacking the problem of global warming, and generating more highly skilled and technical green jobs sounds to me like the cornerstone of national security.   This is why I am a little confused by what I found. 

It appears to me that our current Energy Policy  consist of more drilling,  deregulation of energy suppliers (repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act, and reforms the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act), and the use of coal ( which is now called clean coal).  To be fair, there are recommendations to develop renewable energy sources and to revamp our energy infrastructure which is in need of critical maintenance and restructuring.  The greater focus however seemed to be the former.   I could not believe that there was a continued priority placed on deregulation after the rolling blackouts in California and the Enron scandal.  Why would we place such a huge national security issue in the hands of the energy industry?  Am I missing something? 

The candidates with the most comprehensive solutions offered the usual development of renewable energy, a focus on conservation, and investment in technology.   Barack Obama and Chris Dodd clearly had the most comprehensive plans.  Dennis Kucinich appeared to be the only candidate to address our looming water issues and our problems with nuclear waste.  Mike Huckabee appeared to have a grasp of the connection between a sound energy policy and national security, but indicated that the policies would follow after he was elected.  There were several of the Democrats who had included metrics to measure accountability, but not a single Republican candidate.  How could this be?  Don’t they call themselves the National Security Party?  You can now see why I was confused.   This is how the candidates ranked on this issue from my perspective, but you be the judge: 

  1. Barack Obama 

  2. Chris Dodd

  3.  John Edwards

  4.  Hillary Clinton

  5.  Joe Biden

  6.  Bill Richardson

  7.  Mike Huckabee

  8.  Dennis Kucinich

  9.  Rudy Giuliani

 While I am looking at individuals who must have the vision to lead us where we need to be on this issue, we are reminded by Thomas Friedman that energy policy is crafted in the hall of congress.  So once again, the Power is local.  Where does your congressman or senator stand on this issue?  Currently, Iceland looks like they will be the first energy independent country and the European Union is taking the lead on other environmental issues.  I really believe that this should and can be the US position.   

 The National Renewable Energy Laboratory 

Science Daily 

Current US Secretary of Energy, Samuel Wright Bodman III