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What Was I Thinking?
Category Archives: energy
Dick Cheney looks at the blurry line between politicians and lobbyists and erases it with the subtlety of a bunker-buster:
For more than two years, Cheney and a relatively unknown administration official, Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell, have been regularly visiting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to ensure agency officials rewrite regulatory policies and bypass public hearings in order to streamline the licensing process for energy companies that have filed applications to build new nuclear power reactors, as well as applications for new nuclear facilities that are expected to be filed by other companies in the months ahead, longtime NRC officials said.
Before being sworn in as deputy energy secretary in March 2005, Sell, a lawyer whose roots extend to Bush’s home state of Texas, was a White House lobbyist working on energy issues. He had also participated in secret meetings with Cheney’s Energy Task Force.
In April, Sell and Cheney had both met with NRC officials to sign off on the final regulatory policies related to new nuclear reactors. Following the meeting, Sell had alerted a group of energy companies they could begin to take advantage of the faster application process, NRC officials said.
NRC officials said that Cheney has expressed a desire to see applications for nuclear reactor projects approved by the NRC when he and Bush leave the White House in January 2009.
The energy corporations Cheney and Sell have been personally lobbying the NRC on behalf of this year have advised the vice president and his staff on energy policy in a way that would boost their companies’ profit margins. These corporations have also donated millions of dollars to President Bush’s and Cheney’s past presidential campaigns.
Read the rest at Cheney’s Plan to Combat Global Warming: Nuclear Power
The Public Record – Tuesday, 10 June 2008
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With only a few minor adjustments to account for dates and sports utility vehicles, this NY Times article on recent car buying trends could have been written thirty years ago. Start with the headline:
As Gas Costs Soar, Buyers Flock to Small Cars
I have childhood memories of such headlines. Change the price-a-gallon and replace “sport utility vehicles” with “gas-guzzling boat-sized sedans” and the following paragraph would have been relevant back then, too:
The switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles has been building in recent years, but has accelerated recently with the advent of $3.50-a-gallon gas. At the same time, sales of pickup trucks and large sport utility vehicles have dropped sharply.
Finally, here is where history repeats itself in perhaps the most moronic way:
The trend toward smaller and lighter vehicles with better mileage is a blow to Detroit automakers, which offer fewer such models than Asian carmakers like Toyota and Honda.
Yet as a testament to how the entire auto industry, regardless of country of origin (which means little in a globalized production line), is completely behind the times, consider the gas mileage of the fuel-efficient vehicles the Times lists in a sidebar:
The city mileage does not even reach 30 M.P.G.! We should be getting 100 M.P.G. now. We should have taken care of this thirty years ago. But no-o-o-o-o. We got frightened by the Iranian Revolution and elected an ex-B movie actor who stroked our precious imperialist egos (“It’s okay, my fellow Americans, we’re still a great big superpower”), and, once in office, undid the energy policies of the Carter Admin that would have saved us time, money, war, lives, and at least a part of the global warming crisis we face. Thanks, Reagan Democrats! I hope you guys learn your lesson this time!
But, like Detroit, you probably won’t.
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