Got Cardigan? NYT's Brave New Energy-Conservation World
Shades of Jimmy Carter!
The NY Times editorializes this morning against the proposal by California congressman Richard Pombo to lower the federal royalty on oil-bearing shale, condemning it as "an extraordinary giveaway of federal revenue . . . and a huge incentive to wreak environmental damage." The Times apparently can't stand the thought of oil companies making a profit, even if in return we can significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. As the paper acknowledges, "the estimate of the petroleum locked up in these deposits is enormous: perhaps 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil."
The Times condemns Pombo for believing that "we can drill our way to energy independence." Seems the Gray Lady hasn't figured out that - at least in the short-to-middle run - we will remain largely reliant on oil, and until someone figures out a way to coax it to the surface singing Kumbaya, you have to drill!
By the way, the editorial isn't just an essay on energy policy - it's also a Times foray into electoral politics. Pumbo is locked in a tight race against . . . a wind energy expert.
The Times concludes with this chilly reminder of the bad old days under Mr. Malaise: "Unlike Mr. Pombo, we believe that there is a vibrant new economy to be found in conservation and that is where our future lies."
We can imagine the Times' Brave New Conservation World. You're in your cozy living room when suddenly there's a pounding at the door and through the bullhorn you hear: "Energy Police! Put on your cardigan and step slowly away from the thermostat!"