Re: [hreg] The Future of Renewable Energy Politics
- As for resistance from Republicans and from the enormously powerful petroleum lobby/industry in Washington. it's refreshing to hear you acknowledge what we RE advocates have known for the last half century.As for the Bush administration ... taking the lead on renewable energy policy and strategy ? You must be joking. Bush, has done nothing but smile for photo ops with renewable energy leaders. His 2005 energy bill shows where his loyalties are.It appaers that the Presidents actions speak so loudly that we cannot hear what he is saying.As for "across party lines", America doesn't need a third party, it needs a second party.Jim Duncan----- Original Message -----From: will thurmondSent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 8:14 AMSubject: [hreg] The Future of Renewable Energy PoliticsI have an observation and question for the Houston Renewable Energy Group concerning the future of energy politics:
For decades, those who have tried to champion renewable energy have typically found resistance from Republicans and from the enormously powerful petroleum lobby/industry in Washington. As a result, the "Green" politicians and Democrats have generally been against the energy initiatives of Republicans and the Bush Administration (i.e. drilling in Alaska, 'grandfathering' power plant emissions, environmental setbacks).
HOWEVER, now that the Bush administration is taking the lead on renewable energy policy and strategy, in the future - will those who are politically "Green" and/or Democratic:
A) Acknowledge this initiative as a positive step forward, embrace it; and join with the Bush Administration **across party lines** to UNITE on this issue and seize this opportunity; use new government grants; and use the Bush initiative as a platform to gain a wider voice and a more rapid adoption of wind, solar, biomass, bio-fuels and other technologies?
B) Simply abandon this initiative because it is not borne of Green/Democratic leaders; refuse to acknowledge this initiative, and instead embrace "politics as usual" to bash the president, denounce his policies; say that they are "not enough"; cite one location - the national renewable energy lab - where Bush's policies will lead to a reduction in expenditures instead of highlighting the many new programs that are now emerging for funding?
So, I ask the group these questions and look forward to both (a) opportunity assessments and (b) legitimiate criticisms of this unexpected initiative by the Bush administration.
Emerging Markets Online, Houston, TX
p.s. my two cents:
Based on political history, the answer should be evident (b). For many members in this group, their first impulse may be to highlight the "fallacies" of this program and strike it down despite taking the time to acknowledge the merits it may contain; and to recognize that this program's aims are synonymous with their own.
However, there is an opportunity here (a) for both political parties to UNITE and work together. The Republicans (thanks to a report by the Rocky Mountain Institute two years ago delivered to the Pentagon) have become so concerned about national security interests surrounding energy that they have turned to renewables as a feasible alternative to secure the peace against 'antagonistic' foreign energy suppliers.
The opportunity for the Democrats and Greens is clear: the many efforts so far on their part now have a better chance of being realized now that a national initiative is in place with funding, a national strategy, and the encorsement of the White House. What more could you ask for? Ok, we could re-elect Bill Clinton and ask him to re-write this initiative but that's dreaming...Maybe the McCain/Lieberman act will get passed and one of these leaders can champion this issue in the future.
I have resisted joining this lively and lengthy discussion so far, but now I’d like to make a few points:
1) I get nervous every time you guys start getting political, but I’m glad to see that people have been fairly respectful and it seems that most are enjoying the thread. I don’t think anyone has crossed the line, which would be bashing a particular party, candidate or especially a fellow HREG member.
2) Will, I hope you have gathered from the couple of months you have been a member that HREG is not just ‘Greens’. We are Democrats, Republicans, Green Party, Independents and maybe others. That is a testimony that renewable energy makes sense to people with many different ideologies.
3) HREG messages are publicly available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hreg/
but only members can send messages.
4) Thanks in part to this thread, we had more messages this month than any other in our 6 year history. During the previous high month we had people dropping off due to the volume of messages. Fortunately, I have not noted that this time, but nevertheless, let’s choose our words carefully and make them useful.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of will thurmond
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2006 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [hreg] The Future of Renewable Energy Politics
Apologies to all who may feel slighted by the assumption that ANY renewable energy policy put forth by a Republican government could possibly be a good one. Or the other assumption that opponents to the Republicans would be more likely to dismiss Bush's renewable energy initiative than to embrace it.
That was my point. Call it an agenda, if you will (Robert.Johnson), but it's not really. I'm an independent, and, like J.P, I also believe both parties are corrupt and subject to influence. The point is - I see a big opportunity for renewable energy advocates to join with Bush's renewable energy initiative and make the most of it. It frustrates me beyond belief to see those who oppose it simply because they don't agree with Bush's other policies. This sentiment has been expressed by a few on in this group, and many others outside the HREG group. The nation has much to gain from this initiative. It would be a shame if those who don't like the President do not support his renewable energy policy simply because of their political preferences.
It seems that my suggestion to members of the HREG group that Bush's energy initiative is worth a look has yielded such negative responses that I feel like a Narc at a NORML rally.
Thanks for listening. Perhaps it would be better if I agree with everyone from now on instead of (my original point) trying to suggest something useful like asking people to consider the merits of supporting a national renewable energy initiative. Just to consider it.
Apologies to Bashir. I never questioned his credibility, since he is an obviously accomplished Physicist and teacher of many seasons. I was curious about his outspoken philosophies concerning energy companies and political parties. It is unusual to see a man with such a distinguished scientific background to be so politically outspoken. It seems this passion should lend well to his aims of bringing affordable energy to the developing world. I also share these interests via my company, focused on the emerging markets. As I said "Respectfully" before in my previous message (J.P. missed that one), Bashir should know that I respect his opinions even if I don't agree with all of them.
Finally, like Like Tai-Lin says, this group all has the same goals, right? Perhaps the discussion of the future of energy politics in the HREG arena is not the best way to achieve these goals.