Soft vs. hard energy path: the political lines harden

From The Christian Science Monitor

There's nothing like paying $2.50 per gallon at the gas pump to shift your attention to energy issues. And that may be especially true of politicians faced with grumbling constituents tired of forking out wads of cash to fill 'er up.

In Washington this week, President Bush and lawmakers of both parties are pushing their energy agendas. Mr. Bush, who began developing his still-languishing energy strategy shortly after he took office in 2001, prodded Congress to "get a bill to my desk before the summer recess."

The measure debated before the full House of Representatives Wednesday and Thursday - with passage expected Thursday afternoon - contains much of what Bush wants. But critics say it's also filled with unnecessary subsidies, over-reliance on nonrenewable resources like oil and coal, and an overall philosophy that even Energy Department economic analysts say won't significantly reduce dependence on foreign oil or affect the price at the pump.

The road to a new comprehensive energy program has been a long, hard slog.

Let's not forget it was Saint Ronnie of the Raygun in Space who gutted support for alternative enrgy research, thereby giving control of such things to the Europeans and Japanese to then sell to us, not unlike VCR's and DVD players.


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