To protect the planet and meet people’s needs, get profits
out of the energy industry
By Stephen Durham, write-in candidate for U.S. president
As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast and my home state of New York, after leaving a trail of devastation and death in Haiti and the Caribbean, bloggers are asking, “Will this finally force Obama and Romney to talk about climate change?”
While no specific hurricane can be blamed on global warming, the general spike in violent weather is one way that the headlong consumption of fossil fuels ravages the environment. Global warming was a campaign issue for Obama in 2008, when his purported vision of hope and change included a bold new future powered by renewable energy sources.
But that was then and this is now. The loyalty of both candidates to the monster fossil fuel corporations is clear. Not a peep was said about climate change during the televised debates, and nothing will be said now.
Mitt Romney’s energy agenda is at least straightforward. Cancel any regulations that interfere with anything the industry wants to do in its pursuit of profits. Stick to the plan of guaranteeing these profits with $113 billion in federal subsidies for oil, gas, and coal over the next decade. Rationalize all this with the drumbeat of how desperately the U.S. needs energy independence in the interest of its “national security.”
Obama hears the beat of the same nationalistic drummer. He now has an energy policy widely dubbed “all of the above.” It embraces solar, wind, and other renewables; biofuels; the chimeras of “clean” coal and “safe” nuclear; and new drilling for oil (domestic oil production reached a 17-year high this month). After Obama raised hopes that he would nix the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline bringing tar sands oil from Canada to Texas refineries, his administration went ahead and began handing out permits to bulldoze a path for the pipeline’s southern portion. (more…)