Friday, January 26, 2007

krauthammer critiques bush's energy ideas

Charles Krauthammer often infuriates me, for example when he urged Al Gore to medicate himself. So when his column is 2/3 correct, it's worth a note. Today he wrote about de facto President Bush's lame energy policy in the State of the Union.

Krauthammer said the "20 in 10" idea of cutting gas consumption 20% over 10 years with various technological fixes was silly. He said he had a "20 in 2" idea - raise taxes till gas hits $4 a gallon. A fine idea, we should do it immediately. As Krauthammer points out, when gas prices spiked in the wake of Katrina, SUV sales dropped and people began paying attention to fuel economy again. Although Krauthammer didn't go into this, raising gas prices to $4/gallon or higher would also spur more research into energy alternatives by making them more cost competitive.

Krauthammer also calls for more nuclear power, a form of energy that doesn't contribute greenhouse gases. I've supported nuclear power for a long time.

In addition, Krauthammer advocates drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. I don't agree, but at least Krauthammer admits that ANWR is not going to be a huge source of gas, maybe 5% of the market, which he said in a tight market could be crucial. Maybe, but frankly I like the idea better of making the market tighter to force people to consider alternatives. Why damage the ANWR just to drag the oil era out a couple of years longer?


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