Say what you will about President Bush's energy plan, at least he has one. The absence of any long-term planning in the past decade has left America short of electricity, natural gas and refined fuels for vehicles, as well as overly dependent on foreign oil.
This neglect has left the world's leading economy vulnerable, and there is no question that the United States must increase its overall energy production to keep the engine humming. Whether Bush's plan goes too far and exacts an unnecessary toll from the environment are valid questions that will be debated in coming weeks, but much of what the president is proposing should have been implemented long ago. ...
Bush's pro-production plan might be unnecessary if Americans used less energy, and the reams of news releases sent by professional environmentalists to media outlets each day via power-sucking computers and fax machines are adamant that the vast majority of Americans support conservation over production. But if that were true, Americans could solve the gas shortage themselves by trading in their gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles for fuel-efficient vehicles, as Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson did this week.
Bush's plan includes $5 billion in tax credits to encourage Americans to buy cars that run on natural gas and electricity, but even those vehicles are no panacea. They still require energy sources that today are in short supply. Bush's proposals, for better or worse, would increase those sources. If environmentalists have a better plan for meeting the country's growing energy needs, they have yet to produce it.
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