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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Bachmann: Less Rhetoric, More T. Boone Pickens

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 07/09/08 18:19, Edited: 07/09/08 18:22

There is a lot of intense rhetoric about gas prices from Republicans. As usual, they take a complex problem.... offer a one sentence solution.... and beat it to death.

Are we really that naive?

Michele Bachmann is "focused like a laser beam" on reducing the pump price. Maybe she needs fewer "laser beams" and more reality checks. MinnPost's Ron Way cites the real bottom line here:

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, however, there's not enough oil in offshore areas to make much difference in world prices ? which drive most worldwide pump prices, including those in the United States.

Citing figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the center said that at full production ? which would be more than 20 years off, the EIA projects ? offshore reservoirs may yield 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

Now compare that assertion to this paragraph:

The CEPR said that had the U.S. improved automobile efficiency standards at a very modest rate of four-tenths of a gallon per year between 1985 and 2007, the United States would have saved a staggering 3.3 million barrels of oil a day, or more than 16 times the rate that may be obtained from offshore sources.

Rep. Bachmann never seems to have any numbers that back up her claim. She counts on everybody just assuming that more drilling means cost savings. It apparently doesn't matter that this is factually incorrect.

And, as I have tried to point out many times, the minimal additional production we can squeeze out of US sources would still have little effect on commodity crude oil prices. That price is based on a world market and we simply do not have enough supply sources (even if you include every place Rep. Bachmann would have us drill) to put a dent in the production available in the Middle East. Our imports will continue to increase year over year....because we do virtually nothing to conserve and reduce consumption.

It looks like the real voice of reason in this is T.Boone Pickens.... that's right, the billionaire investor. He has figured out the real solution and he plans to back up his idea with bucks.

Pickens: The Department of Energy came out with a study in April of '07 that said we could generate 20 percent of our electricity from wind. And the wind power is -- you know, it's clean, it's renewable. It's -- you know, it's everything you want. And it's a stable supply of energy.
It will be located in [the] central part of the United States, which will be the best from a safety standpoint to be located. You have a wind corridor that goes from Pampa, Texas, to the Canadian border. And it has -- the wind, it's unbelievable that we have not done more with wind. Look at Germany and Spain. They have developed their wind way beyond what we have, and they don't have as much wind as we do.

Check out his plan here.

Maybe Michele Bachmann should take a look, too.

comments (1) permalink

Gov. Pawlenty's Recipe for Bad Government

Category: Tim Pawlenty
Posted: 07/09/08 02:03, Edited: 07/09/08 02:07

by Dave Mindeman

The archival records of Governor Tim Pawlenty may not create huge news stories but they are certainly going to give the state a lot of extra space to utilize.

With our Governor, its not what you know that is important....it is what you don't know.

As the Star Tribune indicated in its July 5th story, Pawlenty has archived very little of his records. He may be holding it back to dump when he leaves office, but according to his interpretation of what's important, I doubt there will be a lot to sift through.

The Governor's definition of what should be preserved:

Pawlenty's administration has cited a 40-year-old Minnesota Supreme Court decision to justify retaining only records of final decisions -- not the e-mails or paperwork that cast light on how decisions were made.

Under that criteria, the I-35 Bridge exchanges with MnDOT would have been eliminated if legal challenges from victims had not forced their preservations.

Other things in Pawlenty's tenure will get little sunlight as well. The Iron Range mining connection to mesothelioma that came out during the Mandernach Health Dept. controversy. How much of that material is missing? Will lawsuits preserve that as well?

Or, how about the flooding in southeast Minnesota? Has the state responded properly? How were decisions derived at?

Do the citizens of Minnesota have a right to see how their government determines policy and how their money is spent?

Governor Pawlenty seems to think that he gets to decide what you should know. Sounds like a recipe for bad government to me.

comments (1) permalink

Al Franken Wants to Stop the Revolving Door

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 07/09/08 01:03

by Dave Mindeman

It doesn't matter what you think of Al Franken... his new commercial gives the perfect solution to special interest reform. The revolving door for former congress people to become lobbyists is where the real problem in Washington lies.

Those of you who think the government spends too much money should support Al Franken on this. His proposal is quite simple... make it illegal for a former Congressional office holder to become a lobbyist. Quite simple, but it makes all the sense in the world.

Members of Congress hold unique relationships with each other. Those relationships carry over into their new careers as lobbyists for the rich and powerful special interest firms. It fuels the earmarks and it fuels the special benefits given to corporate power.

Close off the revolving lobbyist door.... you close off a vital cog in the special interest money machinery.

Norm Coleman won't be supporting that proposal. He has too many "friends" that would be affected.
comments (1) permalink


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