The following letter was sent to the LA Times on April 30,2006:
"Ronald Brownstein’s article All Revved Up, Going Nowhere on Energy Policy – Los Angeles Times which appeared in the Times on April 30 was extremely refreshing.
Brownstein’s point that everyone in Washington expressed the requisite outrage last week about spiraling gas prices but no one seemed outraged enough to seriously reassess any of the tired and rigid thinking that has paralyzed America’s energy policy for years is exactly right.
Being a Republican who voted for Bush and as disappointing as it is for me, I’ve got admit that Mr. Brownstein has it right about this Administration’s "too little, too late"use of tired and rigid policies to spur this nation’s ability to become energy independent.
But this Administration is not alone in this failure. Successive administrations since the Carter Administration have done virtually nothing to wean the U.S. from its dependence on oil. The U.S. energy policy with each such administration has been "use more oil".
The Carter Administration’s energy policy truly needs to be revisited. I don’t agree with much that Carter did, but I do think he was pushing the right buttons when it came to implementing a comprehensive energy policy, one designed to stimulate the use of alternative energies, including renewable energies. The nation was also making great strides in the area of energy conservation, in essence another major energy source.
Unfortunately, the Republicans do not seem capable of implementing the big leap that is required in getting to the finish line on energy change. What is needed is a partnership in which the government must make a one time massive investment in the forms of tax incentives, subsidies, direct contracts, grants, and loan guarantees in assisting to spur new energy technologies and the infrastructures to support them–alternatives to hydrocarbon based gasoline, and the filling stations to pump them, for example.
The present Administration’s policy to promote the increased use of nuclear energy is irresponsible. The government failed from the very beginning to complete the nuclear fuel cycle with safe disposal measures, and there is no reason to believe that this has changed at all. In spite of all the research that has been achieved, there is still not a technological solution for the safe disposal of radioactive waste, and the government knows this.
So if it takes a complete leadership change in the Administration and Congress to make the paradigm shift to a truly reformulated energy policy, one which provides real energy independence, then that’s where we have to go. "
William R. Jack