“This administration’s policies have been designed to drive up the cost of energy in the name of reducing pollution, in the name of making very expensive alternative fuels more economically competitive,” Barbour said during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce breakfast across the street from the White House.
Reducing pollution? Making alternative fuels more economically competitive? Sounds good to me.
Barbour’s assertion reminded me of two events that helped ever so slightly to break this country’s addiction to gasoline-
9/11 made even non-environmentalists realize that when we waste gas, we are supporting countries who hate us and hurting our economy as we increase imports.
Hurricane Katrina made gas prices spike so quickly and dramatically, that SUV sales plummeted, corporations like UPS looked for more efficient ways of running truck routes, and we all were forced to think of ways to stop wasting gas.
Let’s face it, the most powerful force for change is when people’s wallets are impacted. I’ll never forget when Katrina struck and gas prices spiked- my buddy with his family of 4 pulled up in my driveway in his VW Jetta, in lieu of his usual Chevy Tahoe. I asked “What’s with the car?” His reply- “trying to save some money on gas”. Everywhere around me I saw corporations and individuals actually think of ways to save gas. The Hummer went bankrupt and the Prius’ sales skyrocketed.
So, while it would be a political blunder for Obama to alienate millions of voters who wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice in the short-term for the benefit of the long-term, I am lucky in that I get to say whatever I want.
While it’s unfortunate that the burden of paying higher gas prices will be more painful for everyone except the wealthy, the long term benefit may be just what it takes to begin curbing this other little problem we must deal with- the reckless changing of the Earth’s climate/ecosystem!