15 July 2008

Presidential Press Conference – 15 July

Some quick thoughts after watching President’ Bush’s press conference this morning.

First, he is right in that there is no quick fix, no short term fix for gas and diesel prices. The road to a “post hydrocarbon” solution will require work, innovation, exploration and – yes – sacrifice. These things seem anathema to the Democrat-controlled Congress.

President Bush mentioned exploring the outer continental shelf (OCS) again today. He did this yesterday. He should do so again tomorrow. And the next day. He should shame the Congress into taking action – or the Congress should take what they believe is a principled stand and clearly state why the OCS must remain off-limits (along with ANWAR and other possible sources).

President Bush mentioned supporting nuclear power. He should say this daily. A member of his staff should search out examples of companies who are trying to get permits and build nuclear power plants and their stories should be told. My guess is that if the wider public were more aware of the bureaucratic process entailed, there would be a push for legislative sanity in this sector.

President Bush showed much frustration with Congress’s inability, or unwillingness, to pass a single piece of required appropriations legislation. He said that they hadn’t passed a single bill in this area. He should pound on this point again tomorrow. And the day after.

President Bush has the chance to help turn the country away from the “do nothing” policies of Democrats simply by hammering day in and day out on these simple, straight-forward points: drill in the US now to expand domestic supply; step up pursuit of alternatives, particularly nuclear; relieve unneeded, non-safety related bureaucratic red tape with regard to energy development. The simple fact that Congress must act should also be a mantra. This is not a dictatorship – no matter what the true believers on the left may think. The electorate must push Congress; it seems that the president should, at long last, push the electorate.

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