Sorry voor het (korte stukje) engels, maar het is vakantietijd en dit vat het goed samen:
Congress and the White House, Democrats and Republicans finally agree on something. We need a stimulus package, they intone. The economy is stagnating, unemployment is climbing, families can’t pay their bills. We have to prime the pump, reduce interest rates, increase unemployment benefits, provide temporary tax relief.
Roy Innis is chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (www.CORE-online.org), one of America’s oldest civil rights organizations, and author of Energy Keepers – Energy Killers: The new civil rights battle.
These unlicensed physicians are prescribing aspirin to counteract the poisons they routinely inject into our economy, while they prepare even bigger doses of arsenic.Every one of these supposed shots of economic adrenaline is counteracted by policies that drive up prices.Oil, gas, coal and other resources on America’s citizen-owned public lands could help meet US energy needs. Developing these resources – with full regard for ecological values – would generate jobs, economic growth and tax revenues and stabilize energy prices.
Onshore and offshore public lands could hold enough oil to produce gasoline for 60 million cars and fuel oil for 25 million homes for 60 years – and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for 160 years.But several legislators, regulators, courts and environmentalists have made most of them unavailable to the workers and families who own them. In addition, a Utah area with a trillion dollars worth of public coal was placed off-limits by the Clinton adminitration. Nuclear power has been in a regulatory stranglehold for decades. And activists blocked construction of dozens of coal-fired electricity plants in 2007.
The “energy” legislation President Bush just signed doesn’t foster the production of a single drop of oil, whiff of natural gas, or kilowatt of new coal or nuclear power. Instead, the bill:
* Adds $6,000 to the price of new cars, while reducing passenger safety in collisions with trucks, trees and other large objects, by forcing manufacturers to downsize cars to meet 35 mpg ratings;
* Replaces billions of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, necessitating expensive recycling facilities that can safely handle the mercury in each CFL;
* Increases ethanol production to 35 billion gallons a year – five times what we produced last year from corn grown on an area the size of Indiana, using 42 billion gallons of water and 5 billion gallons of petroleum (for fertilizers, pesticides and fuel);
* Promotes wind power – although generating enough electricity to power New York City requires huge turbines across an area the size of Connecticut, and they only work eight hours a day on average.
Policymakers who are experimenting on our energy, economy and lives need to abide by the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. Affordable, reliable energy transforms constitutionally protected rights into actual rights and opportunities for better jobs and living standards.