Advice To Republican Strategists:
10/29/01

If you take action now, today, to pursue aggressively better strong alternative energy policies then this would be a seriously powerful and unexpected card you could play in the next Presidential Election, and in elections near it. You could meet head-on all of the snide insinuations about Bush being an Oil-Man and doing only what's right for his oil interests and not just what's right for the country. You could meet head-on that he's done everything possible to pursue military security by supplying the military with sustainable domestic energy sources. You could show he's willing to change and adapt and overcome his own prejudices against some technologies (however understandable it may be when someone comes from a certain background to be predisposed toward certain technologies), out of love for the country. You could point to dozens of gigawatts of sustainable energy sources that would not have occurred in the natural economic growth of things but arise because Bush-Cheney put everything they had into making our nation's energy base more diverse and sustainable and strong and healthy. You could point to a new and stronger auto industry built on serving consumers' desire to do their part, rather than built on contempt for the whole energy situation and consumers' decades-long trend toward buying foreign cars for better fuel economy and other features.

You could point to a new economics of home-ownership wherein, by supporting net-metering in all 50 states, and by using Bush-Cheney's contacts in the energy industry to clear all bureaucratic hurdles far ahead of schedule, as part of the war effort, consumers are able to contribute electricity to the grid, and generate some of their own instead of drawing from the grid, and contribute to a changed way in which we generate our own U.S.-made energy. You could point to vehicles which use some of this home-generated electricity instead of having to import oil from the Middle East in order to run... in direct contradiction of the conception that Bush-Cheney is all about sustaining the Middle Eastern Oil Paradigm. You could point to the very real fact (more subtly than I am doing here of course) that Clinton-Gore did so much less than they could have done, on all of these fronts. You could rightly point out that actions speak louder than words.

And you could do all this without seriously damaging most of the fossil fuel industries because many of them are moving in these directions anyway, and will not be put out by moving in a sustainable direction. You could gain some important credibility by using some of these efforts, since they work in that direction anyway, to help defuse criticism of your Kyoto Protocol reversals. Would it be such a terrible thing if the effort to get us on sounder domestic energy footing also worked into getting us on solid footing for Global Warming negotiations? The need to help the nation get sustainable and domestic in its energy policies is a major issue that, many different ways, seems to point in the same direction. Rather than resist this so transparently, why not embrace it?

I posit that there is tremendous political capital to be had here.

The nation will not eschew its oil ways in 2 years. But it will be intelligent about whether or not you're sincere in two years about what you've done on the front of sustainable domestic energy.

You barely won the last election, and you lost the popular vote. The Democrats might do a better job of it in 2003-2004. Best to start planning ahead, don't you think?