Democrats & Liberals Archives

Richardson's Energy Revolution

Up to now Bill Richardson was considered to be in tier 2 of the Democratic presidential hopefuls. But he is beginning his candidacy with a bang: He wants to instigate a revolution, a new-energy revolution. None of the top-tier candidates has done anything as spectacular is this. Because he is tackling the most important problem we face today - cataclysmic climate change - I think Richardson will soon join the top tier.

Bill Richardson said:

I am issuing a call to action, for Congress, the energy industry and the public. I am calling for a new American revolution – an energy and climate revolution.

Richardson wants an Apollo-type effort to develop new technologies and new approaches to cut energy costs and halt global warming. His goals are aggressive since only aggressive results will make a big difference. Among the main goals are the following:

  • Cut Oil Demand
    50 miles/gallon by 2020
    50% oil-use-decrease by 2020

  • Develop Renewables
    30% of energy use by 2020
    50% of energy use by 2040

  • Increase Efficiency
    20% increase in energy productivity by 2020

  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    20% by 2020
    80% by 2040
    90% by 2050
This is a tall order. But Richardson insists it is doable. He will raise money for the task by selling carbon permits and by cutting government subsidies that are not needed. He thinks such a bold program would help us form new industries that will bring prosperity to our children.

I like especially that Richardson says we must lead by example. Let's not spend time arguing about global warming, who is responsible and who should act first. We must act now. As leaders we must point the way by setting an example. He also wants to get other countries involved because the problem we face is global.

Now that Richardson has spoken, what will Clinton, Obama and Edwards do? We've heard generalities, but will they go as far as Richardson? Will they instigate a better new-energy revolution?

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 22, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #221052

Let’s not argue about whether or not global warming is human caused… let’s just impose radical solutions now!

Posted by: esimonson at May 22, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #221053

Paul, I am in favor of a new energy revolution but you can throw the man-made global warming carbon credit stuff in the wastebasket. Selling carbon credits to prevent something that at this time is based upon computer modeling is just plain crazy. I read an article recently about using aluminum pellets and something called Gallium which, when exposed to water produces oxygen and hydrogen. We are on the verge of hydrogen fuel being practical. Let’s not waste one more precious breath or dollar on man-made global warming theory.

Posted by: Jim at May 22, 2007 7:41 PM
Comment #221059

Let’s call all solutions radical and stick with the status quo! Let’s question science which has better factual support than the stuff questioning it! Let’s have politics continue to deny and delay despite the fact that satellites have actually measured the increase in heat retention caused by the greenhouse gases!

The biggest complaint I hear from your side is that it would impose a socialist one-world government on everybody. This implausible hypothetical is somehow seen as dealbreaker.

Well let me tell you something: As long as you make scientific decisions based on political drives, you will screw up. Politics is whatever people can convince themselves of. Science is whatever can stand up to real world tests. Global Warming science has done so, and its predictions are more right than wrong.

There must surely be a right-wing way to confront global warming, anyhow. I don’t see how you folks couldn’t organize business alliances, work to encourage capitalist investment in green technology and do all the other things. Hell, if you really took a look, you’d see that few people really have a problem with private enterprise being part of the solution.

Jim T-
The Department of Energy under Bush is stymieing that whole thing. Even if it wasn’t, bringing this technology to common use is going to take time. We cannot and should not abandon other efforts.

As for computer modelling, what’s important is the science that goes into that modelling, and how well the model handles it. The reality is, you really couldn’t examine climate change in any real detail without them, because the damn thing is so complex. Don’t knock it too much, because today’s more accurate weather forecasts work from very detailed modelling.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 22, 2007 9:32 PM
Comment #221060

Carbon tax would work. Richardson’s carbon permit selling will work like a carbon tax, so I am for it. This Apollo program idea, will probably not produce useful results, but the carbon tax/permit will do the job if it is sufficiently high and well enforced.

Posted by: Jack at May 22, 2007 9:53 PM
Comment #221061

I’ve been wondering for a while why Richardson isn’t considered in the top tier. Is it just because he’s jowly? Because his resume seems to be just about the ideal resume for a White House bid.

Being a Governor is a better launching point for the White House than being in Congress (4 men have gone from governor to President since that last moved up Pennsylvania Avenue). However, the perceived weakness for a governor is often foreign affairs. In that case, Richardson is covered (not only is he the governor of a border state, but he’s also a former UN Ambassador and regularly works in Darfur and Korea and other world hotspots). Also, energy policy will be the great challenge of the century, and he’s also a former Energy Secretary.

Toss in the fact that he’d pretty much sew up the Hispanic vote, I have to wonder what people don’t see in him.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 22, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #221089

Okay….I’d like one of you political/analytical posters on here to take a look at this. It was just released a short time ago.
I don’t know what it will take for us to accept the fact that this country is under the control of a bunch of out-of-control slimy, self-serving fools and we are only about a half-dozen flushes away from some deep shit! Well, maybe not for us to understand it, but to figure out how to convince enough that we have to stop it..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 23, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #221098
Now that Richardson has spoken, what will Clinton, Obama and Edwards do?

I don’t know about Obama or Edwards, but Clinton already introduced an Apollo Project-like program in the Senate to achieve energy independence.

One thing I do know, none of it’s going to happen with a Republican in the White House.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2007 2:07 AM
Comment #221099

I think the new spending bill is a big pile of shit.We shoud cut the funding of the war,(NOW).Those people that have yellow stickers on their cars,should be drag out of their cars and punched in the face.The same goes for the ones with W stickers to.

Posted by: the libertine at May 23, 2007 2:13 AM
Comment #221109

the libertine,

It is refreshing to see your non-violent approach to dealing with this. You have no credibility.

Posted by: wkw at May 23, 2007 8:15 AM
Comment #221114

“Let’s call all solutions radical and stick with the status quo!”

Why not? It is what we decided to do with social security.

Come on wkw. libertines post made me want to go out and buy a yellow AND a W bumper sticker right now.
Notice he said “should be,” and just like the left believes about helping the poor, retirement and healthcare, he thinks someobody else should do it for him.

Posted by: kctim at May 23, 2007 10:22 AM
Comment #221116

Paul, I like Richardsons energy ideas, and like Lawnboy, I can’t understand why he wouldn’t be considered a top tier Democratic candidate.

“Clinton already introduced an Apollo Project-like program in the Senate to achieve energy independence.”

Yeah, Hillary Clinton says a lot of things, but she’s Republican lite, pro-Iraq-War, and hated enough by people on both sides of the aisle that she can’t win a national election, so why take her seriously?

“One thing I do know, none of it’s going to happen with a Republican in the White House.”

Agree completely.

Sandra, lovely isn’t it? Bush illegally starting on his second pre-emptive war, yet for some reason, impeachment is “off the table”…
By any chance did you hear that Bush recently anointed himself as the insurer of Constitutional Government in an emergency?

“I think the new spending bill is a big pile of shit.We shoud cut the funding of the war,(NOW).”

Yes, HUGE pile. And we could cut funding for the war if the Democrats had any courage, but unfortunately, except for a few (like Feingold who just called what they’re doing “toothless”), they don’t.
By the way, I’m wondering why the writers in this blog haven’t written an article about how the Dems caved on the spending bill? Lot’s of other issues that I think have been deserving of articles as well. I’d hate to see the left begin to ignore important issues the way the right side of this blog does in an attempt to save face over the mountain of Republican failures and embarrassments.

“Those people that have yellow stickers on their cars,should be drag out of their cars and punched in the face.The same goes for the ones with W stickers to.”

That won’t help a thing. I’m thinking that it’s the Democratic politicians that need to be dragged out of their cars and punched in the face — metaphorically speaking, of course.

“It is refreshing to see your non-violent approach to dealing with this.”

In a way he’s got a point. Republicans seem to have trouble understanding anything without a portion of violence playing a role. We might call it the Jerry Springer Factor.

“You have no credibility.”

Neocons have no credibility. Republicans have less than a handful. And the Democrats are now rapidly losing theirs because they’re ignoring the reason they got the majority in the last election.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2007 10:44 AM
Comment #221121

I was hoping against hope that ‘our’ side would do the right things…shit! My dems are falling way short in the ‘balls’ division.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 23, 2007 11:28 AM
Comment #221126

“My dems are falling way short…”

And you all are surprised?

I don’t believe as Richardson on probably most issues, but at least he has offered a plan, and, I thought he was one the more tolerable Dems during their debate. I’m not sure why you all have him labeled as a tier 2 either.

Posted by: kctim at May 23, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #221129

Bush admitted that his plan was not going to make Social Security more solvent. It was going to cost a trillion dollars for a plan that had no hope of saving Social Security, if Social Security was in that bad shape to begin with.

Many of the dire numbers used to support this useless proposal were the most pessimistic among a variety of them. Additionally, the reliability of 70 year forecasts is dubious at best. Think of all the events a person making an economic forecast in 1937 would have been unable to predict. Could they have even imagined the internet revolution?

That is not to say that there might not be a crisis coming along the lines, nor that we shouldn’t take steps to improve the solvency of the system. But as a general rule, when choosing between doing nothing and making things worse, doing nothing is better.

Lastly, I think we should recall what happened with Medicare under Bush and the Republican majority. If they can screw up one entitlement, and endanger it’s future, what’s so wrong about not having gone with their plans for another?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 23, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #221130

Though I agree that the Democrats in Washington aren’t developing sufficient spine, I think the supplemental was a poor battleground. Bush had the advantage in that it was time-sensitive, related directly to supplying troops, and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot by adding pork to it.

The Main spending bill, I think, is the one we should go after. Additionally, I think we should frog-march the president inch by inch towards withdrawal by steadily moving the Republican consensus towards withdrawal, and steadily chipping away at his B.S. It’s likely a blessing in disguise that we lose this fight, because it makes the long term prospects for the war the greater focus.

As much as the behavior in Washington frustrates me, the behavior of many Netroots liberals frustrates me more. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and many of these Democrats in Washington have spent most of their national political lives in an environment where hardline Republicans ruled the roost. Some Democrats of this time were elected with views to suit the more GOP-oriented climate. Others, of different views, spent much of their time surpressing their liberal tendencies to fit in with the Republican Majority. Some have been doing it for so long, that their reflex action is still to compromise, even though the ones they compromise with have little to no give of their own.

It will take time for Democrats to reach full confidence in their new majority. What will not help is a bunch of us declaring all is lost. Getting the current crop of Democrats elected was only the first part of returning balance to this country. We have a lot of problems we have to tackle, and if our response to a disappointment like this is that we give up, we essentially hand everything back to even worse stewards of that power. We should clean house at our earliest opportunity, but we should not expect miracles overnight.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 23, 2007 1:20 PM
Comment #221131

Geez Stephen, I’ve read similar things about global warming from people using the same scare tactics you use about social security.

Can Richardson say his plan would definetly stop global warming? Nope. Is it going to cost tons of money? yep. Are there also people who like to say “IF global warming is a problem to begin with?” Yep.

Do you think people could have predicted the warming problem 70+ years ago? Think they could have ever imagined the “green” revolution people are trying to force upon us?

Doing nothing is better only when doing something is not in line with what you believe in.
Social security is a mess, but rather than deal with it now, you guys say its not that bad or that we have at least 40 years to deal with it. Preferrably under a Dem administration I’m sure.
The funny thing is, as soon as Pres hillary says SS is a mess and needs immediate attention, you 40 year guys will start screaming about how the Reps messed it up and didn’t try to do anything about it.
Global warming opponents say its not that bad or proven yet, so immediate attention is not needed.
The problem is, nothing effective is being done about either of them.

“If they can screw up one entitlement, and endanger it’s future, what’s so wrong about not having gone with their plans for another?”

Because the word “their” in “their plans” is all most people are concerned with Stephen.
You believed Bush’s plan endangered the future of SS and others believed it gave them a little freedom. The media blasted how old people would be eating cat food, just like they do about every election, and it scared enough of the right groups into coming out against it.
Rather than supporting something close to a “personal right,” they supported the idea of having a “personal right to others money.”

Its all in how you look at things Stephen and seeing the excusing and defending you offered to dude, its not hard to see how you look at them.

Adrienne and dude are right, the Dems so far have been weak. Unfortuantly, I too am right when I say its going just as many of us expected.
Business as usual.

Posted by: kctim at May 23, 2007 2:29 PM
Comment #221144

Adrienne….thanks for the link. You know, if we were living a short 40 or 50 years ago, this man would be in for a lobotomy (unless that’s what is accounting for his actions already). I have reached frustration, disbelief, anger and cycled it countless times. I’ve called, and emailed my representatives and any others I can get to. I have a very good friend back in Ohio who is the senior aide to my (ex) Congresswoman, and I send him all the crap I can find, which he then sends to anyone he can think of.
We can come on here and vent, and that is all it really amounts to, and it’s too early to vote. Anything beyond that is pretty much illegal…..:(
Nothing really has changed yet, and all the posturing and pretending isn’t making it happen. In the meantime, our kids are dying with no end to this BS soon enough….. sigh !!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 23, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #221160

Sandra, I couldn’t agree more.

Stephen, people on the left are tired of all the excuses. We’ve been disgusted by the GOP faithful for being such excusers and apologists, let’s not become hypocrites ourselves, please.
If the Democrats want to look strong and decisive, then they need to BE strong and decisive, by taking the message they were sent in November to heart, and being relentless in trying to end the war.
Therefore, they need to vote all together on this bill and on every other one having to do with the war from here on out. (Of course Lieberman will vote with the GOP as he is no longer a Democrat, but a Neocon/Zionist.) In this way, they will let the public know that they are in complete agreement — that they are fully aware that this war is nothing but out-of-control MADNESS.
The time when “hardline Republicans ruled the roost” is OVER. They’ve had plenty of time to absorb that fact, so no more excuses, just act accordingly.
You wish to wait around hoping we can “steadily move the Republican consensus towards withdrawal”. I feel that’s a very weak position to take when our soldiers are dying for no discernible reason, and we’re spending insane amounts of money on nothing. As we stand around and wait bleeding out lives, and limbs, and our economic wellbeing, we are only informing the public that we feel it is still the GOP who are the true “deciders”. But guess what? All of these people work for US, and the majority of the American people are now in agreement with the left’s position on this mistaken, disastrous, quagmire of a war — NOT WITH THE REPUBLICANS. So again, it’s time for the Dems to stand up, speak out, and act accordingly.
You talk of “steadily chipping away at his B.S”. I say forget the chipping, it’s long past time to haul out the Big Axe, flex our muscles, take a few mighty swings at that LYING, MORONIC FAILURE OF A U.S. PRESIDENT. By the way if the Republicans were at all interested in admitting that the president’s reality-starved views on the war are totally full of sh*t, I believe we’d be seeing more than one of the Republicans who are thus far running for president saying that we need to get out now. Clearly they don’t want to face the enormous amounts of death and torture, and failure and chaos, and Constitution shredding, and law breaking they’ve aided and abetted, so it’s just a whole lot easier to act like they’re still loyal Bushies, and everyone else should be, too.
We should stop being overly polite about this bogus act of theirs, because the truth is, they look like total fools and very few people are taking any of them seriously.

We need the Congressional Democrats to stop acting like wimps, do what they said they’d do, and BE THE PARTY THAT TRIES IT’S DAMMEDEST TO DO THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR THEM.
Sorry if this post sounds unnecessarily strong, but it really is exactly how I feel.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #221168
Yeah, Hillary Clinton says a lot of things, but she’s Republican lite, pro-Iraq-War, and hated enough by people on both sides of the aisle that she can’t win a national election, so why take her seriously?

Because she’ll be the Democratic nominee.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2007 1:29 AM
Comment #221170

“Because she’ll be the Democratic nominee.”

If Republican Lite, Pro-Iraq-War Hillary is the nominee, all of the Liberals will either stay home, or vote for the Green Candidate.
Including me. Personally, I like Edwards, though I’m still hoping Gore will decide to jump into the race…

Posted by: Adrienne at May 24, 2007 1:40 AM
Comment #221194

Adrienne, it’s your all-or-nothing, take-no-prisoners attitude that lost Gore the election in 2000. Yes, I’m talking about your vote for Nader.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2007 11:20 AM
Comment #221199

It’s all or nothing because I refuse to vote for Republican Lite?
Btw, I didn’t vote for Nader, in fact, I was a volunteer for Gore’s campaign in 2000.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 24, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #221201

Somebody DID predict it, about 100 years ago. Svante Arrhenius laboriously modelled the climate by hand calculations, and concluded that the increases in CO2 was going to warm the planet. He believed it was going to take centuries to warm the planet. Scientists in that day, though, really had no idea how chaotic the climate was, how suddenly in history it had shifted. Gradual shifts were the paradigm.

Now we know that climate is much more complicated, interlocked, and sensitive to being perturbed. We have historical evidence of sudden climate change, happening not simply in centuries, but in decades, and even a few years.

You call the people talking about this alarmists, but the truth is, the science is saying that even they are underestimating how quickly things can change, and how sensitive the environment is.

Our ability to slow, and perhaps even reverse the change will depend on our ability to slow our emissions. That simple. The economic calculations in the Stern report indicate that it will be twenty times more expensive to deal with the consequences of global warming, than to prevent it. Does it have to be all pain and sacrifice? No. That’s the whole problem with the conservative alarmism about our energy policy. They’re so busy protecting the vested interests that they’re not looking to the future to see what the possibilities could be. If the energy companies know what’s good for them, they too should invest in the change. We need to suit our policy towards change, rather than preservation of the status quo.

As for Bush’s proposals? Damn it, the guy used worse case scenarios to back a proposal that had no hope of solving the problem. Bait and switch. Why should Americans back a proposal that doesn’t even solve the problem that’s supposed to be the whole reason to change social security? If the problem is as dire as advertised, then it’s insulting that he would take advantage of it to push privatization on an American people who by majority want social security to remain as it is.

As for a personal right to money? To get social security, you must pay into it. Most people work in order to get their entitlement. Our system is not being overwhelmed by freeloaders.

I know I’m tired of excuses, and I do not want to become the kind of sycophants many on the right became to their leaders.

Nonetheless, we are just five months into the new Congress, and our new majority. We can’t quit so easily. It is not the strength of the politicians up in Washington that matters, but our own. Republicans certainly don’t lack for stubborn resolve. Why should we abandon everything simply because we lose a major battle early in the game?

I have no problem with loud and vociferous complaints concerning the outcome. We should make clear to our Representatives that we are not satisfied. Quitting, though, just makes things worse. Years worth of quitting and dropping out are part of what put us in this position in the first place.

No, what we should be doing, what we must do, is to keep being active in the pursuit of our goals. Bush is stubborn, but he is not invulnerable. If we can’t end his stubbornness, we can make him pay for it. We do not win by quitting, by giving up in disgusts. Americans have been doing that for the past four decades, and all it’s gotten us is an unresponsive government that screws us over. If we’re not doing the talking, somebody else is, and I’m sure many corrupt politicians secretly hope that people do nothing and become resigned to their shenanigans, instead of actually doing something.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2007 11:35 AM
Comment #221216

Like someone I know, who voted for Bush because he was born in New Haven, I will be voting for Hillary, to the dismay of my Obamite friends. I disagree about her electibility, but agree that she is too conservative. The Illinois primary is supposed to be moving up to Feb 5 to help Obama. The primary schedule is quickly becoming a screwed up mess. IA, NH, NV, and SC want their primaries to be considered as regional tests for the various candidates. The larger states do not want the decisions made there, making early fundraising capability an even more important qualification.

The Richardson energy proposals needed to be implemented 30 years ago, and are too little too late. The public will not be weaned from the greed and waste of our ego trip transportation system, after investing billions in the least efficient uses of petroleum.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 24, 2007 1:32 PM
Comment #221220

Adrienne….sorry to drag you into the negative feedback. I have no intention of giving up or quitting with my efforts (insignificant as they may ultimately be) to see the end of this President and his criminal cronies. Quitting or giving up is not in my make-up, and I’m not smart enough to be afraid of most people. In my role as Union rep. for years in State service I sat across the table from Pete Wilson to Dan Lungren and never had enough sense to back down from them. In the same capacity I was involved in many campaigns, some of which ended the way we wanted them to…others not. My last effort was many hours and days with the Kerry campaign, so, I have no intention of quitting here, either, just a time out to catch my breath and pick up some more encouragement.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 24, 2007 2:02 PM
Comment #221231

“It’s all or nothing because I refuse to vote for Republican Lite?”

Its all or nothing because you are voting on principles and not party.

MANY people believe you guys are using worse case scenarios to back a global warming proposal that has no hope of solving what may be a problem.

My point? BOTH of these things are being used as political footballs for a party and NOTHING is getting done to fix either one because of this.
Take the lies, distortions and politics out of each issue and then something good would have a chance.

Posted by: kctim at May 24, 2007 4:09 PM
Comment #221241

Believe? The IPCC statement is considered rather conservative in its scientific theory and assumptions. What every you believe, the evidence for global warming is not mere propaganda. It’s real.

We’re neglecting real problems for imaginary reasons.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #221242

Why argue with the flat earth society about global warming? Reality is not changed by denying it.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 24, 2007 5:56 PM
Comment #221264

Maybe I argue for more than just their benefit. It helps to clear up the facts when others willingly or unknowingly cloud them up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 24, 2007 11:40 PM
Comment #221304

I never said it was propaganda Stephen. In fact, I happen to be one who believes global warming is a natural earth cycle AND that some of our actions do affect it.
I just don’t fall for all the doom and gloom BS used to scare up financial support and votes.

Until the extremes stop using scare tactics and start using common sense when talking to people, issues such as these will be seen as nothing but political footballs.

Posted by: kctim at May 25, 2007 5:32 PM
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