GOP Senators are proposing sending out $100 checks to Americans in order to ease the pain of high gas prices. They’re also demanding the tax records of the big oil companies to see if their unprecedented profits were gained through tax avoidance. And they want to rescind the recently awarded $2 billion in tax breaks that the oil companies say they don’t need anyway.
Could we maybe, possibly hear some proposals to significantly reduce our dependence on oil? Sure, we could open up some more areas of the US for drilling, destroying the surrounding environment in the process. But how much oil would we realistically obtain? And would it even be cost-effective? Oil is not a renewable resource, and there are experts who think we’ve already passed the peak of world production. If that’s true, it will steadily become more expensive to extract a decreasing amount of oil.
I don’t know if the answer is ethanol or hydrogen or biodiesel or hydroelectric power or wind — or some combination of all of them. I’m not crazy about the idea of nuclear plants dotting the landscape because the consequences of human error could be so huge.
Yes, it would be nice to get some short-term relief from high gas prices. Most of us aren’t in a position to drastically reduce our driving. People still have to go to work and haul kids to school and other activities and go to the grocery store and the doctor. Unless you live in an area with really good public transportation, there’s no real alternative to cranking up the car. A $100 check will ease the pain for a week or two, but then what? And where does the money for that $100 check, multiplied by millions of drivers, come from?
We already have a massive deficit that my children and yours will have to pay. I’d prefer not to add to it, but if we do, can’t the additional spending go toward real energy reform rather than meaningless political pandering?
I’m just asking.