Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm totally gonna quit oil tomorrow, guys - seriously.

So in his State of the Union Address, Bush, as everyone knows, claimed America is addicted to oil.

Well, apparently, we're going to eat, drink, and be merry for a little while longer. And we'll start that 12-step program tomorrow. Because, how has Bush proceeded to help us cure this addiction? He has
increased drilling on federally protected land, and laid off 32 people from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory - the very office that stood the most chance to help us "kick" this "addiction" - before a political damage-control scramble to bring them back. Forgive my cynicism, but these do not sound like the actions of a man serious about kicking a habit. We all love you, George. We're behind you. Get the help you need! Denial ain't just a petroleum shipping lane in Egypt, my friend.

"Hey! What did I just tell you, pea brain? Anyone home in there? I'm going to quit...right after the Hummer party tonight at Ted Stevens' house. Ever been to a Hummer party, chicken legs?"

To be fair, he
proposed a few things to back up his words, and I'll certainly give that credit where it's due. But still. He could call for tax credits for hybrid car owners (as he did with SUVs) and really get this rolling. Or, he could stop nickel-and-diming effective and relatively cheap programs like the EPA's Energy Star program for appliances, or call for better gas mileage standards for cars. There are A LOT of things he could do, many of which wouldn't cost the government much, if any, money. But he seems content to keep drilling for oil while the status quo - ie, high gas prices - does his work for him, all the while benefitting his oil-company friends and supporters from all sides and ignoring this quaint little notion people once called "the public good."

So basically, I'm not holding my breath and waiting for the Bush administration to fully walk its talk on this. Why should they start now? They've had a problem for a long time, and shouldn't be trusted to quit cold turkey. At least, not without an intervention.

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)



Gary Aiken said...

There is a credit for hybrid owners.. to the tune of $3000 on their 2005 returns and I believe it's indexed for inflation thereafter.

MSH said...

Yeah? Didn't hear about that. That's good news, but still just a fraction of the SUV credit, which is for the entire price of the vehicle.

aba said...

Just FYI: For a country bent on getting us to quit oil, they're not making it easy! New legislation has changed the tax incentives for hybrid vehicles. Hybrids placed in service by December 31, 2005 are still eligible for the tax incentives. Hybrids placed in service after this date will no longer be eligible for these deductions but may be eligible for a federal income tax credit under new legislation(MAYBE)—the amount will depend upon the vehicle's fuel economy, estimated fuel savings, and other factors. (BUT...)
For your vehicle to qualify, the following requirements must also be met:
• You must purchase the vehicle new and for your own use, not for resale.
• You must drive it mostly in the United States.
• The vehicle must meet all federal and state emissions requirements.
• Government agencies, tax exempt organizations, and foreign entities are not eligible.
Other requirements may also apply. If any of these conditions change within 3 years of purchase, you may have to return some of the money saved by the deduction. HA!

MSH said...

Good information, aba. Thanks for passing it along. I find that any information that is bulletized is particularly edifying.