Sunday, March 9, 2008

Not Much Attention to Energy or the Environment in the Campaigning

OK, seems I fell into the same trap as some others. While trying to come up with something of interest in my blog entry, I focused on the messages related to energy and/or the environment coming from the major candidates in the last week. After all, they just held the primary in Wyoming, the home of so much coal. I relied on the New York Times for the last three days and really didn't find anything of substance. For example, the Sunday edition of the New York Times had a nice article by Kate Zernike and Jeff Zeleny about Obama's "star power". I read this article and learned quite a bit more about this candidate that I had not known. Perhaps fittingly, the tail end of the article states "And yes, he was green, but that also meant he did not have the burden of a long record." OK, they were referring to the other kind of green, as in "inexperienced".

And as for hoping that a recent focus on an energy state like Wyoming would create a plethora of references to coal and energy, although delicate, by the Democrats, once again, not much. Now I know they must have said something. However, nowadays, one is constantly reminded of the state of the economy, and how we as a nation could be rapidly spilling into a recession. There is a lot of talk of this, and much of that comes directly from the candidates. After all, they are surely getting good advice on this - any smart politician knows that the economy, jobs and a good recession trump issues of war and the environment. Energy may be another thing.

What concerns me is how those politicians will be motivated to act once in office. We already know how our current president behaves and what motivates him, but the next one is the one we need to be concerned about. Do I care about his or her star power? Not really, but I do care how he or she will act with respect to the environment and energy. For example, will the next president streamline the permitting process for the mining of coal in sensitive areas, because we have a problem with energy independence at home? Or even more importantly, will they ask what each of us is willing to do about our carbon footprint?

I know, there are plenty of places I can go on the internet to find out how the candidates have faired in the past, or what they say they will do in the future related to these issues. But I have to believe that I am looking in the right place as a starting point (NYT), and I am pretty disappointed. And I am surprised that these aren't burning issues.

Seems that others who participate in this blog had the same problem, as evidenced by some similar frustration expressed in their entries. Not all is lost for me, as I did learn more about Obama's star power, and the surprising resilience of Hillary.

No comments: