Nation can pull together to reduce energy use

Posted: Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's a shame to hear President Bush keep pushing the opening of coastal drilling and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, despite his own brother, when governor of Florida, being very opposed to it.

Had Bush recognized the need for alternative energy and provided the country with real leadership, we might not be in this high fuel cost crisis. In the last 10 years the average horsepower of American cars has doubled, meaning cars are using much more fuel.

Our own Congressmen have been equally shortsighted.

Think of what Alaska Rep. Don Young could have done to promote conservation when he was head of the House transportation committee. Instead, we have a minor change in the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards going into effect in 2020. At the rate the American car sales are dropping, we might not have much of an American auto industry by 2020.

We in Juneau have just demonstrated how a community can pull together to significantly reduce power usage. If it can be done locally, why can't it be done nationally? Locally, we could have valley parking areas so that people could begin to car pool. I realize there are issues in winter in getting people into a rapid transit system, but can't it be worked out so that riders could get between home and station in winter?

It's clear that we can't wait for federal help. We need to promote alternative power usage right here and right now. I hope Gov. Sarah Palin is listening, rather than swirling about having her name mentioned as a potential vice president nominee by Sen. John McCain.

Steve Wolf


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