Schizophrenic government needs treatment
Schizophrenia is rampant in the U.S. government. Stories and speculation of Congress stripping the defense department of funding for biofuel initiatives are all over the wire.
This is a government whose stated mission is to increase energy independence, whose position in a world without energy security is in jeopardy without stable, secure access to raw materials; whose domestic, renewable industries have the productive capacity to aid in this mission, the future capacity of which, with investment, will only grow geometrically; whose lawmakers have let expire incentives with paybacks greater than the tax dollars spent on them; whose partisan lawmakers, or those blinded by powerful fossil fuel constituencies, intend to repeal Section 526 of the 2007 energy bill or block funding of the $510 million MOU between the Navy, USDA and DOE to establish strategically located advanced biofuel production facilities; and for what? To save a few dollars?
For those lawmakers who will refuse funding the military’s biofuel initiatives, consider this. When America’s newfound oil reserves have run dry, when all the fracking has compromised even further our nation’s water supplies and deep well drilling has polluted our seas beyond repair, when the Saudis plug the spigot and volatile extremists sabotage major oil routes and it costs you $100 to drive to the corner to pick up a coffee and the paper, I hope you find those few extra dollars that you saved by crippling the very industries that could have prevented this outcome.
And it’s not just the federal government that is battling split personality with renewables. The wire has also been filled with articles about Ohio's auditor Dave Yost saying state lawmakers should consider getting rid of a mandate that state agency vehicles use B20 biodiesel. It costs $800,000 a year to do so, he says. Ohio is home to several biodiesel producers. I wonder how they feel about the auditor’s recommendation.
Yes, budgets are tight, we all recognize that. But when I go to a convenience store in a city that has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and I get caught behind a fully capable, healthy looking man in his late 20s—the prime of a man’s life—and he is using an EBT card (electronic food stamps) to buy soda pop and beef jerky, I know there is a lot of waste in the budget that can be trimmed without compromising national security. But it sure seems like the U.S. finds a little oil in western North Dakota and the next thing you know, the government is repealing smart, prudent renewable policy, leaving domestic, advanced biofuel producers to die on the vine. And that ain’t right.