Today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) opened yet another astroturf campaign — sort of, considering massing amounts of public advertising in the nation’s newspapers — advocating that Americans “Vote for Energy“. API’s concept of Voting 4 Energy is pretty straightforward: continue subsidizing polluting fossil-foolish policies that are bankrupting the nation. (Consider the roughly $1 billion / day for oil imports at this time with $trillions having left the country to foster 21st century Arabian peninsula infrastructure rather than modernize America’s schools and hospitals, fix our sewers, and …) API doesn’t want Americans to Vote 4 Energy smart politicians, but wants Americans to embrace anti-science syndrome concepts that will hinder achievement of a livable energy system. API seeks to assure an Energy Stupid America rather than using its significant clout to help foster policies to strengthen and enrich the nation.
True Energy Voters will look beyond the price at the pump and consider the full implications of our energy system with the potential payoff for pursuing Energy Smart policies. A rather simple example? Why not a Five Percent Plan. The 5p2 concept is pretty straightforward: target five percent reduction in oil and coal use (with five percent reduction of carbon emissions) every year, indefinitely. And, target five-percent unemployment as part of this within no less than five years with remaining at that level (or below) indefinitely after that. The Five Percent Plan’s targets might seem outrageously ambitious yet they actually are quite achievable and would foster a more secure and prosperous nation — even if it would threaten API’s concept of Voting For Energy. If we follow API’s Energy Voters concepts, our nation will continue to be roiled by international oil markets (with increasing demand bumping against constrained supplies with other nations (other nations’ growing wealthy and middle classes) able to bid higher to fill their McSUVs than what the average American can afford), will continue to have to deploy our military services to protect oil supplies/supply lines, and will continue to dig the hole deeper when it comes to climate change. Americans, however, can vote for energy smart policies. Laying before Americans something like the Five Percent Plan would provide a real choice. Rather than the economic doldrums and environmental disasters (E2D2) that API’s advocated policies would foster, The Five Percent Plan would mean that by 2030 the United States will:
- End, 100%, oil imports.
- End, 100%, the burning of coal for electricity
- Reduce climate emissions by 60+ percent from 1990 levels
- Improve the US trade balance by five percent of gross domestic product (due to eliminating oil imports)
- Cut health care impacts from fossil fuel use by 50%
- Improve productivity, per decade, by at least 5% above ‘business as usual’
- Cut employment below 5% by 2015 and maintain unemployment levels below 5% through 2030.
And … well … additional benefits.
When it comes to your “Vote For Energy”, is there really a choice?