Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hillary Was For Easing Our Oil Addiction Before She Was Against It

Barack Obama recently appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and Tim Russert grilled him not on global warming, but on what he could do to artificially lower the price of gas to ensure America stays addicted to oil.

That same morning, Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC's
This Week. Did George Stephanopoulos ask her about global warming or green jobs? Nope.

But leave it to a stupid voter to bring it up. I'm sure George was furious. "This is what happens when you let the amateurs ask the questions!"

VOTER QUESTION: I have -- Sen. Clinton, I actually make less than $25,000 a year, so talking about gas prices is not academic for me. I really do feel pain at the pump.

However, I do feel pandered to when you talk about suspending the gas tax. I don't think that it's really a reasonable plan, and call me crazy, but I actually listen to economists, because I think that they know what they studied.

You say that you have both a short- and a long-term plan for our energy consumption. However, since the suspension of the gas tax would encourage continued overconsumption, which could possibly cancel out any price savings and also undermine our efforts to curb global warming, and your long-term plan includes trying to, say, curb global warming, don't you feel that these two plans are in conflict?

CLINTON: No. And let me stand up, because I can see you better from this angle.

You know, actually, I'm glad you asked this question, because I want to make it very clear that we're talking about short-term relief and a long-term plan. And I have a very comprehensive, long-term plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase the mileage of our automobiles, and to do it in a way that will push us forward as a leader in the world again, which we have not been, on the issue of global warming. And I invite everyone to go to my Web site, HillaryClinton.com, and read about it.

But if you are driving on average in America this summer, you'll save -- according to Department of Energy figures -- about $70. If you are a long-distance commuter, and a lot of people in Indiana and North Carolina are, if you are a truck driver who depends upon your truck for your living, you're going to save a lot more. In fact, truckers will save about $2 billion in fuel costs.

You see, I really believe we've got to start right now demonstrating a willingness to take on these oil companies. I voted against the big oil giveaway in the 2005 energy bill. My opponent voted for it. I'm on record as taking on the oil companies. And I think having a good debate, like we're having right now in this campaign, helps to lay the groundwork for what we're going to need to do.

See, in the short term, Hillary Clinton will sell out the environment hoping to score a few votes by pandering on the gas tax, willing to recklessly encourage higher consumption (which is what's driven prices to where they are now).

But in the
long term, she'll do the right thing. No selling out the environment or pandering then. Really. Trust her.

If you don't know why cutting the gas tax is a horrible idea on every level, read this Tom Friedman column, it explains it much more clearly and wryly than I could.
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