Some very rational words on energy policy–long needed–have come from Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. But will Congress act on them?
It will take a lot of heretofore undemonstrated courage for members of Congress to take the actions needed to:
1. Convince the Washington Establishment* to recognize that central planning really hasn’t and doesn’t work.
2. Get private sector companies to devote their financial and human resources to innovative and productive efforts rather than (like GE, Duke, Exelon, many Wall St firms, and many others) focusing those resources on “milking” federal and state tax breaks and subsidies.
3. Break the hammerlock that Federal agencies officials and employees, their favorite constituencies (who benefit from our tax dollars), Congressional committees and staff, and lobbyists have on appropriations, credit programs, and tax policies.
4. Give members of Congress and their staff the wisdom to discern the difference between facts vs. propaganda provided by lobbyists and federal agency staff — and then the courage to act in the national and public interest, rather than in their personal interests and those of the lobbyists that befriend them and contribute to their reelection.
5. Act on principle rather than surrendering to the siren songs of “can’t we get along,” “avoid sharp discourse,” and “get things done.” (Personally, I prefer candidates who would go to Washington and state capitals to get things “undone.” Have you noticed that a large majority of the problems we face today are the results of government action, not government reticence to act?)
At this point, I believe the Tea Party movement remains as the most promising development to keep us from “going over the cliff.”
*Washington Establishment = All officials and employees in executive and legislative branches, including regulators; lobbyists and lawyer-lobbyists, power brokers. Probably should include courts.
Upton Comments on President’s Address to Congress
– Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the following statement in response to the President’s State of the Union Address to Congress:
“Innovation is a great American trait, a defining characteristic that can be seen in our entrepreneurial spirit and our ground-breaking industries and advancements. Fostering innovation is a laudable national goal that knows no party boundaries. As we pursue the policies of the future, we must follow the path defined by the desires of the American people. All they want is an opportunity for work, less government intrusion in their daily lives, and for the federal government to stop spending money it does not have.
“Innovation is not measured in federal dollars spent or government mandates imposed. Energy independence is not achieved through government dependence. Congress spent tens of billions of dollars on the federal government’s favored energy sources in the stimulus, yet America remains dependent on hostile foreign nations to power our lives. We know the answer is not to hyper-subsidize preferred industries or force consumers and job creators to purchase energy they cannot afford. That is not how the free market works.
“Government cannot force the people to innovate, but if we can get government out of the way, American ingenuity will emerge every time. We are home to the world’s best ideas and brightest minds. We do not need a government takeover of health care to achieve affordable, patient-centered reforms. We do not need a national energy tax to harness the power of all our resources to achieve energy independence. This Republican Congress proudly embraces the ideals and opportunity of American entrepreneurship, and we will look to our core principles as we pursue policies that create jobs, reduce spending, and shrink the size and scope of the federal government in order to expand individual freedom.”