Pity Department of Energy workers. They are often demoralized; among the cynical, DOE’s motto is: “Ashamed of our past, afraid for our future.”
Instead of working on clean energy for the 21st century and beyond, they are stuck subsidizing technology from the 13th century, and maybe the 1950s, and wrapping themselves in the flag of anti-nuclear environmentalism.
What advances have they made in energy? Though President Obama tries to take credit for clean natural gas from shale, that was the work of a Republican almost 40 years ago. DOE hasn't done much since. What DOE does still have is a network of national labs - and as long as an anti-nuclear zealot is not placed in charge, like the way the president's anti-science beliefs have crippled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, those national labs can do a lot of good in actually improving energy.
Writing at Bloomberg, David Garman, Under Secretary of the Department of Energy under President George W. Bush, and Samuel Thernstrom, communications director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 2001-2003, outline four recommendations for the president's second term:
Promote carbon capture rather than obviously flawed cap-and trade; accelerate nuclear development, like the NRC has said it would do since Clinton killed nuclear power in America; reform energy subsidies so we don't waste another $72 billion this term; overhaul the NRC so it isn't just another arm of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists devoted to killing the best clean energy we have.
All well and good. But where was Garman when Nevada Sen. Harry Reid was holding legislation hostage until President George W. Bush put his anti-science staffer on the NRC? A lot of these problems could have been avoided if the president had stood up to anti-science bureucrats back then.
Court the Right: Advice for Obama's Next Energy Department Chief by David Garman&Samuel Thernstrom, Bloomberg
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