How to ruin a country: George Allen’s energy and environmental playbook

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    To more clearly elucidate their mutual views on energy, government regulations, and President Obama’s healthcare reform, George Allen and 12 local business leaders met for a morning roundtable discussion Friday in Springfield.  

    Without stepping too far out of bounds of his limited political lexicon, George Allen stated that “My thoughts on energy are that it should be affordable, reliable and preferably American.” The ironic thing about this comment is that if he were to become Virginia’s next U.S. senator and he were to help approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, it’s unclear how much of the crude would stay in the U.S.! Oh, and the price of oil would also increase in the U.S.  

    What’s more, George Allen and his political and business allies clearly have a good time annihilating the environment, at least if it means “more jobs.” Last I checked, though, the clean energy sector also exists in the U.S., a sector which also creates “more jobs.”  But in the world of George Allen, there are “immediate” sources of energy ready to be sucked up and spewed out into the atmosphere, so why not use them?  

    Herein lies the fundamental chasm between the liberal and the conservative regarding energy and environmental issues. The latter believes that America’s resources are somehow limitless even in the face of unquestionable evidence to the contrary and that environmental damage can always be repaired. The former believes in global warming and anthropogenically induced climate change while the latter speaks of “natural cycles.” All of this leads to who the political candidate George Allen is, resistant to scientific facts, ignorant or unconcerned about the potential of America to move beyond fossil fuels, and unwilling to lay aside party dogma for what’s right for the country.

    Whether or not George Allen is a cynical politician or simply the dim-witted individual I believe him to be is really beside the point because the consequences remain the same. With politicians like George Allen anywhere near the levers of government power, we stand that much closer to careening into a fossil fueled hell that will make the Gilded Age look like the best of all possible worlds.