Thursday, July 08, 2004

Election Issue
One of the points John Kerry raised in the speech announcing his running mate related to this country’s dependence on Middle East oil. His plea for a new focus on energy independence highlighted our high energy use but low reserves, in contrast to the Middle East, with 65% of the world's oil. If this becomes a persistent theme, it should make for an interesting national debate on energy, something I think is long overdue.

When I looked at the campaign websites of Senators Kerry and Edwards a few months ago (see my blog of February 27, I found some interesting comments about energy. Both seemed to be arguing for a diversification away from oil as soon as possible, for various reasons. In contrast, the energy strategy of the Administration rests on two pillars: bolstering supplies of our current energy sources, and investing in a long-term future alternative, hydrogen.

It will be interesting to see how these two approaches differ in their details, as the campaign heats up with the conventions and eventual debates. It will be equally interesting to see if the Democrats can maintain their focus on the issues, without resorting to trying to connect current energy policy to scandals and innuendo.

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