How to make energy a serious campaign issue

January 21, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More

In the January 29, 2007 edition of Time Magazine, Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer was asked how Democrats could make energy an  issue in the upcoming presidential campaign.  Here’s what Schweitzer said:

I can do it in a 60-second spot,” he said.  “Put me on the clock.”  And he was off to the races: “folks, we’ve got a problem.  We Americans use a 6.5 billion bbl.of oil a year.  We produce 2.5 billion ourselves.  We import 4 billion from the world’s worst dictators.  We need to stop doing that.  We can save one billion bbl. through conservation.  Things like more efficient cars, homes and appliances.  We can produce another one billion bbl. of biofuels with agricultural crops like corn, soybeans and canola.  We can produce 2 billion bbl. a year turning our enormous coal reserves to clean-burning gas.  We can achieve energy independence in 10 years, create a whole new industry with tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, and you’ll never have to send your grandchildren to war in the Middle East.  I’m Brian Schweitzer, and I approved this message.

Schweitzer proclaims that Montana is going to save the world in that it is “the Saudi Arabia of coal.”  He argues that coal can be turned into a clean-burning liquid fuel, and that this fuel (plus biofuels and conservation) “can completely eliminate the need for imported oil.”

Time doesn’t overlook Schweitzer’s credentials: “Schweitzer has a Masters in soil science from Montana State University and spent seven years building irrigation projects in Saudi Arabia.  He speaks fluent Arabic and has a sophisticated grasp of middle eastern politics and the history of oil.”


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Category: Consumerism, Energy, Politics, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Ebonmuse says:

    I didn't know Brian Schweitzer spoke Arabic – that makes me very much more impressed with him. I'm still dubious about powering our economy through biofuels: until we figure out how to efficiently make ethanol from cellulose rather than corn, we're just wasting our time. But it's always encouraging to hear from an intelligent politician who recognizes energy independence as the serious problem it is and has some realistic proposals to achieve it.

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