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332 Landslide

332 Landslide

April 23, 2008

Rep. Leonard Boswell Forced to State the Obvious

Leonard Today Rep. Leonard Boswell of Iowa was forced to state the obvious in response to a statement from Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who complains that proposed changes to the small business innovative research (SBIR) and the small business technology transfer (SBTT) programs will make meaningful research into drilling for oil on American soil tougher for the multi billion dollar oil companies. Mr. Young goes on to say that not enough power is produced by alternative energies to handle demand, and that if they'd had the backing they needed they would have the systems in place so that OPEC couldn't raise the rates as they are doing now. He admits that people want wind and solar power, and agrees he wants them too, but immediately moves back to our dependence on fossil fuels (oil) and says small business can only go forth by abandoning 'pie in the sky' ideas (alternative energy, presumably) because 'the oil is there'. According to him, the power to run small business will not be available because 'we have not kept up the power in other areas'. He blames this on our not developing nuclear, which he advocates. We haven't developed hydro (which he also advocates). He also mentions in a small voice 'a little wind and a little solar' but says we have to address reasonable price power and calls on representatives from both sides of the isle (oil) wherever there are fossil fuels to end the restrictions and begin processing cheap energy.
Rep Nydia Velazquez returns for a moment to comment on Mr. Young's statements, taking the time to remind him that when he had the opportunity to vote against price gouging he voted no, and when he had a chance to vote about long term alternative energy and conservation he also voted no. After refocusing our attention on the matter, HR5819, and thanking the members who contributed to it's efforts Rep. Velazquez yields back her remaining time on the floor.
Rep. Boswell rises to address issues related to his proposed amendment with Rep. Sutton of Ohio. This amendment will steer monies from the SBIR and SBBT programs to areas that have (or will) lose jobs from closing factories and manufacturing plants. "These programs will help small business in these areas create new, high quality jobs in areas hard hit by pressures of globalization and current trade policies." He cites Maytag as an example, while the Newton economy has not yet recovered from this blow, part of the former Maytag building is in the process of being occupied by a new company that makes components for wind turbines, he says.

"This is a step toward more energy, in response to the gentleman from Alaska. This amendment will help revitalize economies of communities like Newton and thousands of others across the United States."

The point I think, and it may be too 'un-political' to state it quite so obviously, Is that A) The oil and other major fossil fuel companies have known of our predicament for quite some time, have known the direction the country and in fact the world has been taking over the past 2 decades with regards to oil and fossil fuel and alternative energies and have chosen to not move themselves in our direction. B) The time to defend the subsidies, special tax designations and research & development grants is long over. The public funding opportunities to these giant corporations, NOW to try and fund oil friendly technology, is very definitely over.
If a free market is what you want, then you have your answer. We want wind, solar, bio-diesel from non-food crops and anything else you can think of besides oil. We were willing to fund your research for new, clean technologies to locate, pump, refine and deliver oil. In 20 years and countless millions (billions?) of public dollars there is still not a clean ,safe enough plan to convince us that destroying a unique and priceless wilderness is worth it. We are no longer willing to hear your pleas in this area, there are companies waiting in line to take our money for a product we approve of. They will provide new jobs for our workers, new power for our cities and a new pride for our country.

I'd like to provide another example to the Representative from Alaska:
Wind Power Produces 123% of Residential Energy Demand in Rock Port, Missouri

Yes, that means the town produces ALL of it's required power AND sells 23% of it back at a profit.

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