The biggest problem with every platitude that Kerry utters is that when you examine: (1) his actual plan (to the extent he has one); and (2) his prior record; there is every reason to think that Kerry's plan will have the opposite effect of what he claims it will do. Kerry is touting his energy plan as one that will enable energy independence, but there is no detail of the plan on Kerry's own website.
As the editorial referenced in the title of this post notes:
Seeking to capitalize on the public's concern over rising gasoline prices (and to perhaps divert attention from Kerry's past support of a 50-cent hike in the federal gasoline tax), the Kerry campaign recently announced a new “energy independence” plan. To promote the "energy of the future," Kerry wants to mandate that 20 percent of electricity come from renewable energy sources — such as wind, solar, and biomass — by 2020, up from the current 2.2 percent. Given current trends, renewable energy will make up only 3.7 percent of electricity generation by 2025, according to the Energy Information Agency. Implementing Kerry's mandate would yield a significant increase in electricity prices for consumers, because renewable energy sources are 3 to 15 times more costly than conventional fossil-fuel-generated power. [emphasis added]
And despite his campaign rhetoric, Kerry has refused to support even the modest renewable-energy provisions in the administration's energy plan, including an extension of the production-tax credit for wind energy, and a renewable-fuels program to use five billion gallons of ethanol in gasoline by 2012.
The Bush campaign actually has a good breakdown of its past proposals and Kerry's positions on the same issues. The analysis is also not a screed -- it presents facts and the presentation does undercut Kerry's claims. Here is an excerpt discussing oil refineries:
No new refinery has been built in the United States since 1976 and prospects for building new refineries are bleak at best. According to John Kilduff, senior vice president of Energy Risk Management Group, "Besides the challenging economics, permitting issues appear to be formidable and make it unlikely any new refineries will be built in the United States in the future." (Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hearing: "What Drives Fuel Prices," 6/15/04).
President Bush proposed improvements to the New Source Review program that would provide certainty and encourage environmentally sound refinery capacity expansions. According to Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, President Bush's NSR reforms "should facilitate new domestic refining capacity expansions" and "encourage the installation of more technologically-advanced equipment and provide greater operational flexibility while maintaining a facility's environmental performance." (Bob Slaughter, Senate Testimony, "Environmental Regulations on Refining," Committee on Environment and Public Works, 5/12/04)
John Kerry voted against bipartisan NSR reform last year and is supporting a lawsuit blocking the President's reforms in court. ("Clean Air: Kerry Joins Senate Colleagues in Court Challenge of Bush NSR Reforms," Greenwire, 5/19/04)
John Kerry's support for Kyoto-style regulations puts America's refining industry at risk. According to a study by the Department of Energy's Argonne National Lab during the Clinton Administration, climate change policies "that increase costs" will send refining operations overseas and "threaten existing refineries." (Argonne National Laboratory Study: "The Impact of Potential Climate Change Commitments on Energy Intensive Industries," July 1997, summary by Unions for Jobs and the Environment)
Similarly, John Kerry has claimed he is pro-clean coal (no, it's actually not an oxymoron -- technological progress makes it possible) but, as the Bush site notes:
. . . Kerry's record is decidedly anti-coal, and if legislation he supports became law, coal use would decline dramatically and nearly eliminate one of America's most critical energy resources.
Last year, Kerry voted for the Climate Stewardship Act, which, according to the independent Energy Information Administration, would reduce coal-based electricity from over 50 percent today to 11 percent, or an 80 percent reduction.
Kerry also is a cosponsor of the Clean Power Act, which, according to the Energy Information Administration [a Department of Energy sub-agency -- TKM], cuts coal-based electricity by 55 percent. And further, under the bill, "new coal plant additions are much lower while retirements are higher compared to the reference case," while "new coal capacity additions through 2025 amount to only 3 gigawatts." Without the bill, 74 gigawatts of capacity are expected to be built by 2025.
Compare the Bush analysis with the absence of any details and discussion of Kerry's and Edwards' records on the Kedwards campaign site. The Monk doesn't vote for platitudes alone.
Submitted to the Traffic Jam.