My Word for August 1, 2001

I'm not going to talk about Gary Condit and Chandra Levy, the star-crossed lovebirds.

Instead, I'm going to talk about the president's energy bill, which caused a whole bunch of screaming and hollering in the House of Representatives.

Liberal Edward Markey of Massachusetts said: "They're building their oil derricks on top of the social security trust fund."

Colorful quote. What he's talking about is tax breaks to oil, coal and nuke developers amounting to $ 27 billion and tax breaks for conservation amounting to another $ 6 billion.

Markey and the others talk about giveaways to the special interests …

Okay, here's a question: Where else are you going to get a fill up to get to work except from a special interest? And which special interest would your prefer to support? American oil companies drilling in American off shore lands and even ... gasp... heaven forbid ... in a wild life refuge?  Or an American special interest locked out of this country, and buying oil from fourth world polluters in Azerbaijan or Nigeria, just to name two.

If we explore in the U.S., our special interests will use their tax breaks to spend billions on clean oil development technology, like giving ship captains a test to make sure they're not Joe Hazelwood.

— OR —

You can fill up from a special interest that doesn't get tax breaks and gets oil from the Azerbaijans and Nigerias of the world, where there is no environmental protection.

Me? I prefer the special interest that will stay at home and play by the rules.

Do I want to be gouged by oil companies? No. But I also don't want to put them in a box where they have to buy my gasoline from fourth world polluters, or from Arab sheiks we have to send our soldiers to fight and die to protect.

And you know what they do with environmentalists trying to slow down the despoliation in places like the Congo and Nigeria? They're lucky to get out alive.

ANWR and off shore are the best bets. If you're green, you should be shouting ANWR now, Azerbaijan never.

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