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NY Times Friedman: "Bush needs to get back to green roots"

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muntrv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:58 PM
Original message
NY Times Friedman: "Bush needs to get back to green roots"
http://select.nytimes.com/2006/12/15/opinion/15friedman...

Time for another news quiz: Which American state produces more wind-generated electricity than any other? Answer: Texas. Next question this one youll never get: Which politician launched the Texas wind industry? Answer: Former Gov., now President, George W. Bush.

Yes, there are many things that baffle me about President Bush, but none more than how the same man who initiated one of the most effective renewable energy programs in America, has presided over an administration that for six years has dragged its feet on alternative energy, used its regulatory powers to weaken efficiency standards for major appliances and stuck its head in the sand on global warming.

Ill wait for historians to sort that out. But here is some immediate advice I can give the president: If you want to salvage any positive legacy, it will not come from Iraq. There are only tears left there. No, the only way for you, Mr. President, to salvage any legacy is to get back in touch with your green Texas roots and devote the rest of your term to REALLY ending Americas oil addiction, liberating us from dependence on petro-authoritarian regimes and making America the leader in renewable energies that combat climate change.

If this isnt the core of Mr. Bushs next State of the Union, he might as well go back to Crawford now. At least there he might be able to contemplate what went wrong with his presidency under lights powered by clean, wind-generated electricity that he promoted.

I came down to West Texas, the Saudi Arabia of wind, to find out how it all happened. Pat Wood, a friend of the president, was chairman of Texass Public Utility Commission when the push for wind energy started.

At the end of a meeting on transmission policy in mid-1996, he recalled, I was on my way out the door of the governors office, when Governor Bush said to me, Pat, we like wind. He was at his desk. I said, We what? He said: You heard me. Go get smart on wind.

Mr. Wood, his fellow commissioners and the Texas utilities did just that. They conducted polls and were stunned by the results: Texas electricity customers were ready to pay a little extra to get more clean renewable energy. So Mr. Bush instructed Mr. Wood to work on wind with the utilities and the environmentalists. Together, they created the Texas Renewable Portfolio Mandate, which Mr. Bush got passed by the Texas Legislature in 1999, as part of a power competition bill. The mandate stipulated that Texas power companies had to produce 2,000 new megawatts of electricity from renewables, mostly wind, by 2009.

What happened? A dozen new companies jumped into the Texas market and built wind turbines to meet the mandate so many that the 2,000-megawatt goal was reached in 2005. So now the Texas Legislature has upped the mandate to 5,000 megawatts by 2015. Everyone knows theyll beat that, too, because all this investment has driven down the costs and made wind power in Texas competitive with clean coal, nuclear and natural gas, even without the temporary tax break. Mr. Wood says he thinks Texas could be producing 15 percent of all its energy from renewables by 2015.

An energy wiz, Mr. Wood now advises Airtricity, an Irish wind-power company that also entered the Texas market. He and I toured its new wind farm near Midland, which will provide enough wind electricity 125 megawatts to power 40,000 homes in Dallas, replacing gas, nuclear and coal. The farm consists of giant turbines that sprout like Star Wars machine-monsters from the hardscrabble plains around Midland amid the mesquite, rattlesnakes and oil-pumping jacks.

When Mr. Bush ran for governor, his motto was: What Texans can dream, Texans can do. Just substitute Americans for Texans, and hes already got the last line of his next State of the Union. What would the substance be? First, lets set a Texas-like renewable energy mandate for every state. Second, lets forge a national electricity transmission grid from the Dakotas to Texas to take wind electricity from where it is best produced to the big cities where it is most needed. Finally, lets create a long-term tax subsidy for building and buying plug-in hybrid cars. Wind energy is produced abundantly at night, when demand is lowest. Electric hybrids would be charged at night. That would mean hybrid electric cars, which emit virtually no carbon, could be powered by wind, which produces no carbon. If that scaled, it could be better than Kyoto.

You got something better to do, Mr. President?

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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. why are you trying save his legacy, friedman?
its not supposed to take 6 years to wake the fuck up.
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Buck Rabbit Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Freidman, huh? Did he write this himself or
outsource it to someone with a brain?
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Target_For_Exterm Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Probably the explanation for this is that Austin (the capital of TX)
is big time Democratic. When Bush was Governor, the entire legislature was Democratic. Austin was VERY big on green. In all likelihood, someone decent who wandered into the Bush orbit pushed for wind power in Texas, persuaded Bush, and Bush took credit.

Austin is VERY green. It's a nice place to live.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sounds like Pat Wood might have accidentally misinterpreted
one the "fart" jokes that Bush is known to be so fond of. I'm glad something good came out of it anyway. :rofl:

As for Tom Friedman, he can kiss my ass. http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/12/tom-friedman...
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lanlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. thanks for the laugh!
"We break wind" is probably what Bush told him.

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. First, Mr.*, get your dead or jailed buds at Enron to give back the $9 billion
they stole from the state of California.

--------------

Friedman Redux

--------------

And here is some more immediate advice I can give the slaughterer of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, and the torturer of thousands more: If you want to salvage any positive legacy, it will not come from Iraq. There are only piles of dead bodies to rival Dachau, screams of pain, dismembered children, destroyed families, and thousands of refugees, the sick, the damaged, the impoverished, left there in the country that you looted and ruined with my wholehearted support. No, the only way for you, Mr. War Criminal, and Toadies like me to salvage any legacy is to get back in touch with your giggly executioner Texas roots and devote the rest of your term to REALLY killing on a grand scale. Minor war criminals get only a footnote. Major killers get whole chapters. You need to dedicate yourself to liberating us from any qualms that the liberals and humanists and progressives have instilled in our children that killing and torturing people is wrong, and make America the leader in that renewable thirst for blood and pain that will combat the the inevitable "Iraq Syndrome" that we know they are going to whine about, after four decades of the lamentable "Vietnam Syndrome."

If this isnt the core of Mr. Bushs next State of the Union, he might as well go back to Crawford now. At least there he might be able to contemplate what went wrong with his presidency when he started all those lethal injections in Texas.

I came down to West Texas, where Caligula made his start, to find out how it all happened. Mordred Burnabum, a friend of the president, was chairman of Texass Public Execution Commission when the push for mass executions started.

At the end of a meeting on killing policy in mid-1996, he recalled, I was on my way out the door of the governors office, when Governor Bush said to me, Mordred, we like killing. He was at his desk. I said, We what? He said: You heard me. Go get smart on killing.

Mr. Burnabum, his fellow commissioners and the Texas morticians did just that. They conducted polls and were stunned by the results: Texas killing customers were ready to pay a little extra to get more public executions. So Mr. Bush instructed Mr. Burnabum to work on more unjust convictions with the police and the prosecutors. Together, they created the Texas Unjust Conviction Mill, which Mr. Bush got passed by the Texas Legislature in 1999, as part of a killing competition bill with the Republican governors of other states. The mandate stipulated that the Texas Unjust Conviction Mill had to produce 1,000 executable criminals, mostly poor blacks and browns who can't pay for lawyers, before Bush was appointed President.

What happened? A dozen new companies outsourced all their jobs to Saipan sweatshops and Cambodian slave ships, leaving tens of thousands of desperate Mexicans and blacks without jobs, whole families dumped onto the streets, joining thousands of the already homeless crazy people, drug addicts, alcoholics and abandoned Vietnam veterans, living from hand to mouth, and creating prime conditions for police brutality and the planting of evidence. So many companies joined in that the Texas Unjust Conviction Mill exceeded its goal by 100% and produced 2,000 executable criminals while Mr. All Hat was still governor. So he got to execute some of them. And now the Texas Legislature has upped the mandate to 3,000 before President Snuff returns to Texas. Everyone knows theyll beat that, too, because all those outsourced jobs and other hardships inflicted on the poor have driven down the costs of conviction, maintenance on death row, and execution and made killing in Texas competitive with Iraq, even without temporary tax breaks for the outsourcing companies. Mr. Burnabum says he thinks Texas could be producing twice its killing needs by the end of Bush's term killing Iraqis.

An killing wiz, Mr. Burnabum now advises Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and the former Soviet Union that also have entered the Texas market. He and I toured the new biomass conversion farm near Midland, where all the bodies are buried, which will provide enough alternative electricity 125 megawatts to power 40,000 homes in Dallas, replacing gas, nuclear and coal. The farm consists of giant turbines that sprout like Star Wars machine-monsters from the hardscrabble plains around Midland amid the mesquite, rattlesnakes and oil-pumping jacks. The stench is bad, but it's well worth the tour to see how useful decaying flesh can be to our nation's energy needs. The half-dead screaming garden is also an innovation. Prisoners are flown in from Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and points unknown, and their expulsion of breath in their agony of torture powers an entire turbine.

When Mr. Bush ran for governor, his motto was: What Texans can kill, Texans can torture. Just substitute Americans for Texans, and hes already got the last line of his next State of the Union. What would the substance be? First, Mr.*, get your dead or jailed buds at Enron to give back the $9 billion they stole from the state of California. You know where some of it is--in your campaign coffers. Then maybe California can do more on alternative energy, too.

Second, lets forge a national killing grid from the Dakotas to Texas to take the biomass from where it is best produced to the big cities where it is most needed. Finally, lets create a long-term tax subsidy for companies that outsource jobs, and other incentives for corporations to squeeze the poor really hard and even drive the middle class to desperate acts, so we can trump up more charges, plant more guns and knives and fingerprints, and fuel the prison-industrial complex on a truly magnificent scale. That always means more unjust convictions of executable criminals. Killing people is best done at night, when they least expect it. Innovative killing techniques could be used to combine screams of terror, pain and death, with conversion of the later biomass to energy. That would mean hybrid electric chairs and lethal injection systems, as well as firing squads and hangings. And the system could recycle. The dead bodies fuel the electricity for the electric chairs, and slow injections and long scary leadups to the other methods of killing could keep the screaming gardens powered. If that scaled, it could be better than Guantanamo Bay which is totally scream powered, and exceed all previous historical mass killings by orders of magnitude.

You got something better to do, Mr. President?
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. No riddle - Bush did it to give cover he needed to get centrist votes in 2000.
He did EVERYTHING back then for POLITICAL reasons, not for genuine concerns.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. Uh, Tom? Two quick updates for you:
1. He doesn't give a shit about the environment - never did, never will. Wake up.
2. It's all about him, and the him it's all about is all about "Victory In Iraq", so he's not going to give a shit about anything BUT that.

Duh.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. Friedman, full of shit as usual -- Bush signed a law, he didn't "initiate" the program
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 12:01 PM by Ms. Clio
And the Texas Electric Restructuring Statute primarily deregulated the state's electricity industry. No need to wait for the historians to sort out your usual crap, Tommy.
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