One of America's great soap operas is being performed live right now on Capitol Hill. It is scripted, predetermined, poorly acted, rarely interesting, predictable. Ladies and gents, the nomination hearings of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.
Yesterday afternoon, we noted that Hagel, if OK'd by the Senate, will step down from his board position at Chevron. We suggested that this also meant Hagel would forget his years of fossil fuel advocacy, cleaning his slate on energy issues. Because that's how it works.
Apparently, we were either right -- or Hagel read and responded to our snark. Probably the latter. From The Hill:
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), President Obama’s nominee for Defense secretary, is backing a controversial ban on military purchase of alternative fuels that have higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil-based fuels. …
Hagel also backs military programs to expand use of biofuels in defense operations, but he argues large-scale use should only occur when the fuels are cost-competitive.
We'll parse this out. The first paragraph above relates to a ban authored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), meant to limit Defense Department investment in alternative fuels that -- from extraction to refinery to combustion -- create more climate pollution than conventional fuels. The targets of this measure are fuels like liquefied coal or tar-sands-based diesel. Hagel opposes using those fuels.