New York Times identifies broad coalition for smart energy policy
The New York Times gets it:
Step outside the White House and Congress, and one hears a chorus of voices begging for something far more robust and forward-looking than the trivialities of this energy bill. It is a strikingly bipartisan chorus, too, embracing environmentalists, foreign policy hawks and other unlikely allies. Last month, for instance, a group of military and intelligence experts who cut their teeth on the cold war – among them Robert McFarlane, James Woolsey and Frank Gaffney Jr. – implored Mr. Bush as a matter of national security to undertake a crash program to reduce the consumption of oil in the United States.
The consensus on the need for a more stable energy future is matched by an emerging consensus on how to get there. In the last two years, there have been three major reports remarkable for their clarity and convergence, from the Energy Future Coalition, a group of officials from the Clinton and the first Bush administrations; the Rocky Mountain Institute, which concerns itself with energy efficiency; and, most recently, the National Commission on Energy Policy, a group of heavyweights from academia, business and labor.
Homage is paid to stronger fuel economy standards, which Congress has steadfastly resisted. But all three reports also call for major tax subsidies and loan guarantees to help Detroit develop a new generation of vehicles, as well as an aggressive bio-fuels program to develop substitutes for gasoline.
One could quibble here with this detail or that, and one could wonder whether what the struggling General Motors needs most in order to compete is not a direct subsidy but rather relief on the health care front, but the Times, over all, understands the importance of coalitions. Good for them.