In a revealing interview on Meet the Press today, GOP Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said he does not support the mandated increase to 35-mpg that both the House and Senate — and I believe even the president — support. To quote Rudy: "That isn’t the way I think it should be done."
What is his alternative strategy? Politically, as readers know, only one other alternative strategy exists: "technology, technology, technology, blah, blah, blah." Yes, Rudy wants to subsidize hybrids and biofuels — a voluntary strategy that has failed to stop the steady decline in average fuel economy, and the steady increase in gasoline consumption, in this country since the mid-1980s.
We’ve already heard some dubious energy/climate policy from the Giuliani camp, but here he himself demonstrated that he just doesn’t get it: In responding to Russert’s question about the fuel economy deal, Rudy said we needed to build more oil refineries. Well, only if the strategy of fuel efficiency and alternative fuels fails — which it certainly will if President Giuliani pushes his voluntary do-nothing technology strategy.
Rudy also said he wanted to push more nuclear and "clean coal" and, weirdly, "expansion of hydroelectric power." [Note to Rudy’s energy advisor — this means you, former Energy Secretary of Herrington — we are pretty much tapped out on hydro.] He made no mention of renewables like wind or solar.
The interview is available here. The energy stuff is at the very end. I don’t think he’ll be the GOP nominee (though he is currently the gambler’s favorite), but if he is, the interview is probably worth watching. Otherwise, not so much.