For those under the impression that the events of the past few days represent an exciting opportunity for new course for our country, even reason to hope again — well, meet Rep. John Dingell, the new head of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In an interview on Wednesday, he gave a preview of what we might expect:

Rep. John Dingell, who has been a U.S. lawmaker since 1955, also gave a strong indication of what he did not plan to do: raise fuel-efficiency standards for U.S. automobiles … Dingell, whose home district includes Detroit’s big three automakers — Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., and Chrysler Group — downplayed the need for boosting U.S. fuel economy rules.

“I’m not sure that there’s any urgent needs for us to address those questions,” Dingell told CNBC in an interview …

Dingell also spoke favorably of boosting electricity produced from nuclear reactors, and called on Congress to solve the problem of where utilities can store spent nuclear fuel, which is piling up at 131 sites in 39 states while the fate of an underground repository in Nevada remains uncertain.

Dingell called nuclear energy “one of the most promising and necessary courses that we can take in terms of weaning ourselves off foreign oil.”

Someone give Dingell a ringle and tell him the Cheney energy plan needs no help from his sorry ass.