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Monday, June 18, 2007

We need "energy independence" from all fossil fuels

Congress is working on an energy bill that the Democratic leadership has pledged to pass with measures to address climate change. Unfortunately for all of us, as one more proof of the Greg Palast book title The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, the fossil fuel lobbyists are trying to pay off our "representatives" in return for less taxing legislation.

Proponents of the perpetuation of polluting energy sources like to sell the American people on the idea of "energy independence." This misleading, propagandistic phrase has more to do with ensuring the protection of coal industry profits than the American economy. The scions of Capital who use it would like to sell us on the magic powers of the market to make all right with the world, but all they're really selling us is a bill of goods that will come due far too soon.

Here's an excerpt from the AP coverage of the story:

Lobbies Stymie Action on Energy
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)- Three powerful lobbying forces - automakers, electric utilities and the coal industry - are confounding Democrats' efforts to forge a less-polluting energy policy.

Disputes over automobile fuel economy, use of coal as a motor fuel, and requirements for utilities to use more wind or biomass to generate electricity have threatened to stall energy legislation in both the Senate and House.

The issues have been the focus of intense lobbying by the coal industry, electric utilities heavily dependent on coal, and by automobile manufacturers trying to block new fuel economy requirements from Washington and in a dozen states.

Read the full article
These lobbyists may think they can buy our legislators, and they have ample precedent to go on, but the American people need to stand up and make sure they don't buy and sell our earth, sky and water. Our precious resources are not commodities to be exchanged by profiteers. They are the legacy we'll leave to our children, and theirs. Let's make sure that we leave them more than a wind swept hunk of dead rock.

Back in 1986, R.E.M. wrote a catchy little song that warned us of the very same thing. After 20 years, it still hasn't caught on.

Fall on Me by R.E.M.

There's a problem, feathers iron
Bargain buildings, weights and pullies
Feathers hit the ground before the weight can leave the air
Buy the sky and sell the sky and tell the sky and tell the sky

Don't fall on me (what is it up in the air for) (it's gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it's there for long) (it's gonna fall)
Fall on me (it's over it's over me) (it's gonna fall)

There's the progress we have found (when the rain)
A way to talk around the problem (when the children reign)
Building towered foresight (keep your conscience in the dark)
Isn't anything at all (melt the statues in the park)
Buy the sky and sell the sky and bleed the sky and tell the sky

Don't fall on me (what is it up in the air for) (it's gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it's there for long) (it's gonna fall)
Fall on me (it's over it's over me) (it's gonna fall)

Well I could keep it above
But then it wouldn't be sky anymore
So if I send it to you you've got to promise to keep it whole

Buy the sky and sell the sky and lift your arms up to the sky
And ask the sky and ask the sky

Don't fall on me (what is it up in the air for) (it's gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it's there for long) (it's gonna fall)
Fall on me (it's over it's over me) (it's gonna fall)
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