Monday, May 4, 2009

Barbour Set to Lead Nation Backwards on Energy Policy

This past weekend, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (VA) used an Arlington, VA pizzeria as a backdrop to unveil the National Council for a New America, a panel of so-called experts aimed at offering alternatives to President Barack Obama's policy agenda.

The "expert" tasked with leading efforts on energy for NCNA is none other Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who is best known outside of Mississippi for his time at the helm of the Republican National Committee during the course of the 1994 "Republican Revolution."

There's little doubt that Mr. Barbour has proven his political savvy, but what do we know about his take on American energy policy? Well, in March of 2001, while lobbying for the energy industry group the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, Mr. Barbour urged former President George W. Bush to abandon his campaign promise to curb carbon emissions, and ultimately succeeded in doing so.

From the above New York Times piece:
In the memo, Mr. Barbour said he was "demurring" on the idea of whether regulating carbon dioxide emissions was "eco-extremism." But, he wrote, "we must ask, do environmental initiatives, which would greatly exacerbate the energy problems, trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years?"
So a former energy industry lobbyist who helped set CO2 emissions reduction back nearly a decade is set to lead be the architect of an alternate pathway to move to a new energy policy? Away from the old one that got us into this mess in the first place? That he was instrumental in crafting?

Really? Seriously? (I promise I won't do that every time.)