Friday, January 9, 2009

Lamar Alexander Destroys The Landscape

Paging Sen. Lamar Alexander! Yes, I’m talking to you, buddy. You’re shameless, you know that?

Your pitiful performance at yesterday’s TVA ash spill hearings are made all the worse when one remembers your previous jihad against wind power because you thought turbines "destroy the landscape.” Of course, it’s hard not to remember that and immediately think of your opposition to the CapeWind project on Nantucket Sound that would have interfered with the view from your $800,000 Cape Cod land.

You wanna talk about destroying the landscape? Check this out:

The first one is how they get the coal, by removing the tops of mountains.

And here’s a coal sludge pond on a good day, you know, a day where it hasn’t busted its dike and flooded a community. Do you like that landscape Sen. Alexander? Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

As guess as far as those hearings yesterday goes, Alexander forgot what the word “oversight” means, because that’s what they were supposed to be about. Instead we got questions from the Senator on the cost per kilowatt hour to generate electricity, comparing coal to other means such as hydro, solar and, ooopsie daisy, wind. Guess who came out on the top end of that cost analysis? Of course, that doesn’t include the $100 million+ clean-up costs associated with an accident at just one coal fired plant. And even TVA CEO Tom Kilgore admitted that those costs are for older coal-fired plants, not new ones.

Look, I’m not a big proponent of wind power per se. I’m more of a solar girl, truth be told. But I’ve seen wind farms out West and I don’t find them especially ugly; they can be quite beautiful in a hi-tech sort of way. Not everyone has the same taste, I get that. But if you’re going to oppose a form of alternative energy, doing it on aesthetic grounds is pretty moronic when the one you’re touting is probably the ugliest blight on a landscape one could imagine, from start to finish. And let’s face it, Alexander’s economic argument just doesn’t hold water.

I’ve long believed that Lamar Alexander is one of those people who is riding a “moderate” image that is completely undeserved. He talks the talk but when push comes to shove he doesn’t walk the walk.

Here’s a brief look at his record on energy:
• Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (Jun 2008)
• Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jun 2007)
• Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. (Jun 2007)
• Voted NO on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (May 2007)
• Voted NO on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
• Voted NO on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (Oct 2005)
• Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
• Voted NO on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)
• Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)
• Voted NO on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003)
• Voted NO on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (Mar 2003)
• Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy. (Mar 2004)
• Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
• Open the Outer Continental Shelf for oil & gas leasing. (Jun 2008)
• Establish energy security strategy with domestic production. (Jul 2008)

And now we’re stuck with him for another six years.