Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Energy Politics at Work

In any open society, if democracy is to be given a reasonable chance to flourish, the machinations of government at every level should be visible to the citizens. Leaders who are obviously beholden to special interests or not representing the expectations of their constituents can be removed from office. Bad policies can be rejected by rejecting the leaders who initiate them. A growing problem, however, particularly in terms of energy policy, is that key decisions are being made behind closed doors in virtual secrecy. And a growing body of evidence is pointing to the fact that energy policies are being crafted to benefit the bottom line of the mainstream energy producers, the petroleum and nuclear industries, to the detriment of any advances in renewable energy systems. The pattern of secrecy that was established by Dick Cheney in creating national energy policy is now apparently being emulated by California's Governor Schwarzenegger as examined in this Common Dreams article, Schwarzenegger Pulls a Cheney. Only by finding out who is pulling the strings behind the scenes do we have any chance to turn the current energy juggernaut around and move toward a future where sustainable energy practices can take hold.