“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fraudulent Free Trade and Expensive Oil

Parting company.

The New York Times has an article about the affect of fuel consumption brought on by foreign government subsides. Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, India and China all heavily subsidize the price of petroleum products. These governments fearful of inflation, and civil unrest are heavily subsidizing energy prices, particularly for diesel fuel. China alone spends $40B a year on subsidies. That would not be possible if it were not for the fact that China has such a huge trade surplus with the US.

I doubt anyone calculated the affects of these subsidies when the US was agreeing to lop-sided trade agreements giving away trade advantages at the expense of American interests. Fuel Subsidies Overseas Take a Toll on U.S.


  1. There's nothing like reading these items while listening to Alan Hawkshaw's Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious Universe soundtrack.

  2. The imperial system at work:

    One, a Guatemalan named Elmer L. who said he was 16 when he started working on the plant's killing floors, said he worked 17-hour shifts, six days a week. In an affidavit, he said he was constantly tired and did not have time to do anything but work and sleep. "I was very sad," he said, "and I felt like I was a slave."

    When Kosher Aint.
    H/T: Doug

  3. 'Made in USA' starts to make a return
    Whitney Stewart (Contact)
    In the wake of a decades-long manufacturing exodus overseas, the climbing cost of outsourcing has some U.S. companies looking homeward.
    The gap between the cost to produce goods in the United States or to produce them abroad has narrowed, thanks to a decrease in China's competitive advantage.
    The Chinese yuan has appreciated 18 percent against the dollar in the past three years, making exports more expensive and less competitive. Chinese wages have more than doubled over the past five years, and the Chinese government has lowered or eliminated tax breaks on exports.
    Meanwhile, oil prices have soared from $25 a barrel in 2002 to more than $125 today, discouraging American businesses from shipping manufacturing operations overseas.
    “The days are over where you just think you can go over to China to get something cheap,” said Harry Kazazian, chief executive officer of Exxel Outdoors Inc., a Haleyville, Ala., producer of outdoor recreational gear.
    Exxel has been doing just that since 2005, when executives detected the beginnings of a market shift favoring homemade wares.
    “It's kind of like the light bulb goes off in your head,” Mr. Kazazian said.
    “We really need to come back,” he told Exxel President Armen Kouleyan while they toured their production plants in China.
    Colleagues raised their eyebrows at the plan, but Exxel soon began investing in its Haleyville, Ala., factory in preparation for a move back to the United States. The company increased the American portion of production of its best-selling family sleeping bag from 40 percent to more than 60 percent, said Mr. Kazazian. He plans to increase that to 90 percent by 2010. The company will produce 1.5 million sleeping bags this year and expects to make 2 million next year.
    “We're kind of on the front end of the trend,” Mr. Kazazian said, explaining that by maintaining its U.S. factory when other companies closed their domestic plants, Exxel avoided huge startup costs and delays when it decided to repatriate production. “We wanted to keep our options open. Whether you call it hindsight or you call it good fortune, I think that is why we're ahead of the curve.”
    No hard data are available to document the shift back to U.S. factories, said NAM Chief Economist David Huether. But a second-quarter NAM survey of 314 member companies showed that 59 percent of respondents have seen “increased costs of materials and supplies imported from abroad” and 30 percent are purchasing more supplies from domestic sources.
    Mr. Kazazian said he thinks outsourcing has peaked.
    Factory owners might wait and watch price trends before shifting to domestic manufacturing on a large scale, said Hank Cox, vice president of communications for the National Association of Manufacturers.
    “For them to turn around and say, 'Oops, mistake,' that takes a lot of money to bring production back here,” he said. “It's not just something you can do at the drop of a hat. These factors would have to continue for a while before you would see a tipping point.”
    Still, economic forces make it more attractive for an increasing number of manufacturers to move toward more domestic production, Mr. Cox said. Although factories won't gear up overnight, the sustained increases in oil prices - and shipping costs - are bringing the change closer.
    Firestone Home Products, a Burnsville, Minn., maker of high-end outdoor furniture and gas grills, has decided to return 25 percent of its total manufacturing to U.S. plants from China.
    China and India produce about 75 percent of Firestone's goods today.
    “There's been steady cost increases over the last three years, and all of them have been double-digit-type increases,” said Firestone founder and President Dan Shimek, who invented Heat-N-Glo fireplaces with his brother Ron before starting Firestone in 2004. He anticipates upping American production by October.
    “Our interest would be to position in the United States to begin with, so when it gets so that it's not that much more expensive to make it here, it becomes more attractive. I would like to think that this can be done on a permanent basis,” Mr. Shimek said.
    U.S. production costs are increasing along with China's. The NAM study said 79 percent of manufacturers report increased costs for domestically produced goods. But for some businesses, reducing costs by cutting overseas shipments sweetens the incentive to manufacture in the United States.
    A producer of classroom furniture for schoolchildren, Artco-Bell Corp. of Temple, Texas, has transferred production of steel and polypropylene goods from foreign to domestic sources. Although that has meant an increase in unit costs, eliminating transoceanic shipping has reduced total expenses by as much as 20 percent, said Stephen Sykes, vice president of marketing.
    Over the past eight years, he said, the cost to ship a container from China increased from $2,200 to more than $7,000.
    “For a while, [the Chinese] were buying steel better than we could buy steel,” Mr. Sykes said. “But as the scales began to balance as far as what they were purchasing in raw and what we were purchasing in raw, then the freight became the issue. The great equalizer is the boat ride back over.”
    Increased wages in China have produced a new middle class, Mr. Sykes said. If Chinese wage gains remain high, he said, his company's shift to domestic production could become a long-term change.
    “I don't know how it's going to slip the other way,” he said.
    U.S. labor costs are still higher than Chinese, but other factors help make U.S. production more tempting, said Mr. Kazazian.
    “You're never going to have $2-an-hour labor” in the United States, he said. “But with quality, time, efficiency, you close the gap.”
    Mr. Sykes said he is happy that his company has reduced foreign outsourcing from 12 percent to less than 4 percent of total output in the past year and a half.
    “Not only does it make it feasible, but it sure makes us feel a heck of a lot better to do business in the United States,” he said.
    Mr. Kazazian said domestic manufacturing helps his company keep customers satisfied while encouraging patriotic pride.
    “Given the opportunity, American workers are better than anyplace else,” he said. “The pride that they have when they come in and produce a product is something missing in a lot of other places. Because at the end of the day, there's a lot of advantages to being made in the USA.”

  4. Doug,

    In re Colombia: It's only relatively recently that the Colombian Army made one of the most significant changes in strategy in decades - to wit, 12 mos.-long, rather than month-long, deployments to the hairiest pockets of the country, after reclaiming the capitol, Medellin, Cali, etc. Pushing outward gradually from the vital population centers, which naturally were the first order of business. It's a truly ferocious bit of work to be out in the boondocks for a year at a time here, and yet the payoff has been substantial. Perseverance pays. Not simply the FARC desertions, but the take-downs, have been weekly. Unsurprisingly, the soldiers themselves (only volunteers go to "the front") have stood by this shift to clear and hold. The other end of this challenging business is in the continued identifying of networks. Everyone's still got their work cut out for them there.

    How soon we forget how very bad it used to be. We - but not the Colombians. They know.

    It could happen that before I leave, FARC's position has so deteriorated that they can be brought to political settlement. We certainly have every intention of supporting the Army's efforts to push them to, or past, that very point. It will be reached, regardless.

    And again, what happened in that rescue mission has not yet been fully reported - and their circumstances today are consequently that much the worse.

    I do not share, nor does the vast majority of Colombians share, the pessimistic outlook that still occasionally comes creeping out of the media.

    Colombia is on its way to becoming the South American powerhouse, in no small part due to the very success that the NYT is wont to discount.

  5. Hey, you expect me to post here beneath improper Grammar like
    "I doubt anyone calculated the affects of these subsidies " ???
    This proves we're all wrong about the Surge, and Rich, 'Rat, Pelosi, the MSM, and the Messiah were right.

    McCain is having a MOLE removed from his face.


  6. Newsflash!!!
    Heroic Messiah injures hip shooting Baskets.

    (Expect W to award him the Medal of Freedom on the day John selects his Veep)

  7. Great to hear, Trish!
    (of course the MSM and the Messiah will define it again everyway but up.)
    Who gives a shit about REALITY anymore?

  8. I have never discounted that the extra troops, along with a change of tactics made a big difference in Baghdad, doug.

    It was and still is my position that the same change in tactics, without the additional troops would have succeedded as well.

    The Iraqi could have supplied those bodies, instead of US.

    The population would have still self segregated and the violence dropped, when the local combat patrol posts were established and manned.

    The Surge made it easier for the US to maintain the occupation for another year, so that instead of GW declaring victory, Obama gets to.

  9. The fact that the surge troops have left and those patrol posts are still opened and manned 24/7 proves the point.

    Success has always been defined as transitioning to Iraqi Security by Iraqis for Iraqis.

    There are many paths that can be taken to that goal, some longer than others. Team43 chose the longest path they could. The one that ran concurrent with their time in office.

  10. I just threw you in for fun, 'Rat!

    Maybe that's W's reason for coming up w/clever ways to sink McCain's Navy?

  11. "Team43 chose the longest path they could. The one that ran concurrent with their time in office"
    He doesn't want anyone to come close to his World Record in Outsourcing War (measured in Dollars) anytime soon.

  12. I guess a Brain tumor is as good an excuse as any for hit and run.

    Maybe Bush et al never really planned on leaving Iraq (i.e. that magnificent Embassy) and the oil really was the prime target?

  13. I wonder if Ted Kennedy and Richard Novak spent a lot of time on the cell phone?

  14. That's a scary thought.
    Our son's had one grafted on his ear since age 16.

    Hope it turns out to be a "fact" from one of al-Bob's late nite "reality" shows.

  15. Rush just brought up that SUV's are the most wanted vehicles in China.

    He thinks it's still smoggy because they haven't REALLY shut down half the country, for fear of more civil unrest.

  16. My Daughter is all ready to get one when she returns to school in the fall. Last week here in Canada the press was all abuzz about some researcher who recommends not letting kids use cellphones even though there is little evidence as of yet regarding cell phone damage. He thinks they should only use them for emergency or only with a headset.

  17. WIO:
    The MSM is reporting all that good news is the result of people making better choices on the basis of what they know the Messiah wants and believes in.
    How can we fail?

  18. I'd recommend buying everything you can to help her not get in the habit.
    Our idiot son still doesn't use a headphone.

    He BELIEVES it's a permanent fixture on his head.

  19. WIO:
    The MSM is reporting all that good news is the result of people making better choices on the basis of what they know the Messiah wants and believes in.
    How can we fail?

    This had nothing to do with the messiah...

    but everything to do with the fact that the chinese UNFAIRLY had atached themselves to the dollar and 2 different sec of commerce had TRIED (in vain) to get the chinese off the buck...

    now that the dollar tumbled and the cost of oil as 4x'd it puts the usa in a much better place to export our wares...

    I am bullish on the USA and her exports to solve our issues.

    We currently import crude, and export advanced widgets, thoughts and invention...

    This harkens me back to 1984 and reagan and the yen...

  20. check out this resource:


    US Army War College Quarterly
    Summer 2008, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 2

    Cumulative Index of Parameters Articles and Review Essays

  21. There has been no fraud, except by the US politicos upon the unsuspecting.

    This idea of "free market" oil ...

    A novel, but antiquated concept in the New World Order.

    Nationalized oil is another qrrow in the quiver, to be used as needed, to further a country's goals. It can be traded for things other than dollars.

    Influence and trade preferences.
    Open borders and resident rights

    The Cinese have long subsidized fuel in their system, as do the Iraqi. In Mexico I'm told it's $2.35 per gallon USD.

    Was the Tennessee Valley Authority a fraud? It subsidized electrical generation and distribution, well below costs

    The US has embraced the Chinese model with open arms, it is the post Russell Company program of China exploitation for the Company's gain.

    However it is configured, today.

  22. CAlls to manipulate the US and world oil markets by maipulating the Strategic Reserves, just another card in the deck.

    Each country manipulates its' economy, in the way it sees fit.

    The disparete economies of the countries and the various elites hold on power not as secure as it is, here, in the USA and the EU.

    They're hanging on by the fingernails, all across Asia.

  23. For the daughter, ash, texting should be the thing. They do not talk on them much, at least my 17 yer female and her friends it's text not talk, mostly.

  24. Gallop puts Maverick up by 4 in a nation wide poll.

    RCP average is Obama +3.2

  25. Former Sen. Phil Gramm's statement about the country becoming "a nation of whiners" seems strange to most of us, but Gramm, below, probably has never met anyone making less than $250,000 per year. It would be interesting to see if Gramm could figure out a budget for a family of four making $50,000 a year, with a mortgage and a car payment.


    Considering all the whiny letters and editorials the American-Statesman prints, I am, frankly, amazed that you don't agree with Gramm. After all, Democrats have made whining an art form.


    Gramm needs to take a lesson in nutrition. Evidently he doesn't know that the staple foods that the poor can afford to buy are the fattening foods, such as beans and potatoes.

    Letters to the Editor

  26. Crude oil futures fell back from their early-July $145/bbl peak, but remain high, supported by a meagre 2Q08 stockbuild, tight distillate markets and ongoing geopolitical risks. Refiners are paying record premiums for distillate-rich crudes in an effort to bolster yields; however, weak gasoline and fuel oil cracks are keeping refining margins low.

    Non-OPEC supply is seen rising 640 kb/d to 50.6 mb/d in 2009, following a late-year increase in 2008, with Asia, the Caspian, Brazil, Canada and the US adding to supplies. In addition, NGLs from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Nigeria and Iran underpin the 810 kb/d expansion in OPEC gas liquids in 2009.

    OPEC crude supply increased by 350 kb/d in June to 32.4 mb/d, as Saudi Arabian supply rose to 9.45 mb/d and exports from floating storage lifted Iranian supply to 3.8 mb/d. Although higher supply lowers effective OPEC spare capacity to 1.7 mb/d, increases from Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iraq and Nigeria lift overall capacity by around 1.0 mb/d by end-2008.

    Oil Market Report

  27. The report, prepared by the Justice Department's inspector general and its internal ethics office, singles out for particular criticism Monica Goodling, a young lawyer from the Republican National Committee who rose quickly through the ranks of the department to become a top aide to Gonzales.

    Goodling, who testified before Congress in May 2007 at the height of the scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys, introduced politics into the hiring process in a systematic way that constituted illegal misconduct, the report says.

    Last month, the inspector general, Glenn Fine, released a separate report that described a similar pattern of politicized hiring at the Justice Department in reviewing applications from young lawyers for the honors and intern programs. The report released Monday goes much further, however, in documenting pervasive evidence of political hiring for some of the department's most senior career, apolitical positions, including immigration judges and assistant U.S. attorneys.

    Politics Illegally Affected Hiring

  28. yessirre DR, texting seems to be all the rage for the young. Seems healthier to me as well though, again, little evidence to support the notion of a problem.

    aye, on the Free Market Oil ruminations. ole Buddy Larsen used to go on about 'as long as the 'raqis sell the oil into the free market' all is good. Reminds me of a bit I saw on Jon Stewart - an author talking about Batista Cuba, JFK in a 3-way behind a one way mirror, and the 'Mob' running all the casinos and night clubs. We squeal like a pig when all that is shut down...

    ...I don't know much about the Russell company and China but Britain, the Empire, and the East India Co. spring to mind...Privatize the Profits - Socialize the costs!!

  29. al-Bobs Cousin made the big time news in an article about the Messiah:

    "While the botched troop visit might have been the stuff of an attack ad in any case, since it was the only significant slip-up in an otherwise well-staged trip, McCain’s new ad dovetailed with the latest viral e-mail aimed at Obama, a widely circulated — though later recanted — missive from a Utah National Guard officer stationed in Afghanistan,

    Joseph Porter, who wrote that Obama "blew ... off" and "shunned" soldiers during his visit there.

    "He was just here to make a showing for the Americans back home," Porter wrote, though press reports contradicted some of the details provided in his e-mail.

    "It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country."
    Good to get it straight from the Troops.

  30. Ingraham blew out her hand texting!
    The kid does about 15 different things w/his phone/computer.

    Still has it next to his ear a lot.

    headset the safest way to go, before habits form.

  31. Where IS al-Bob, anyhow?

    al-Bob is here, just have had a lot to do, am catching up now....

  32. Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that Barack Obama's Berlin bounce is fading. Obama now attracts 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it's Obama 48% and McCain 45%. Both Obama and McCain are viewed favorably by 56% of voters.

  33. Were those polls taken before or after the mole removal???


  34. What if Joseph Porter is a mole?

  35. al-Bob didn't even bow and scrape out an apology.
    Maybe he head-butted the desk again and just didn't tell us.

  36. Thye 'Berlin Bounce' is fading, and Rat's got McCain--

    Gallop puts Maverick up by 4 in a nation wide poll.

  37. al-Doug, we got some hay in, about 50% alfalfa, 50% weeds, but edible, if you're a cow, and are hungry.

  38. You need four stomachs to digest this stuff.

  39. That Christiane Amanpour, however you spell it, is a real bitch, in my opinion, and is one of the reasons I gave up tv.

  40. Didja see that picture of Madonna on Drudge?

    Startin to look like Michael Jackson when she don't got makeup on.

    The ravages of age on major plastic surgery.
    Cheeks look like she has no Teeth.

  41. Is Jamie Ruben the lucky stiff that gets to sleep w/Christiane Amanpour?

  42. "she don't got NO makeup on"

  43. Anybody able to figure out this comment I copied from Juan Cole's site?
    John Francis Lee said...

    "Basically there doesn't appear to be any pressure at all being placed on Al Qaeda, on these training camps, these safe havens, in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas]."

    "To be committed to the war on terror is to be committed to war. The war on terror is a further manifestation of the injustices that brought terror about to begin with. It is a war on civilians, invariably termed "collateral damage". Invariable killed by US troops in the war on terror.

    If one wanted to end terror, one would end the war on terror.

    Obama is committed to the war on terror although, perhaps unlike John McaCain, he knows that it is a positive feedback loop that which insures its own continued existence. That is the whole point of the war on terror.

    Obama cares no more about the victims of the war on terror than he does about the Palestinians, for instance.

    Or about anything else. It is just another hoop for him to jump through on his way to assume the ermine trimmed, red robe, the mantle of power from George Bush.

    And yet, people are going to vote for him. I hope not in numbers sufficient to elect him."

  44. "and is one of the reasons I gave up tv"

    Same. Other than a little business news, that's pretty much it, as far as tv goes.

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Doug: After saying that the War on Terror is the source of terrorism, the author claims that, as opposed to McCain (who presumably believes in the efficacy of the effort), Obama merely supports it due to the political calculus that it is required for his election. He is, therefore, an uncaring political animal.

    Although my spanish is mediocre, for better or worse I do have a relative fluency in understanding idiocy. Too much time around message boards.

  47. For reference Trish,

    Aside from my distate for "opinion aggressively stated as fact" argumentation, my problem with "Bush fucked America" is not so much a defense of Bush as it is a desire not to let the many other responsible people, groups, and ideas off the hook regarding their responsibility for our current problems. Most of the parties in question, after all, already being perfectly willing to cooperate - consciously and unconsciously - in pushing along that process by laying the blame on others and ignoring their own culpability. As well as also ignoring the extent that deeper issues need to be dealt with, as opposed to merely a simple change of flagship leadership.

  48. Mon Jul 28, 11:24:00 PM EDT

    Course, it could just take one to know one.


  49. Fact of the Day

    Oil Shale - Correcting the Record

    A Senate Democrat wrote an op-ed this week in the Washington Post asking “How is a federal agency to establish regulations, lease land and then manage oil shale development without knowing whether the technology is commercially viable, how much water the technology would need (no small question in the arid West), how much carbon would be emitted, the source of the electricity to power the projects, or what the effects would be on Western landscapes?” OP-ED

    Current high gas prices have renewed interest in oil shale as an alternative energy resource. Since taking control of Congress in 2006, Democrats have blocked efforts toward the development of oil shale in the Western United States. Although the U.S. controls 72% of the world’s oil shale reserves, Democratic leaders refuse to move forward on oil shale development to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

    Claim: Some Democrats question the commercial viability of oil shale production.

    FACT: The Rand corporation estimates that as many as 1.1 trillion barrels are recoverable and at prices as low as $35 to $48 dollars per barrel, within the first 12 years of commercial scale production. At current rates of consumption, 1.1 trillion barrels equals more than 145 years of domestic supply. This number would nearly double assuming the Department of Energy’s estimate of nearly 2 trillion potentially-recoverable barrels. Link

    Claim: Some Democrats argue that the shale production process uses massive amounts of water.

    FACT: Oil Shale uses less water than ethanol and about the same amount as gasoline. According the Department of Energy Office of Strategic Fuels, it takes 3 barrels of water for 1 barrel of oil. Link.

    Claim: Some Democrats are concerned about wildlife habitat and land usage.

    FACT: One acre of oil shale can produce from 100,000 to 1 million barrels of oil. In contrast – one acre of corn produces only 7-10 barrels of ethanol. Link.

    Senator Inhofe’s American Affordable Fuels Act includes language to promote the use of oil shale by removing the prohibition of final regulations for the commercial leasing program of oil shale resources on public lands. (Repeals Sec. 433 of Dept. of Interior Appropriations Act of 2008).

  50. The dispute that has come to symbolize the challenges of producing oil in an era of high prices and short supplies boiled over in May. That's when BP Plc, the world's third-largest oil company by sales, faced off in a private meeting with its billionaire partners in a 50-50 Russian joint venture called TNK-BP Ltd. at the beachfront Four Seasons Hotel near Limassol, Cyprus.


    BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward had arrived from London to subdue the rebellion by the billionaires who hold half of the venture's shares. His company, beset by project delays, safety failures and a falling share price, can't afford to lose sway over its Russian assets.


    Both sides accuse the other of trying to wrest control of TNK-BP and its 8.2 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves, which would be worth almost $1 trillion, based on benchmark crude oil prices this year.

    Venture Fight

  51. Count ', two, three...I've got three female law students renting from me this fall. This is a record for me, and, quite scary, when you think about it.

  52. They can sue my ass, if anything goes wrong.

  53. For reference Trish,

    Aside from my distate for "opinion aggressively stated as fact" argumentation, my problem with "Bush fucked America" is not so much a defense of Bush as it is a desire not to let the many other responsible people, groups, and ideas off the hook regarding their responsibility for our current problems. Most of the parties in question, after all, already being perfectly willing to cooperate - consciously and unconsciously - in pushing along that process by laying the blame on others and ignoring their own culpability. As well as also ignoring the extent that deeper issues need to be dealt with, as opposed to merely a simple change of flagship leadership.

    Mon Jul 28, 11:27:00 PM EDT

    Alright you tedious bugger, who are you and what have you done with cutler?

  54. Bush butt-fucked the nation.

    He had plenty of help.

  55. In the same WSJ/NBC poll, McCain also scores higher on showing strong leadership (+11), sharing the values of voters (+11), standing up for his beliefs (+8), being honest and straightforward (+4), and being a good Commander-in-Chief (+28).

    Since becoming the presumptive nominee, Obama has yet to gain the confidence of the American people in his readiness to be President, and is viewed as a “risky choice” by a majority (55%) of the electorate.


    The most recent survey in Michigan from The Detroit News shows the race in a statistical dead heat at 43%-41% with 12% yet undecided.

    Nearly 100 Days to Go

  56. Both political parties, and especially the greenies, are responsible for the energy pickle we are in. It's disgusting really. And been going on for years. We have the where with all and the knowledge etc to get out of this fix, yet here we sit. The democrats won't even let a debate take place in Congress on drilling, and nuclear energy. jeez

  57. Since the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) released its December 2004 report, Ending the Energy Stalemate: A Bipartisan Strategy
    toMeet America’s Energy Challenges,we have watched our nation’s discourse on energy issues with a combination of optimismand concern.On
    the one hand,we have seen growing support—not only in Congress, but among business leaders and the general public—for decisive action
    to address serious, energy-related threats to the environment and to our national and economic security.


    On the other hand, the experience of the last few years also underscores how difficult it is to reach political consensus on these issues.The
    Energy Policy Act of 2005 containedmany useful provisions to expand the domestic biofuels industry, address urgent infrastructure needs,
    promote efficiency, and develop new energy supplies.


    At the time of thiswriting, new opportunities to bridge that gap are againwithin reach.Detailed climate legislation, introduced in June 2007 by
    Senators Bingaman and Specter with bipartisan backing, is winning support fromconstituencies that had hitherto been opposed tomandatory
    action on greenhouse gas emissions—including prominent leaders fromthe labor and business communities.

    Energy Policy Recommendations

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