While the President's first 100 days deserve strong praise there is one area of conspicuous failure.
- Good – Lower energy prices reduce the priority for alternatives, and the savings from conservation.
- Bad – Energy has been lost among all the other priorities of the first 100 days.
You can't fight the market unless you either make it your top priority or have an ongoing market failure driving public opinion. We have ongoing market failures in the financial and health markets. But in energy, in the near term, the market is our friend. The recession has pushed oil prices into the $50/barrel range, and gasoline prices are half what they were at their peak.
- Ideologues, mainly global warning deniars and conservatives who think anything a liberal suggests has to be wrong because liberals are evil; and
- Industry types, moderates and even liberals who are interested in defending the business interests within their states or districts, and luring an industry's money into their re-election coffers.
This latter category can be hard to identify, because when an issue comes at them with enormous political momentum they are easily rolled, thus impossible to identify in the torrent of "aye" votes. It's when the priority declines, when an issue switches from being one of the masses to the upper classes, that these folks come out of the woodwork, sanctimoniously, and with their hands out.
That's why I have pushed the frame of The War Against Oil. In that case we have enemies who are easy to identify, and easy to villify. All we need to do is link their interests to those of other suppliers, and point to the brake on growth their self-interest creates. It's in our national interest. It's national security.