Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rush Holt on Energy Policy, Barack Obama and John Holdren

I seem to be highlighting a lot of stuff from the NY Times lately, but it's not on purpose. They seem to be putting out a lot of relevant articles that I think deserves to be read, not because we have to agree with it, but because these are important issues and ideas that need to be heard and think about.

This time, they have a brief interview with Rush Holt, one of the 4 (?) physicists serving in the US Congress (I'm using NY Times numbers here, but I thought there were only 3 - Rush Holt, Vernon Ehlers, and Bill Foster. Who am I missing?). In the interview, he gave his opinion on several issues that are at the forefront of politics and science nowadays - Energy policy, President-Elect Barak Obama, and the incoming Presidential Science Advisor nominee John Holdren.

As far as the policy outlined by Barak Obama, he has this to say:

What’s your take on the energy portion of Mr. Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plan? Is there enough in it?

No, not enough. I think president-elect Obama has the vision. But the economists around him, and the people who are actually putting the economic recovery package together, despite good words, don’t have a deep appreciation of the role of research and development as a short-term, mid-term, and long-term economic engine.

I don’t think that they have an appreciation of the enormity of the response that is needed to address the energy and environmental problems we face.

I think the president-elect gets it, but the people who are putting together the package, although it has many billions of dollars for energy research, for energy conservation, and other things, it doesn’t have enough. I think they are lowballing what we should be putting into research, and what we should be putting into rolling out energy technologies.

Let's see who Obama listens to the most once everyone is in place.


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