Solar Powered KissSo Bush was at NREL today doing all kinds of “doing a great job here”, “this is important stuff” type glad handedness. He looked absolutely bored and would rather focus on Habitat for Humanity providing homes to needy families (all good) than the implication of energy independence. I found some photos to accompany this piece that I thought might be relevant. I think I’ll “pepper” them throughout – and no, I don’t intend to shoot anyone.

I blogged earlier on the ironic and politically tone deaf move of visiting NREL after you cut the budget and cause layoffs. Well, BushCo tried to minimize the damage by redirecting $5 million back so the people could be brought back in prior to his visit:

At the direction of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, $5 million was transferred to the Midwest Research Institute, the operating contractor for the lab, to get the workers back on the job, the Energy Department announced Monday.

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said the decision restores only $5 million of the $28 million budget shortfall at the lab that forced the layoffs.

“The $5 million stopped the bodies from going out the door, but it doesn’t provide the money for the (renewable energy) programs,” Clapp said. (from ABC News)

Tiptoe through the petroleum

One tiny problem. The bandaid helps Bush’s image somewhat, but doesn’t support the programs he thinks is such “good work”:

“The $5 million stopped the bodies from going out the door, but it doesn’t provide the money for the (renewable energy) programs,” Clapp said.

So while George says this:

“Some of the nations we rely on for oil have unstable governments, or fundamental differences with the United States,” Bush said. “These countries know we need their oil and that reduces influence. It creates a national security issue when we’re held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us.”

I wanna hold your haaaaaand!

He does this:

“There is technology available now, there is the know-how now,” Larney said. “What is lacking is leadership on the large scale at the national level.”

Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., co-chairman of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, said the government has funded only one-third of the money the 2005 energy bill authorized for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Clapp claims the president is promoting renewables because polls show his job approval numbers are being weighed down by Americans’ concerns about high utility bills this winter and the cost of gasoline at the pump.

To be clear: Bush gives two shits about how efficient Habitat for Humanity houses are, how much fuel economy our cars have, or whether or not we use Photovoltaics or not. He really doesn’t. If he did, he would be showing leadership from the day he stepped into office – and certainly after 9/11! Funny you never hear about a “post 9/11 world” as it relates to energy – only the fear of terrorism.

I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but could this attitude be slightly related to his and his administrations ties to big oil? Gosh, I dunno…you think?

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