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Bush energy plan silent on cycling(42 posts)

Bush energy plan silent on cyclingBrian C.
May 17, 2001 10:34 AM
Lots of measures addressing the energy shortage, but nothing about the demand side. Why couldn't he come out and urge Americans to drive less, at least for the summer - to consider taking a bus or walking or, dammit, getting on your bike and pedalling to work.
Just for a change.
BUSH = BIG OIL (nm)rollo tommassi
May 17, 2001 10:57 AM
re: Bush energy plan silent on cyclingdug
May 17, 2001 11:02 AM
Walk?? The store is at least a mile away....
re: Bush energy plan silent on cyclingJim Burton
May 17, 2001 11:15 AM
Yeah, and thier bikes don't have AC! How can we expect people to do without THAT?
No wheel in the wheelhouse...128
May 17, 2001 11:22 AM
re: Bush energy plan silent on cyclingRoofGoat
May 17, 2001 11:33 AM
If he did stress conservation, would people listen AND conserve.

"Hi Im a typical spoiled American. I want clean air, but I will never pay extra for it. I dont want anything like drilling or refineries built near me, but I want cheap fuel. I want I want I want, Ill complain Ill complain. But any solution that may hurt in the slightest NO WAY. Ill blame everything. Its Bush who is the problem. Please dont bring up anything that is common sense, I wont listen, Ill tune you out and blame. Calif is a comedy. No building of new power plants, price freezes, and then they wonder what happened, like life is a happy TV sitcom where everything will take care of itself while my head is in the sand.

How about something simple that a rider can understand. I want to be able to compete in the Tour De France, but on my terms. I want to train once a week, eat whatver I want, and if I am not competitive, Im going to throw a fit, blame our President and demand from Congress and the Senate the fix is in. I want new laws drafted to make me a great cyclist but only on my terms. Anything less is crimnal.
Bush energy plan silent on Baseball, Basketball, Football, etc..ElvisMoab
May 17, 2001 11:58 AM
The Bush plan is silent on these SPORTS as well. Duh!

Cycling is a sport, not a mode of transportion. Well at least in the US. Why? Because automobiles are the cultural norm for Americans. Other than for urban and temperate communities, cycling is not a viable means of transportation. This is due to weather, distance, lack of infrastructure, and attitudes.

The bicycle is viewed by 99% of the American commuters as toy and an a nuisance.

This is a cultural problem, not a political one. Don't blame Bush.
There was a time ...Brian C.
May 17, 2001 12:25 PM
... when the President of the United States galvanized a nation, and by extension North America. Perhaps the Clinton years has discredited that notion. But off the top, I can think of Roosevelt and the day that lives in infamy; or Kennedy urging Americans to put a man on the moon; and Reagan's musings on strategic defence, in a way, helped end the Soviet empire.
Nobody is suggesting that the energy crisis or the overdependence on the automobile is Bush's fault. Far from it. And, it would be a folly to suggest that the bicycle is a panacea to air pollution and clogged highways.
But the demand side of the energy equation is never seriously considered. If only the President would get on his podium and urge people to consider taking the summer off so far as recreational and otherwise needless driving was concerned.
I think, perhaps naively, that if people starting rubbing shoulders on a bus more often, we'd all learn to get along.
Further, more people than you expect are cycling to work these days.

Just a thought.
fuelish to think people will ride because Bush said too...keith m.
May 17, 2001 1:10 PM
I live in a town with a lake. You should see all the 'LARGE' suv's pulling huge double engined offshore style power boats and all the little jet skis running around here on weekends. Are you going to tell them that a bike is the answer? We are in need of refineries and the ability to dispatch 'OUR OWN' oil in the Alaskan wilderness, and not be so completely dependant on foriegn oil. We are talking about a 200 square acre area in a huge state that is being blocked by enviromaniacs who say "conserve, conserve". I believe that conservation is great, but not enough as long as Americans have such a penchant for hard core recreation and the good ol automobile. Let's get real. Blaming Bush is ignorant.
fuelish to think people will ride because Bush said too...Not a Tree Hugger
May 17, 2001 1:32 PM
Ignorance is thinking that the area in Alaska where W is planning on drilling is the same as any other part of Alaska. This area is completely unique ecologically. It is the nesting ground for dozens of species of birds and seals. I believe in having fun and I love my car but it's ridiculous to think that we need to drill in this area that bad. The most conservative esitmates say it would take 3.5 years to get that area producing oil and it would only be 6 months worth of oil. Reducing dependance on foreign oil is nice but it's contrary to economic law. It's cheaper for us to import the oil than to drill here. There is a finite amount of oil in the ground, that is an indisputible fact, at what point do we put forth the effort to find the next source of energy, when we're down to the last barrel?
fuelish to think people will ride because Bush said too...keith m.
May 17, 2001 2:03 PM
There is more than 6 months worth of oil in the Alaskan reserve. It is simply propoganda that is saying otherwise. The area is 100,000 square miles in size, and we're talking about setting up drilling in 200 square acres. Do you see how small this is in comparison. There is no way that any species will be harmed or hindered, or become extinct due to pulling oil out of the ground there. We are talking about opening up 1 tenth of 1 percent. For now, this country depends on oil, we need it. Eventually dependence on such will change due to technology and the likes, but until then, DRILL IT, REFINE IT, USE IT! And in the mean time, ride like the wind.
30% cut to Energy Efficency ProgramsNot a Tree Hugger
May 17, 2001 1:20 PM
You would think that there would be some long range planning to reduce the use of energy through the development of energy efficent technologies and increasing the supply from renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass. I saw in the newspaper that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is going to lose about 50% of their funding. This America's prime location for developing and improving renewable energy technologies. I kind of feel like Bush is screwing the american public to repay big oil for the generous contributions. Time to bend over and take it.
You are definately a Tree-Hugger ...I just outed you!!(nm)MalandMo
May 17, 2001 3:29 PM
Because Daddy said not to.jim john
May 17, 2001 1:30 PM
Something you can do...(long post)Curtis
May 17, 2001 1:40 PM
...rather than B1TCH about things is GET INVOLVED!!!!! If you read this month's BICYCLING, you would have already called your U.S. Representative and told him that you support H.R. 1265, which would qualify bicycle commuters to a tax credit for car-poolers and users of mass transit.

This ignorant poster raises two interesting observations about the current state of knowledge and affairs in this country:

1) It is NOT the President's job to lower prices, lower demand or
increase supply of fuels. This Pres. ran on a promise to get
the government out of your way and let you be successful ON
YOUR OWN. Maybe it's time we all took our mouths off of the
government teat and stopped looking elsewhere for solutions
to our problems. Simple fact: if you want gas prices to go
down, STOP BUYING GAS!!!! Not for a day or even a week.
Make wholesale changes to YOUR lifestyle and reduce YOUR de-
pendence on fossil fuels (I do practice what I preach; I
commute by bike around 75% of the time, year-round, in Mich)

2)Like it or not, this country was built by the automobile.
It provided freedom, a means to enjoy that freedom, it low-
ered prices on EVERYTHING you buy (think how much a gallon
of milk would cost if it still came to market on a horse-
drawn trailer), it won wars for us (think of the industrial
capability it taught us and how we used that to win WWII),
etc, etc, etc. Americans LOVE their cars. I know it and so
do all of you. Don't get me wrong; I HATE to hear my co-
workers complain about gas prices when they drive their
Explorers, Expeditions and Yukons to work (and a lot of them
live 5-10 minutes away). But even more, I hate to hear/see
the mindless flock looking to their state and national
capitol for answers.


Sorry about the long post.
Something you can do...(long post)keith m.
May 17, 2001 1:55 PM
Something you can do...(long post)STEELYeyed
May 17, 2001 3:13 PM
Government Regulation began because Big Oil REQUESTED it!MeDotOrg
May 17, 2001 4:38 PM

I'll take you at your word. Ever heard of the Texas Railroad Commission? No? Then you don't know very much about about the regulation of the oil industry in the United States. If you read our history, you will understand that an unregulated, free market nearly destroyed the oil industry.

In the early 1930s huge oil fields were discovered and developed in East Texas. This caused the price of crude to plummet worldwide. To stabilize oil prices and to help conserve the valuable resource, a coalition consisting of parts of the industry, scientists, and public officials attempted to have output regulated.

After an involved, protracted, and occasionally violent political struggle, the Texas Railroad Commission won the authority to prorate, that is, to set the rate at which every oil well in Texas might produce. By limiting production in East Texas and elsewhere, commissioners succeeded both in supporting oil prices and in conserving the state's resources. Under the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935, the federal government undertook to enforce in interstate commerce the production directives of the Texas commission and its sister state agencies. When the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was organized, the Railroad Commission was used as a model.

In short, the oil industry in the United States was regulated NOT because of cries from consumers, but from cries from PRODUCERS.
May 17, 2001 10:32 PM
Close, but not quite accurate. Texas began it's first production of natural gas in the early 1870s, the Railroad Commission was created in 1899 to regulate..railroads. By 1913 Texas was concerned with conservation and modified the charter of the Railroad Commission so that it could address and prevent any waste of natural gas. The really big discovery of oil was at Spindletop in 1901 and thats when the price dropped to 34 cents a barrel. (today crude closed at $29.00+ per barrel) There was no intervention at that time as a regulatory authority. By 1919, Texas gave the RR Commission authority to conserve both oil and gas and by 1927 the first pro-ration of production (producing below capacity) was enacted by the RR to conserve the oil/gas resources of Texas was enacted. The very serious squabble over proration of the East Texas field discovered in 1931 (when the crude price dropped to $1.04 per barrel) did indeed happen and the Railroad Commission did ultimately win through legal channels the right to pro-rate production, which they had first initiated 4 years before the East Texas Field was discovered and 26 years after Spindletop.

The Railroad Commission has evolved to conserve natural resources in Texas and defend the interests of the land owners where these resources are found. It was doing so long before the any producers might have complained in 1931. You will note that there were no consumers complaining when the prices of crude and the energy industry were in the toilet in 1901, 1931, 1985-1986, or 1998-1999. It appears that consumers and consuming states felt they were somehow "owed" these artificially low prices and were unconcerned about what damage might be done to their supply of cheap energy in the future. But supply and demand tend to come back in balance, even if it happens to bite the consumer. Reality bites.
Many good points, but...MeDotOrg
May 18, 2001 9:42 AM
You raise a lot of good points and have brought a lot more details about the history of the TRRC to the discusion.

...what I was responding to were the statements:

"This Pres. ran on a promise to get the government out of your way and let you be successful ON YOUR OWN. "



My point is that the Oil Industry depended on government intervention and regulation when the market was not favorable to suppliers. Now that the marketplace is not favorable to consumers, some people are saying that we live in a "free market" economy, and the government has no business regulating or intervening. Historically this is just not true.

Prices can fluctuate wildly in a totally unregulated environment. This does not foster a good business climate. As anyone who follows the stock market knows, business hates uncertainty. It is not merely in the interests of individual consumers that government should be involved in the regulation of energy markets, it is in the interest of fostering a stable business environment.

Ever since Jimmy Carter, elected officials have considered it political suicide to mention "lowered expectations" or conservation. But conservation means efficiency. If we ask workers to be more efficient, why can't we require the same of machines? It takes the same number of people to build a Ford Focus as a Ford Expedition. The United States is less than 6% of the world's population, yet it responsible for approximately 25% of the world's energy consumption.

Conservation will help restore the "supply/demand" balance, so that energy prices will fall. There is much the government can do to promote conservation that it is not doing.
so we should do it all on our ownishmael
May 17, 2001 7:16 PM
you said you hate to see the mindless flock looking to government for you think we should all solve the countries problems may do your part and are rightfully proud of it but when no one else follows your lead and there is a hole in the ozone, the air is impure, cars are everywhere,the water is may have done your part but you were the only one...government is here to control and protect our rights...and i want them to protect my right to healthy living...what is the role of government then...tell me.
so we should do it all on our ownDEANguy
May 18, 2001 6:43 AM
If you truely want to know the role of government(Federal in this case) might I suggest you read the U.S. Constitution. It is a simple little document that has been ignored too often as of late by members of both parties. Might I also suggest the Federalist papers to further your education on the role of government.
so we should do it all on our ownishmael
May 18, 2001 11:26 AM
there are laws set up to protect people from others and from ourselves also...i dont want to read a couple hundred year old paper and dont need to to understand what the government does now....if those documents say anything to the effect that the government doesnt get involved in protecting the enviornment(which it might not) then its outdated because the government does that these days, not just individuals, thank god
so we should do it all on our ownDEANguy
May 18, 2001 12:13 PM
Well, that sums it up doesn't it? I really have nothing to say in response. So much much for an informed and educated electorate.
do you know what we are talking aboutishmael
May 19, 2001 11:57 AM
...whatever his name is said that if you want to stop the problems associated with the auto then dont drive and stop whineing....whineing to your government works and is what we call democracy..i think that is in some of those old papers you are talking about..i dont know what our governments relics say but regardless they are newly interpreted all the time, and as of now they enable the organization of individuals to form government policy on protection...if you dont agree just say so but dont turn your nose up and escape the issue by avoiding it
a rare bunchconfusion
May 17, 2001 8:47 PM
"I HATE to hear my co-workers complain about gas prices when they drive their Explorers, Expeditions and Yukons to work (and a lot of them live 5-10 minutes away)."

5-10 Minutes AWAY? A Rare bunch indeed. Don't you know if you own a $30K+ SUV you must also live in your plush little suburb to help contribute to Urban Sprawl. Then you can not only complain about high gas prices but also how run down and dangerous the downtown has gotten. WHY DOESN'T SOMEONE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT!
A copy of the bill's text:1EyedJack
May 17, 2001 10:39 PM
Doesn't provide much info., but here it is (from Write your representative!

HR 1265 IH


1st Session

H. R. 1265

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.


March 28, 2001

Mr. BLUMENAUER (for himself, and Mr. FOLEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) IN GENERAL- Paragraph (1) of section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to general rule for qualified transportation
fringe) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(D) Bicycle commuting allowance.'.

(b) BICYCLE COMMUTING ALLOWANCE DEFINED- Paragraph (5) of section 132(f) of such Code (relating to definitions) is amended by
adding at the end the following:

`(F) BICYCLE COMMUTING ALLOWANCE- The term `bicycle commuting allowance' means an amount provided to an employee
for transportation on a bicycle if such transportation is in connection with travel between the employee's residence and place of

(c) LIMITATION ON EXCLUSION- Paragraph (2) of section 132(f) of such Code is amended by striking `subparagraphs (A) and (B)' and
inserting `subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)'.

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2001.
President dosn't set tone?! Just look at T-ball sales!128
May 17, 2001 1:58 PM
More family fun from Camp Bush:

I can't believe you guys voted him in!Largo
May 17, 2001 5:36 PM
I know, most of you probably didn't vote for him.
I'm in Canada, where Bush is planning on getting all the extra energy he needs for his vision of an America that doesn't need, or want, to save energy.
To supply this energy, companies here will be putting pressure on the Government to open more protected/wilderness/parks to exploration, thereby resulting in environmental degradation here.
we are no saints up here, we use way too much energy as well, but at least our gov has made efforts to promote enrgy conservation.
Things are going to get alot worse before they get better, my friends.
This is what happens when big business and politics mix.
I can't believe you guys voted him in!SteveS
May 17, 2001 10:40 PM
We got in this condition because politics and corruption were mixed up in the previous guy somebody voted in and he and his crowd did nothing for 8 years to even begin to address the problem. Thats the problem when people lack the ability to recognize a con man.

Oh,yeah, your country is running behind last year's figures in putting natural gas inventory into storage and that is one of the factors keeping prices high all over.

Who is Canada's Prime Minister or President anyway? Don't think I have ever heard their name mentioned.
We are running behind?Largo
May 18, 2001 6:28 AM
Bush' solutionn to energy shortages is to just keep consumption high, and we'll just get more energy.
This is just a bandaid solution.
We are going to run out sooner at this rate.
There needs to be big time energy conservation.
Its ridiculous to see so many people driving around in huge trucks when they are not needed.
The F-250 series of trucks is Fords biggest seller, they have a model with a V-10.
In Europe, gas is $2 a litre+, and people here whine when it gets to $.70 a litre.
I hope it goes to $2 a litre here, and folks might start using more transit, or, Gasp! walking! Riding to work.
The reason prices are high here is that the big gas companies pre-sold the gas to the US at low rates, and when demand went up, the Canadian consumers had their rates go up to take up the slack.
And its our utilitie that presold it all, and as a utilitie, they are allowed to make a fixed profit, so up goes our rates.
And why did Bush pull you guys out of the Kyoto protocall?
His excuse was that reducing emissions is bad for the economy.
So, the economy goes before your health. You can see where his concerns lie, big corporations, not the citizen.
Steve, heres your homework assignment, look up our PMs name.
We are running behind?SteveS
May 18, 2001 7:29 AM
You really are slow, to make a stupid statement that "Bush'solutionn to energy shortages is to just keep consumption high" merely shows that you are not up to speed on the aspects of his energy plan that call for conservation. Your next stupid statement is the "bandaid solution", another ignorant statement. Clearly you don't grasp the particulars of the supply/demand equation coming to solve a problem created by the previous administration that saw a gaping wound and did nothing. Maybe you can be excused because you are a foreigner commenting on American policy. Then again, maybe not.

Sounds to me like your "utilitie"/gas companies pre-sold and did a very poor job of hedging their pre-sales of natural gas if your prices are high. Exactly the same thing that a professor from California Berkely (! of all places) said yesterday of the California utilities. However, you have it wrong, as your supply of natural gas that goes into storage now is running behind last year, it raises the concerns of anyone who has to hedge their business sales, and that tends to keep prices high. What are you going to do about that?

By the way, I found out your PM is Chretien who recently made a speech in Atlanta saying that offshore oil/gas exploration/production is a key part of Canada's economy. With a the small population of Canada, your country exports in order to provide jobs and revenues via taxes to help pay for such things as medical care. Otherwise you might be reduced to the revenues from the export of Moosehead beer, eh?

Kyoto. Never approved by the Congress and with impediments in standards applied to the US that would have slowed getting power/energy to areas that need it now, while exempting 2nd and 3rd world countries from the same standards applied to the US, it would have been harmful to the US economy at the same time it cratered during the last part of Clinton's term.
Well Steve, if you are going to get personal.....Largo
May 18, 2001 2:27 PM
Thanks for being an a$$hole Steve. Feel better insulting me?
Anyway, you obviously enjoy your present lifestyle, and Bush is your man because he will do what it takes to maintain that lifestyle.
If that means that he needs to produce more coal generating plants so that you can keep the air conditioning cranked, so be it.
If that means that you need more oil so that you can drive to the store instead of walking or transit, so be it.
Would you be willing to make a lifestyle change to save fuel/energy?
I mean a big change.
Fuel prices with large taxs, where the taxs actually went to developing alternate forms of energy.
Have you evers seen what they pay for fuel in Europe? Would you accept that?
Would you take public transit exclusively (assuming that such effective transit was developed)?
North America is the biggest consumer of energy in the world, and we are also the largest polluters. We also enjoy the highest standard of living in the world.
We can afford to have more stringent emission standards than the rest of the world, if we are willing to accept changes in our lifestyle, but we are not, and both our governments are not willing to implement these changes.
I listen to Bush, and i don't here anything that indicates he wants to change the the way things are going.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
If North Americans were to adhere to the Kyoto protical, it would give us the moral high ground to force other economies to tow the line.
But that is not going to happen, its full steam ahead,boys!
Anyways, this a bike site, and i'm not going to change your mind, nor you mine, so enough of this.
Have a nice day
Largo you are lying...keith m.
May 18, 2001 7:33 AM
When you say that "Bush's solution to energy shortages is to just keep consumption high," he never said that. You know it. Just because you believe he thinks that, don't go around spewing it as truth. I heard him give a speech yesterday where he stressed conservation. As for the Kyoto agreement, it's a bad treaty. It allows country's like China and India to polute as much as they want while strapping the USA with reppresive restrictions. To say he cares about big bussiness and not the citizen means tht you have bought the rehtoric of the extreme left.
Largo, please enlighten me!bikindave
May 18, 2001 9:51 AM
"We are going to run out sooner at this rate."
Are you aware that improvements in finding and extracting oil has led to the doubling (approx.) of known reserves (world-wide) since the '70s?

Another thing, if Bush is trying to repay 'Big Oil' at the expense of the consumers (like me, paying $1.60/gal. for fuel oil), why increase supply? You have to admit that it would be much more profitable to (here's an absurd example) sell 1 gallon of product (gas, fuel oil) for a million dollars rather than sell 1 million gallons at $1. But that isn't what he's proposing. Rather, 'Big Oil' will spend tens of billions of dollars to increase supply that will end up lowering prices. Doesn't sound too smart to me.

Not to mention his many suggestions for conservation and alternate energy sources (solar, wind and bio-mass!).

If anyone is proposing a band-aid, it's Davis/Dashle/Gephardt with their price-caps. That will only discourage conservation in the face of shortages and discourage new supply, not to mention being one of the bigger causes of California's current problems. Their (D/D/G) rhetoric about Bush not caring about the 'little guy' sounds pretty lame when you consider that Gore wanted $2/gallon gas (in which case they'd be telling us it's for our own good). Just read his book.
Largo, please enlighten me!keith m.
May 18, 2001 10:27 AM
Not only did AlGore advocate higher gas prices, he wanted everyone to drive little electric cars. Can you picture that in California? All these little electric cars stranded on the side of the road because there is no electricity available to charge them. Then yesterday Carter (remember 20% interest rates) comes out and says there is no energy crisis. COME TO CALIFORNIA JIMMY! There is no reason we can't conserve while increasing supply, that is what Bush is advocating. DO BOTH!
I can't believe you guys voted him in!RidingHigh
May 18, 2001 10:49 AM
I supose you would prefer we move back into the cave
re: Bush energy plan silent on cyclingAgainst-the-wind
May 17, 2001 7:43 PM
When I talk on the cellphone, and at the same time try to put a new CD into the changer, how in hell will I hold onto the bars??...and forget about car(bike) pooling....where will they all sit?
One on the top bar, one on the handlebars, and fit a rear rackStampertje
May 18, 2001 2:33 AM takes some practice, but it's been done before.

Aside from their gallons-per-mile fuel efficiency, what I find repulsive about a lot of SUV owners (and some other vehicles as well) is their habit of leaving the engines running while stationary, or not even in their cars! Where I live (yes, Europe) drivers are taught to switch off their engines when stopped at a railway crossing... keep the doors closed when the heater is on (or AC, for those who have one), shut off the lights when you're not in your room - not because energy is expensive, but from an ethical perspective: do not waste needlessly. Of course, the most disgusting thing is a SUV that will park right in front of your table when your enjoying lunch in the sun, and flavour your sandwich with extra fumes. Yuck!
re: Bush energy plan silent on cyclingSteve Oops not H
May 20, 2001 7:23 PM
Talking on a cell phone and putting in a new CD at the same time is very unsafe. How will you get to your gun in an emergency? Think!
re: Bush energy plan silent on cyclingeugene
May 18, 2001 4:24 AM
Because the Bush energy plan isn't a true forward thinking energy policy, but payback for Bush's big contributors who donated $50 million to his campaign. Who can blame them for doing this since they are probably hundreds of millions of dollars better off from his time as governor of Texas - and because of decisions taken in the first months of his presidency. This is corruption on a huge scale.
How can a country accept this from a man who wasn't even elected by the majority, (or fairly), to the highest post in the land? Wake up America! Look to the future and the environment that your grand kids will be living in! Energy in the US is dirt cheap compared to most of the rest of the world. If anybody can afford to pay a bit more for their energy and invest in alternative sources, then it is America.
Jimmy Carter's Washington Post reply (fyi)128
May 18, 2001 8:00 AM
Bush and co. demagogues? hmmmmm