Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Speaking of oil...

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Padgett devotes his Earth Day message to alternative energy sources. He hits Senator Lamar Alexander on gas prices and vote on a recent energy bill:

In 2008, the average Tennessee family will spend close to $5,000 on gas.
“A fellow told me last night he spent more than $90 to fill up his pickup,” Padgett said. “Remember when gas was $1.24 a gallon? That was the average cost before Senator Alexander took office.

“Americans expect their leaders to try to fix the problems that make life tough. But when an energy bill came up in the Senate last December to enforce better mileage and develop other energy sources, Senator Alexander, President Bush and other Republicans threatened to scuttle it.

“Why? Because it would have ended some of the huge tax breaks going to the oil industry. Only when that part of the bill – along with some of the alternative energy funding – was taken out did they agree to let it go through."

His opponent Bob Tuke doesn't say a great deal about energy policy on his site, so I've signed up for his email updates. Tuke does mention the rising gas prices but mainly with respect to its impact upon family budgets.

Senator Alexander recently wrote about energy policy from the point of view of TVA's efforts to find clean energy source to reduce our dependence on coal. Yesterday he spoke about the importance of setting aside more land for parks as a viable form of conservation. In particular, he addresses the Gulf of Mexico Security Act of 2006, which takes oil and natural gas production royalties and devotes them to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I'm not sure how that addresses the price of gas, but I'd be happy for someone to post and make the connection.

So basically, all three candidates have noticed the price of gas is going up. Padgett, so far, has the clearest message on why that should be a liability for one of his opponents. Whether any of the three candidates can match some concrete policy to the "Gee, gas prices are too high" rhetoric remains to be seen.

No comments: