Like more than one Democrat in Virginia this morning, I am scratching my head at Jim Hoeft's latest post on Bearing Drift. Jim asks rhetorically: "Where are the environmental Republicans?"
It's a surprising question from someone who holds himself out as a savvy analyst of the Republican Party, particularly the Republican Party here in Virginia. The answer is obvious and I'm surprised Jim doesn't know it. Jim, here's the answer, as simply as I can put it.
The Republican Party sold itself out to carbon-based fuel interests a long, long time ago.
The Republican Party at every level: nationally, state, and local, takes in enormous amounts of money from oil and coal company lobbyists and executives and they do so with the understanding that they will protect the oil and coal industries' interests and profits.
It's a simple matter of supply and demand Jim. Alternative sources of energy are--well--alternatives to oil and coal. Don't you understand that? If a scientific breakthrough were to make solar power technology cheap and easy to install, then all the coal in West Virginia would be transformed from a valuable, mineable asset into soft black rock that isn't really suitable for anything. All of the wealth represented by those coal deposits would evaporate Jim.
And what if a strain of algae was developed that could "grow" an oil-like substance safely in large tanks on shore that could be made into a motor fuel cheaply and safely, what then? All the oil deposits around the world? Worthless? Drilling technology? Instantly obsolete. Super tankers? Who needs super tankers when we can create all the algae-fuel farms and plants we need right here in the United States, owned and operated by Americans?
Jim, there is an old saying which you ought to be aware of, because it is the central operating principle of the Republican Party of the 21st century: "He who pays the piper, calls the tune."
I'll leave you Jim, with a concrete ongoing example: former-U.S. Senator George F. Allen.
When George F. Allen was beaten by Jim Webb in an upset in 2006, the ex-Senator Allen was suddenly confronted by the need to go and get a real job, after loafing around the U.S. Senate for six years doing as little as humanly possible. But Allen was able to very neatly side step the need to find a real job when he was hired (bought) by the oil and coal lobby. George F. Allen was installed as the head of the American Energy Freedom Center, a conservative think tank affiliated with the Institute for Energy Research, despite the fact that George F. Allen has no background in energy, freedom, or thinking.
Jim, this is the guy the Republican Party of Virginia will be running for U.S Senate in 2012. Why don't you go and talk with George F. Allen about the importance of alternative energy?