Slattery holds a press conference… and manages to baffle the shit out of me.

July 11, 2008

I’m starting this one with a few choice quotes that have been taken from an email I recieved from Abbie Hodgson, Communications Director for Slattery for Senate. It starts out very well.

$4 gas is a direct result of the disastrous policy decisions made by politicians in Washington, including my opponent, Pat Roberts,” Slattery said….

In addition to the failed energy policy of the Bush Administration, Slattery pointed to failures in economic and foreign policy as contributors to the high price of fuel.

 “The declining value of the dollar has helped drive gas prices to record levels,” Slattery said. “This is a direct result of the irresponsible spend and borrow fiscal policy of the Bush Administration that Sen. Roberts has supported.”

 Slattery said that Americans are paying a “war premium” on gas as a result of the War in Iraq.

 “Stabilizing the Middle East will help to dramatically lower the price of gas,” he said.

Slattery asserted that speculation was artificially driving up the cost of oil and that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission must be directed to aggressively monitor oil markets.

 “Some experts believe speculation on Wall Street is driving up oil prices by as much as $40 a barrel,” Slattery said. “The ‘Enron Loophole’ Roberts voted for has allowed energy commodities to be traded on markets exempt from federal, state, or local oversight. By closing the loophole and restoring the original intent of the law, we can drive down the price.”

Slattery also expressed concern that Big Oil companies were intentionally driving up the cost of oil.

“With the help of Roberts, international oil companies have reaped record profits at the expense of Kansas families,” Slattery said. “Congress should investigate to ensure that oil companies have not intentionally created supply shortages as they did in the late ’90’s.” 


So far, so good. I’ve been screaming about all of this for a while (I also have a pretty damn good way of explaining why unregulated speculation drives up prices which I might get around to posting one of these days). However, suddenly Slattery jumps the tracks and drives the train right into Crazytown.

Slattery also offered long-term solutions in the form of comprehensive energy reform including reduced dependence on foreign oil.

 “The first step to energy independence is conservation,” Slattery said. “The cheapest form of energy is energy we don’t use at all.”

 Alright, fair enough, if a little obvious. But like a good Steven Wright punch-line, you’ve got to wait for it… here it comes… NOW!

Slattery also said that we should expand domestic oil production.

“While I do not believe we can drill ourselves out of this situation, we must engage all of our resources to begin rectifying it,” Slattery said.

 WOW!!! Really? What party do you belong to again??? Do you have any idea how long it would take for drilling now to have an effect on the world oil market??? Any other ideas?

Other energy alternatives suggested by Slattery included revisiting nuclear generation and developing clean coal technology.

WOOHOO!!! Awesome!!! Three Mile Island is such a nice tourist attraction and all, I wish we could do something like that in Kansas! As for clean coal, every time I hear someone use this term, it reminds me of the movie “The Yes Men”. There is a great prank they pull where they make the suggestion that since 90% of the nutrients you consume are excreted, you can take excrement, sterilize it, remove all of the toxic chemicals and feed it to people in third world countries, all while allowing McDonald’s to make a profit selling shitburgers. The problem with that is, no matter how clean, sterile and non-toxic, you are still feeding starving people shit. All of the “clean coal” talk also doesn’t take into account the mining process: both the pollution involved in practices like “mountain-topping” and the deplorable conditions in which the miners live and work. I’m just not so sure of what I think of Jim Slattery’s energy plan.

Bread, peace and freedom.


7 Responses to “Slattery holds a press conference… and manages to baffle the shit out of me.”

  1. Josh Maxwell Says:

    Nice site. Theres some good information on here. Ill be checking back regularly.

  2. Aunt Warren Says:

    Dearest Jason, Our nephew,

    I love your blog! I love your anger, and all that you put into it.
    Unfortunately, humanity has reached the point where it cannot sustain itself. All our constructs, all our work is now turning us back. The damage to our Mother Earth is too great. Even if humanity discovered a new source of fuel, it is still too late.
    Personally, I look forward to the die-off. I’m right in the middle of it……..but I have skills that will enable me to survive. Can you skin, quarter, and then process a carcass? I’m thinking deer/elk/etc………
    No wildlife available?……Harvest the old people in your neighborhood!

    Is it satire, or is real?

  3. KevinS Says:

    You’re good at opposing, but I don’t see what you are proposing instead. Slattery’s taking a pragmatic approach here. He’s not saying that domestic drilling will lower prices by Labor Day, but if we start the process now, we’ll be able to tap into them later (when the energy crisis is even worse than it now). “Clean coal” is, of course, a misnomer, but it’s still better than dirty coal. Nuclear – well, I understand that there’s a lot of fear, but there lots of nuclear plants up already – seems to me that we’ve got a good understanding of the precautions that are needed to control the system, but I wouldn’t be opposed to even stricter oversight of operations and contingency plans.
    Bottom line is, Slattery’s overing up solutions that, while they won’t completely eliminate our energy problems, are a step in the right direction. And he’s all for increased funding for alternative energy sources – but those won’t give us an immediate fix, either. The goal is obviously to get us to the point where all of our energy is renewable energy, but it’s going to be a rocky road getting there. Too bad we didn’t devote more resources sooner.

  4. KevinS Says:

    P.S. Love the protest songs.

  5. libdemks Says:

    Glad you like the Protest songs, Kevin. Here’s an idea of what I’m proposing: wind power and better storage for the electricity from wind. But the problem I have with Slattery’s proposals aren’t as much scientific as they are philosophical. The energy situation we are in can be likened to Greensburg after the tornado: it isn’t a crisis, it is a disaster. Now we have to ask ourselves where we want to be in 10 years because from all of the legit science I’ve been reading, it will take a decade for anything to happen. So do we strongly pursue all of the old ways of doing things because they are easy, no matter the impact; or do we use this moment to say, “it’s going to be tough and there’s a lot of work to do, but I’m going to try to make sure things are better for my kids”. The people of Greensburg made a decision on this and I think it was the correct one. Which side of this energy debate do you want to tell them you were on 10 years from now?

  6. KevinS Says:

    It will take *at least* a decade. And I agree that switching to renewable energy is a great way to better our world for us and our children and the entire future of mankind. It’s amazing the impact this will have – and it’s crucial for our survival as a species.
    But our economy cannot be switched to renewables overnight. We need the parallel development of better, cleaner “old” technologies to lessen the impact until the switch to truly renewable energy is complete. I think your “it’s going to be tough, but…” argument is severely underestimating the impact to our economy of an energy disaster that we have not yet seen the full extent of.
    I also think that Slattery – and all of us – needs to really flesh out the “conservation” piece that he mentioned as being the most important thing we need to do. It’s going to take more than switching out our lightbulbs. Looking out my window now, there’s a semi driving past at least once every couple seconds. Our entire society is based on oil. We’re going to have to completely reinvent our societies and our industries, and this is all going to take a lot of time. And there’ll still be plenty of hardship to go around.

  7. KevinS Says:

    Just ran across this video of Slattery from a month ago where he talks about environmental controls, which ties into your post above, and sheds some light on where he’s coming from:

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