Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Energy Tsunami Coming.....,

From the Associated Press; A bipartisan group of 27 elder statesmen is sending an open letter to both presidential candidates and every member of Congress saying the country faces "a long-term energy crisis" that threatens the security and prosperity of future generations if swift action isn't taken.

The group includes Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and six other former secretaries of state or defense, former senators of both parties and a half dozen former senior White House advisers and other Cabinet officers for both Republican and Democratic presidents.

"There's an energy tsunami coming, and when you see it coming you better get on top of the wave, or you're going to get crushed by it," he said in an interview.

Jones, the 40-year military veteran who has had discussions about energy with both Obama and McCain, said he hoped the letter's sense of urgency will influence both campaigns. "Both candidates are still embryonic in their thinking about this," he said.

It's not only politicians who are faulted in the critique.

"We demand more energy and complain about high prices, but we restrict energy exploration and production. We embrace the promise of energy efficiency, but we are slow to make adjustments in our energy-intensive lifestyles," the letter says.

Production of electricity, for example, is taken "almost for granted." At the same time, people oppose new power plants and don't want to invest adequately in energy technology research, the writers say.

Thomas "Mack" McLarty, former White House chief of staff to President Clinton, said the letter emphasizes that "the next president is going to have to put energy right at the top of his agenda" and do it quickly.

"There will be a window there to build bipartisan consensus to move forward," McLarty said in an interview.

The letter includes 13 broad recommendations. They include aggressively promoting energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption, increased commitments to both nuclear energy and renewable energy sources, making coal more environmentally acceptable and moving transportation away from oil as a fuel.

Other senders of the letter include former Secretaries of State James A. Baker and George Shultz, former Defense Secretaries Frank Carlucci, William Cohen, William Perry and James Schlesinger; former senior White House advisers Howard Baker, Robert "Bud" McFarlane, Kenneth Duberstein and Brent Scowcroft; former Energy Secretaries James Watkins and Spencer Abraham; former CIA Director James Woolsey; former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans; former Democratic Sens. J. Bennett Johnston, Sam Nunn and Charles Robb; and former Republican Sen. George Allen.