Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Email From the White House Upsets Me

I like to stay current with politics.  What the Administration is up to is of great interest to me, which is why I'm on the email list for the White House.  On March 31, 2011 I received the email below.  I've posted my responses below that.

The White House, Washington

Good afternoon,

Surprised at how much it cost last time you filled up your gas tank? You're not alone. Millions of families and businesses across the country are feeling the pinch of rising gas prices.

Here's the thing: as long as our economy relies on oil and as demand in countries like China and India continues to grow, we'll be subject to these kinds of spikes in gas prices.

We've been down this road before -- just three years ago, gas prices rose to their highest level ever. There was no quick fix to lower prices then, just as there isn't one now.

For decades, politicians here in Washington have talked a lot about the dangers of our dependence on foreign oil, but this talk hasn't always been met with action. And today, Americans pay a price for that inaction every time they fill up their tanks.

Yesterday, we unveiled a Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future that sets a goal of reducing our imports of foreign oil. By 2025 -- a little more than a decade from now -- we will have cut that reliance by one-third.

Learn more about the Blueprint and watch President Obama's speech on energy security:

In his speech yesterday, President Obama outlined his plan to secure our energy future by developing and securing America's energy resources, bringing energy costs down for consumers, and innovating our way to a clean energy future.

  • Increase domestic energy production. Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003. And, because we can't just drill our way out of this crisis, we're reducing our dependence on oil by increasing fuel efficiency and increasing our production of natural gas and biofuels.
  • Reduce demand for oil. Transportation is responsible for 70 percent of our petroleum consumption, so one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is to make transportation more efficient.  That's why, in April of last year, the Obama Administration established a groundbreaking national fuel efficiency standard for cars and trucks that will save us 1.8 billion barrels of oil and save consumers thousands of dollars. We're also making investments in electric vehicles and the advanced batteries that power them to ensure that high-quality, fuel-efficient cars and trucks are built right here in America.
  • Increase production of clean energy. In his State of the Union address, President Obama set a goal that by 2035, 80 percent of our electricity should come from clean energy sources including renewables like wind and solar, nuclear energy, efficient natural gas, and clean coal.

The concepts are straightforward, but the execution will be challenging. In order to make this happen, Republicans and Democrats in Congress must find common ground for a responsible and effective energy policy.

But no matter your views on this issue, I think we can all agree that the United States simply can't afford to leave this challenge for future generations to solve.


David Plouffe
Senior Advisor to the President

P.S. Check out our new Advise the Advisor video featuring Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and give us your feedback on how we can meet the President's goal of reducing imports of oil by one-third in a little over a decade:


The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

I've heard all of this before.  In fact, I keep hearing the same stuff coming from our current President and past Presidents about our need to rid ourselves of our dependence on foreign oil.  Before I was born, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on top of the White House in recognition of the fact that we can't depend on Middle East to meet our energy demands forever.  What upsets me is that we don't really mean anything the White House announced above.  As nearly as I can tell we're not actually doing anything to rid ourselves of our dependence on foreign oil.  

Blueprints are Great if You Follow Them
I highly doubt that by 2025 our use of foreign oil will really cut by 1/3.  My educated guess- America's consumption of foreign oil will be significantly higher than it is today, not less.

Biofuels Kill Poor People
While it's great for agribusiness in this country, fuel from corn is not a solution for our energy problems.  In fact, our increased use of biofuels is driving up the price of corn and in turn causing people in the developing world to starve.  You don't mess with a man's ability to buy tortillas when he can't afford anything else.

Natural Gas is Shaky at Best
Natural Gas is OK except for the "unexplained" earthquakes that occur in regions that had not previously had earthquakes which accompany the underground blasting needed to go after natural gas reserves.

Increasing Fuel Efficiency in Cars
The big auto makers in Detroit will ignore the new legislation regarding increasing the fuel efficiency of our vehicles.  They will simply argue that they can't build such vehicles the way they did when California passed higher efficiency standards.  Unless we're willing to impose serious financial penalties for noncompliance against the auto makers, this won't help.  Given the massive bailouts given to Chrysler and GM, I highly doubt that we will actually enforce these new regulations.

Wind and Solar
These technologies should be no-brainers for America to immediately implement in large scale.  I'm sickened by the number of planned power generation plants I've heard of being scrapped because they will ruin the view or the natural beauty of wherever.  I'm looking straight at you Senator Dianne Feinstein.  You think the view of the dessert is more important than producing solar energy- the cleanest type of energy possible?  I don't like this.  Also, the idea that the rich East Coast dwellers will have their view of the ocean ruined by off-shore wind farms disgusts me.  

We need to immediately invest heavily in wind and solar energy production.

I'm willing to be realistic about our energy demands and admit that there is probably a need for more energy production from nuclear plants in America.  Still I seem to recall there being some news about the problems of nuclear energy production coming out of Japan...

Let's try to limit the amount of nuclear energy production we're getting ourselves into.

I can't believe the White House used the term "clean coal"!  There is no such thing.  



  1. Corn isn't just going to your tortillas. If I remember correctly, some 80% of corn and other crops go towards livestock feed.

    Please Mr. President, think of the bacon.

  2. oh Jay..... XD

    Really interesting read, btw. I totally agree. It's always the most important issues that get ignored.

  3. Because the global warming is just one capitalistic concept, you scare people, they will buy things to make that fear go away. GLOBAL WARMING bla bla bla, Oh now I will buy a toyota prius and ledlamps.

  4. Oil is a limited resource, we must seriously tap into alternative, natural fuels.

  5. This is so messed up.. If we had a system of direct email here in the U.K, I think people would be a little more clearer aswell as to what's happening, but the U.K government in general is just fucking retarded -.-

    Generally I'm not to sure on how everything works in the US (as I live in the U.K), not being ignorant.. Just I haven't had time to, but I'm learning!

  6. Another sock puppet of Haliburton ???

  7. This is just how the government does things. It'll drag it's ass to the very end.

  8. This is awesome! Love it! keep up the great work!

  9. I completely agree. solar and wind, and even hydro energy is the future. god damnit. we're inheriting a horrible situation.

  10. Global warming is one of, if not THE single most important issue facing mankind in the 21st century.
    I agree (for the most part) with your points.

  11. Yeah, that is pretty ridiculous. Man priorities!

  12. Eh, there are a few ways of looking at it. Yes, our government likes to talk big about how they'll fix the energy issue and then take little visible action, but we as consumers have a hand in it as well. How many of us actually buy hybrid or electric cars? Unplug electronics at night? If a gas station advertised that they only used US produced oil, but cost 10¢ a gallon more, would you buy it? It is kind of sad though that little European countries have already gone to 100% wind/solar/tidal power and have hydrogen fuel stations, while we are just starting to get on the ball.

  13. sweet post, very thought out and interesting.