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I can 't believe it. Gas is more than $3 a gallon as I write this (and who knows how much by the time this is printed, and our "Decider " president 's solution: give HIM the opportunity to set mileage standards for new cars!

I mean, really who doesn 't know that it takes years for new cars to go through the development period before they actually hit the showrooms? Oh, yeah I forgot the people who actually vote for Bush probably don 't know that. Like they don 't know a whole lot of other things.

But I digress ...OK, new mileage standards which will never go anyway, because big industry, especially the obscenely rich oil companies, won 't let their puppet make it happen would save on gas use, though have absolutely no effect on gas prices. And the "working Joe " Bush purports to have sympathy for couldn 't afford a new car, anyway. About the time these fantasy new mileage standards come into effect, Joe might be able to afford a car made this year.

Or maybe he could buy a hybrid? I don 't know if Joe has checked those prices lately, but I have. Forget it.

And you 'll notice that Bush only talked about cars. He didn 't mention trucks. Or the ubiquitous SUVs. I guess you won 't have to worry about new mileage standards if you make, or drive, Hummers.

So what else has Bush proposed to help us with accelerating gas prices? Well, gee, let me think ...how about drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge? Which no one but those oil companies wants to do, anyway. And which will take ten years to develop. And which will provide I forget the exact time, but it 's short a few years ' worth of oil. Gosh, that 's almost as efficient as changing the mileage standards.


Oh, right we can waive clean air standards so the refineries won 't have to work so hard or spend so much. So Joe 's kid gets asthma, and needs lots of medical care which Joe has no insurance to pay for ...no, I won 't go there.

Or we can send each taxpayer $100. Like that 's going to help Joe when he wants to take his family on vacation this summer.

New Jersey is talking about a pilot project to end their ban on self-serve gas (New Jersey and Oregon are the only states that won 't let drivers pump their own gas). The Pilot project will involve some of the gas stations on the NJ Turnpike and "a few " elsewhere, and the Governor says it will save maybe five or six cents a gallon. Right. And there go jobs for a whole bunch of gas jockey Joes.

Or, Bush says, we can stop sending a million or so barrels of oil to the strategic reserves. Psst, Bush, ol ' buddy we use about two million barrels a day in this country.

Oh, yeah, he mentioned cutting tax breaks for the oil companies by $2 billion. Well, that 's a step in the right direction. But: that 's going to make a difference, when they got a whopping $14.5 billion in breaks altogether? And making $16 billion in profits in this last quarter?

Just how stupid does Bush think we are? Oh ...I forgot.

 

Lynn Hirshman is a writer who is also the Executive Director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. Her passion for social justice is matched only by her passion for the renewable energy that may yet save our planet.

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