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Part 8 of Dissecting the Debate in Philly

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Williams: We are back from the campus of Drexel University here in Philadelphia. Our debate continues now. We're going to introduce some rule changes as we go, and for this next question, alone in this segment, we're going to enforce a -- or try to -- a 30-second limit on responses. We're going to begin with Senator Dodd and go right down the panel.

30-second limits. This will never work.

Most experts believe we're looking at $100 a barrel oil prices, perhaps very soon. Most experts further believe there are some folks in America who may be paying 50 percent more for things like heating oil this winter, let's say, where winters are difficult, in two states that come to mind: Iowa and New Hampshire, say nothing of your home state of Connecticut.

As a member of the U.S. Senate, are these people doomed to paying more, to suffering through these energy costs this winter, Senator? Aside from blue ribbon panels, what can be done right now about what afflicts the United States on this issue of energy?

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Here’s your chance. The set up is there. Although it’s framed oddly, will you gain the support of more voters in Iowa and New Hampshire?

Dodd: I would suggest to you what Senator Byron Dorgan and I offered twice in the last couple of years, and that was to say that any increase in price over $40 a barrel either be reinvested in alternative energies or new exploration here, or provide a direct rebate to consumers across the country to reduce the cost that you have exactly described here with these increases in the price of a barrel of oil.

That would provide some immediate relief, with low-income energy assistance and other programs, which I and others have championed over the years to provide assistance to those who are going to be in desperate conditions with health as well. But that's the short-term answer to this problem.

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The longer-term answer is obviously to stop what we do every single day and that is borrow $1 billion every single day to buy foreign oil offshore here.

We ought to moving more directly, obviously, to energy independence here. I'd invite people to chrisdodd.com to get a long, detailed explanation of exactly how to do that.

Williams: We're going to try to enforce this time limit.

Aww, come on. He was just getting started. I mean, we finally get to a guy who has a real plan to offer for energy independence and isn’t just saying, “Oh look the politics of energy independence is tough and there’s hard work to do but we’ve got this problem where people inflate ideas and stack them with statistics that are hard to get to the bottom of but we need to cut to the bottom of them so we can help the middle class who is being broken down by energy costs.” Now, he was laying out a plan I can think about and you cut him off.

Senator Biden?

Biden: A big piece of that cost is risk. People are betting on things getting worse. That old joke, you know: When you're in a hole, you should stop digging.

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Yeah, I seem to remember that joke being used in a previous debate. It was about borrowing from China to prosecute a war in Iraq. So, yeah, that is an old one there, Joe.

Why do we continue to cause the price of oil to rise by continuing to rattle the saber with Iran? Why do we continue to cause the price of oil to rise by a foreign policy that is absolutely moribund of any center?

And what we have to do immediately to take care of those people in Iowa and New Hampshire: provide for emergency fuel assistance.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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