Here in Washington state and in seven others, we are seeing a television ad supposedly directed at our Senators. It is a slick presentation hustling the virtues of climate change legislation in DC. We see a National Guardsman whining about having to clean up tar balls from the gulf oil spill, rather that doing "what I signed up for", which I guess is risking death in some international hell hole. We see a wind farm while we are being told that "clean" American energy will cut our oil dependence in half. I don't know how they got that figure, but I hope that this young man doesn't use similar fuzzy logic while handling his weapon in the Guard. So here is the kicker, I was surprised to see the sponsor of this ad is an organization called Votevets.org.
Originally created to support the Congressional election of war veterans critical of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, Votevets.org has been active as a 501(c)(4) PAC since 2006. Though claiming to be a non-partisan veterans advocacy group, they have largely supported Democrat candidates and targeted Republicans. I don't know anyone who doesn't support and appreciate our veterans, so what's all this got to do with "clean energy"?
The logic goes like this: America buys large amounts of oil from terrorist nations, and they in turn use that money to finance violence against our troops. Therefore, if America buys less oil, there will be a proportional decrease in our enemy's ability to wage war against us. Naive at best, ignorant at worst. The key premise is incorrect. We don't buy oil from terrorist nations. Most, 66% comes from Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico and although we might make an argument some oil money finds its way to terrorist organizations, that would be an issue for the State Department to deal with, (are you listening Hillary?). If America stopped buying oil tomorrow, there would still be plenty world wide demand for anyone who wants to sell it, friendly nation or not.
If Votevets.org really wanted American energy independence, they would support the development of domestic natural gas, oil shale and tar sands, not to mention the still available crude on the mainland. The disaster in the gulf only points out the added risk when government regulates so tightly that comparatively easy sources of domestic energy are placed "off limits".
These ads appear to be imploring our Senators to vote favorably on "clean energy" legislation, but they are clearly meant to be PR pieces to garner public support. You don't need to run an add just to get to the politicians. So let's support our troops in every way possible, but be wary when organizations like Votevets.org try to sway public opinion with half truths or faulty logic. Most damaging to this Country would be forcing us into a climate bill that does nothing to protect troops, while killing yet more private sector jobs, destroying our competitive advantage and burdening Americans with ever higher energy costs. The view of Votevets.org as displayed in their television ad, is very short sighted.
Originally posted on 06/05/2010 at ConservativeCompass.com