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What crisis?

To the editor: In a recent Times Sentinel Guest Viewpoint commentary headlined, Energy crisis demands action, Bernie Senders, the once and future socialist wonk, resolutely announces his four-point legislative attack on the crisis. It is fraught with hyperbole and feel-good short-term palliatives and absent long-term solutions. Heres the plan minus the hype and unfounded pronouncements: 1. Soak the oil companies obscene profits. But an oil company any corporation does not own itself; its owned by thousands upon thousands of stockholders, big and small. The vast sum of these obscene profits goes to retirees pension plans, small investors in mutual funds; municipal, state and federal employees pension funds; and, across the Board, millions of other small stockholders. But Mr. Sanders redistribution of the oil companies profits to help Americans cope with the cost of rising fuel prices will deflate the value of workers pensions. How do they cope with those rising costs? But, what they heck, its only political rhetoric: it doesnt have to be true or make sense and Bernies pension is fatter than most Vermonters and safer than anyone elses. 2. Meddle with the futures market. Aside from ticking off a lot of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle who play the futures market (as a lot of people with a lot of money do), the pending legislation begs the question posed in a Charles Addams cartoon of H-bomb scientists musing over a colleagues query, How do we know it wont destroy the world until we try it? Last time I looked, an MBA was not a requirement for congressional candidates, nor objectivity sufficient to be Equal Opportunity Meddlers without an eye for friends profits, donkeys and elephants alike. But it sure sounds good unless it does destroy, not the world, but our own economy. 3. The Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act to double the funding for the [Low Income Home Energy Assistance] program. In other words, the people who most need help because of Democrats amorphous, virtually indefinable energy program, in lockstep with their consistent opposition to tightly-limited Arctic drilling, are going to get help from an already overtaxed public whose energy costs are also rising. Further, the Democrat-inspired impediments to construction of new refineriesour most recent was built 40 years agohave made current refineries the bottleneck in gas and fuel oil production, reducing supply and thus contributing to the rising costs that impact the needy worst. And, of course, the Dems perpetual answer to problems of their own causing is increased taxation rather than increased production. Its easier that way; they dont have to create a solution, just another tax. 4. Aggressively break our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. Right. And we do that how? By waiting for enough wind?For the sun to shine day and night with no clouds? By spending decades researching sufficient fossil fuel alternatives while ignoring Europes success and safety with nuclear power, despite its beneficial effect on the greening of that continents ecosystem and economy? By continuing to buy foreign oil for decades while Congress lurches toward viable solutions that private industry, with reduced energy costs from conservation-minded Alaskan oil drilling and safely generated nuclear power (see: Europe above.), could achieve better in half the time. Imagine how much more comfortable wed all be if we speedily achieved oil independence, buying us time for the coherent and cooperative development of sound, reliable, renewable energy sources if the Congress can ever unite long enough to develop a concerted, by-partisan drive toward accelerated research? After all, they are supposed work on our behalf not solely for reelection. While Mr. Sanders did not write the headline, it begs action though the commentary provides none with any long-term effect. Bernie needs a passport to the real world of energy supply, demand, and production solutions. Sadly, he offers us only class divisiveness and opinionated rhetoric. That isnt going to keep the rest of us very warm this winter. David H. Millson, New Haven

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