May 22, 2008
According to the Associated Press, U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-Frederick) has dropped his opposition to oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Representative Bartlett says high oil prices have prompted his change of heart, and that revenue from drilling leases would generate “badly needed funds for alternative and renewable energy programs.”
If a congressperson is looking for some “badly needed” revenue, it seems to me the answer is right under their nose.
Maybe they should examine the spending on wasteful pet projects known as earmarks, or pork, that many members attach to bills to appease their local voters? Or the ongoing joke, and an expensive one at that, that the Capitol Visitor Center has been? Or the billions of dollars under the direction of the Coalition Provisional Authority in the first years of the Iraq war that simply vanished? Or how about the over half a billion dollars that’s been spent broadcasting TV Marti to Cuba despite a miniscule audience?
When it comes to government accounting, and a representative on the Hill talking about “money in the bank,” the taxpayer in me cringes. There is a major disconnect between accountability and Congress’ fuzzy math.
Is this the best idea our government representatives can come up with when it comes to generating revenue for energy programs?
Francis Smith, Special Publications Assistant Editor