House Speaker John Boehner just gave a talk to the elite Economic Club of Washington. Mixed in with other crazy-talk about taxes being off the table for the super committee (even though they were explicitly on the table when the super committee was formed as part of the debt ceiling agreement) and government regulation being the major hindrance to job creation (as well as being the major hindrance to another financial collapse or environmental catastrophe) came this gem:
I’m not opposed to responsible spending to repair and improve our infrastructure. But if we want to do it in a way that truly supports long term economic growth and job creation, let’s link the next highway bill to an expansion of American-made energy production, removing some of the unnecessary government barriers that prevent our country from utilizing the vast energy resources that we have and also creating millions of American jobs along the way. And I think there’s a natural link between the two. As we develop new sources of American energy we’re going to need modern infrastructure to bring that energy to market.
“American-made energy production,” by the way, means more than just oil drilling (but oh boy does it mean oil drilling). It also means coal-to-liquid fuels, which the Washington Post has called a “boondoggle” that will double greenhouse gas emissions. (This is what he means when he talks about “advanced alternative fuels,” by the way. Things like solar and wind are what he calls “exotic” fuels, mandated by treehugger extremists like Nancy Pelosi.) He’s also a big fan of nuclear power, which he still says is safe and environmentally friendly.
You’ve gotta love the impression he gives, too, that transportation networks are basically like surface oil pipelines. No mention of commuters stuck on gridlocked roads or waiting too long for substandard transit service.