Boehner: Let’s Build Highways to Transport Fossil Fuels

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.

  • Atonymous

    Nuclear isn’t safe?

  • South by Northwest

    Whoa, is it April 1 already? This has to be gag … 

  • CarltonGlub

    The only constituents Boehner listens to have private jets an chauffeurs.

  • lyqwyd

    Nuclear is cleaner than Coal by a large margin. Sure, Fukushima & Chernobyl were major disasters, but both combined released far less radioactive material into the environment than is released every single year by generating power through mining & burning coal.

    We should absolutely put more effort into improving safety of nuclear power, but lets put things in perspective. Nuclear power is far safer than coal and oil.

  • Oil is for the most part not carried on trucks. Most of the distance it’s carried by pipelines and supertankers. Coal is carried by trains.

    But Boehner does not care about a transportation policy, and barely cares an energy policy. These are unimportant wonky issues to him. He cares about staking himself as a proper conservative who supports everything that enriches favored industries and pisses off environmentalists.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post, every word.  When a man like Boehner speaks he is not speaking to the public and he is not talking about concrete ideas (with or without merit), he is simply mouthing agreement with his corporate contributors.  

  • Eh, but don’t we move the lot of our fossil fuels by freight rail?

  • Bolwerk

    Cut this guy some slack. It’s tough to be a reptile with orange skin in a rich white man’s club.

  • Anonymous

     What lyqwyd said.  And let’s bear in mind that it took a 9.0 earthquake hitting a plant with a bad safety record to cause the Fukushima crisis. 


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