Rep leads on peak oil

Roscoe Bartlett

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Republican of Maryland, was one US politician willing to be seen at a peak oil conference.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R) of Maryland’s 6th District is a co-founder of the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus, along with Democrat Tom Udall, then in the House, but now the junior senator from New Mexico.

Yes, Virginia (er, Maryland), there IS a “Peak Oil Caucus” in the US Congress. Now that doesn’t mean that 99% of our representatives are not still in denial about the depletion of fossil fuels and what that will mean to the world economy and the American way of life. Unfortunately, denial is still the rule on Capitol Hill.

What it does mean is that Rep. Bartlett and a few other brave souls have been willing to risk ridicule from the media and their colleagues to come out in public saying that peak oil is a problem and that America should start preparing for it:

The end of cheap oil and natural gas is coming and coming fast. My hope is that more attention is going to be focused not only on the problem of global “Peak Oil”, but possible solutions to meet this challenge with the same drive and ingenuity our leaders and great minds put into getting a man to the moon.

Many people who care about the environment or clean energy may not agree with some of Bartlett’s positions. For example, he’s a big fan of nuclear power, he believes in “clean coal,” and he supports research into hydrogen.

But it’s hard not to wish that you lived in Maryland’s 6th District and could vote for Bartlett when you see the powerful language he uses to say that that he supports off-shore drilling only if some of the money can go to support developing renewable energy:

The U.S. consumes 25% of current world oil production. All of this new oil would contribute just a drop in the bucket compared to what the U.S. uses and wants to use compared to world resources. I believe that it would be immoral to use up this finite resource without providing future generations a smooth transition to the post-oil age.

Visit Bartlett online.

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