It would be funny if it weren't true (okay, it's still a little bit funny).
Remember when Republicans used to make fun of Democrats spending “your money”? Let's see, that was way back in —- well, every day for the last thirty years. Well, take heart, we now have a Republican who can out hairbrain the most hairbrain idea ever concocted for throwing away tax dollars.
Meet Mike Conaway of Midland (yeah, he's a Republican). He's introduced the “Fuel Consumption Education Act”.
When you stop laughing, I'll meet you on the other side of the flip.The Act:
would appropriate $10 million for U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to create a public-private partnership with industry and launch a TV, print and Internet advertising campaign. Automotive, gas refining and oil companies will be included.
Recommended tips will include combining trips, accelerating slowly from stoplights, keeping vehicle tires aired up and carpooling, a Conaway spokesman indicated.
What's worse is that other Texas Republicans actually think it's a good idea to tell people that driving less (which is what the above tips amount to) will use less gas.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Ralph Hall of Rockwall said the chairman of the subcommittee on energy and air quality expects the bill to be approved by the full committee this week and come to a floor vote next week. “Mr. Hall is for anything we can do to bring down energy costs, education being one,” she said.
“We need everything — more production in new areas of the Gulf of Mexico, on-shore areas and more conservation and alternative fuels. Mr. Conaway's bill will fit in with those goals and I haven't heard of any opposition to it.”
It's just another attempt to turn the Wayback Machine back into a time that never existed:
State Rep. G.E. “Buddy” West of Odessa, chairman of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee in Austin, said the bill will encourage practices like those commonly used in the 1940s and '50s, when people planned their trips “and you didn't get to go somewhere every time you had a whim.
“We need to do all we can to educate the public on how to reduce the use of fuel,” said West. “One thing is learn to cut our trips down and try to get everything done at one time.”
Or, maybe, the Republicans are just trying to totally change the meaning of language used to discuss our ongoing fuel fiasco:
Introduced last Saturday, the bill's preamble says, “Today's gasoline prices are taking a serious toll on the pocketbooks of all Americans and nearing a level of national emergency.
“A large number of factors contribute, including worldwide demand for crude oil, taxes, international conflicts, regional supply chains, environmental regulations and refining capacity. Increased driving efficiency will lower demand and thereby prices in the short term.”
“driving efficiency”? WTF, over? Is this an attempt to subvert fuel efficiency standards? If so, that would only be the first lie contained in the bill. Carpooling doesn't alter efficiency, it just lowers consumption. Your car gets the same crappy mileage it always did.
Here's another nice little dirty trick tucked away in a choking amount of fluff, though:
The legislation also will instruct Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to terminate the federal Job Bank program.
Uh, is eliminating a job search program supposed to save gas, too?
Note: Texas Democrat Gene Green is listed as supporting this effort. How about letting him know how dumb this idea is – and how dishonest?