Peña steps down
Real energy experts
Clinton doesn't know where to find them
|Federico Peña will step down in July as
head of the Department Opposed to Energy,
even before he had time to do much damage. On 6/18/98, Bill Clinton nominated
Bill Richardson to replace him.
Richardson, a former Democratic congressman from New Mexico, and present U.S. ambassador to the UN, has felt restricted working in the shadow of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright [Associated Press, 6/18/98]. He has experience dealing with Democratic People’s Republics like Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. It’s amazing what the Clinton administration regards as adequate qualifications to run a department.
The U.S. abounds with energy experts who work in fuels (coal, oil natural gas, uranium); energy technology (electrical generation, transportation, reactors, fusion experiments); and energy distribution (HV power lines, railroads, tankers, liquefied natural gas pipelines); and all fields of research related to energy (physics, engineering, chemistry). They work at national laboratories (Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Lawrence-Livermore) and academia (MIT, Cal Tech, Princeton, Harvard), corporations (Texaco, Exxon, Mobil, GE, United Technologies, ABB, Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel), and dozens of utilities.
So where does Clinton look for somebody to head an agency that deals with energy? He picks a political crony whose expertise lies in dealing with oily characters like Tariq Assiz. Clinton said the politically correct Richardson “has first-hand experience in deregulating the oil and gas industries, promoting alternative sources of energy to ensure that energy development meets tough standards of environmental safety” [Wall Street Journal 6/18/98]. To quote from the Associated Press release: “Richardson … had been considering whether the energy job would help him if he runs some day for governor of New Mexico or is considered a vice presidential candidate in 2000.”
We can only hope that Peña leaves the office the way he found it — with the dictionary turned to energy to give the inductee a running start.
|Energy Fact||The energy contained in about 200 pounds of gasoline (30 gallons) is equivalent to the energy contained in a ton of TNT.|
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