Non-energy Fact

Peña steps down

Real energy experts
are available

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.

 To main Energy Advocate Index 
The Energy Advocate


Copyright © The Energy Advocate 1998. All rights reserved.