Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Nashville City Papers Outlines Differences Between Ford and Hilleary On Gas Prices

As I have been saying for some time now on this blog--Harold Ford Jr. gets "it" when it comes to our nation's energy crisis.

He not only has a short term solution to ease the pain at the pump, but he also has a long term strategy that will make our nation energy independent.

His dedication to finding a solution to this crisis is show in his latest television and radio spots. (Listen to Congressman Ford's new radio spot here! Watch Congressman Ford's new TV spot here!)

Late last week the Nashville City Paper had a good article that outlined the key differences between Congressman Ford and Van Hilleary when it comes to energy:
The U.S. Senate campaign will likely revolve on many issues, but one emerging battle between two candidates is looming over how to lower gas prices and decrease America’s reliance on foreign oil.

And the differences are already apparent.

The campaign members of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Van Hilleary and Democratic front-runner Harold Ford Jr. battled recently after Hilleary attacked Ford in a campaign advertisement.

And those two candidates have somewhat differing energy policies on increasing the supply of oil and totally different perspectives on a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

Hilleary said in an interview with The City Paper that he is in favor of drilling in Alaska’s “frozen wasteland” to increase the supply of oil to accommodate for the increased demand and to lower the price of gas.

“We have high gas prices now, but I think that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg because we are not doing anything to speak of to increase the supply for energy while the demand for energy seems to explode worldwide,” Hilleary said.

Ford is also in favor of drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, but only if Congress raises the CAFE standards, a measure of mile per gallon criterion, to increase fuel efficiency, said Michael Powell, senior advisor for the Ford campaign.

Oil Profits Tax

One proposal in Washington that has been discussed is imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies, which have been banking record earnings recently.

Ford campaign officials said they are in favor of a temporary windfall profits tax on big oil to pay for a couple month long gas tax suspension, Powell said.

However, Hilleary said he is against a windfall profits tax, saying it can have unintended consequences, like limiting an oil company’s ability to explore for additional supply.

“I’ve never been in favor of tax increases,” Hilleary said. “I just think we need to provide some competition so the market can work its magic.”

Congressional records

Both campaigns examined their possible opponents’ records while they were in Congress - in Hilleary’s case - and Ford’s current record in Washington.

That continued Thursday when the National Republican Senatorial Committee blasted Ford for voting against a bill to ease refinery regulations, saying Ford sided with “red tape and environmentalists.”

The Ford campaign’s Powell responded by saying both Republicans and Hilleary are “bought and sold by oil companies.”

“I think the Republicans are really vulnerable on energy and I think they are trying to deflect their vulnerability by attacking Harold,” Powell said.

Hilleary said Ford is a “liberal Democrat” who will be a “good vote for the radical environmental lobby.”

Powell countered by saying, “[Hilleary is] fighting yesterday’s fights with yesterday’s labels and has no idea about what to do about the future energy needs of this country.”

Former Congressman Ed Bryant and former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker are opposing Hilleary for the Republican nod.

As you can see, Van Hilleary offers nothing but the same, tired rhetoric the Republicans have been saying for years about energy and oil dependence. Neither Hilleary, Bryant, or Corker have a real plan to get our nation on the road to energy independence as Congressman Ford does.

Lets not send another friend of Big Oil to the U.S. Senate.

As Congressman Ford says, if you are fed up everytime you fill up, send a new generation to the United States Senate this year.