Bingaman: Act on Energy

New Mexico Senator and Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee Jeff Bingaman made headlines (subscription required) in today’s Albuquerque Journal with comments that the public is ahead of Congress on issues of climate change and increased use of renewable energy.
With a barrel of gas at nearly $100 and a gallon of gas going for over $3.00 a gallon here in New Mexico, Bingaman’s concerns are understandable. The problem is that he is complaining about high gas prices which are the very tool needed if alternative energy sources are to become competitive. Only when consumers demand alternatives in the marketplace will we actually switch from oil and gas to alternatives. Bingaman and his cronies on the Energy Committee can mandate higher fuel efficiency and ethanol usage, but as Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute points out, until some energy source comes along that is as cheap and portable as gasoline, nothing is on the horizon.
It would be nice if Bingaman and the rest of his Committee would leave the energy marketplace alone so that we can make our own decisions about the price of gasoline and alternatives, but that is not the way of Washington.