Rep. Ed Markey: Real Genius

by William Yeatman on May 10, 2011

in Blog, Features

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According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the finest writer in American history, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” By this criterion, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is a real genius, because he manages to function in the Congress, despite the fact that he thinks the price of gasoline should go up and down, simultaneously.

As one of the Congress’s foremost global warming alarmists, Rep. Markey believes that hydrocarbon energy is the cause of the supposed “problem” that is global warming. Due to this belief, he is a staunch supporter of energy policies designed to make hydrocarbon energy more expensive, so that Americans use less of it, and thereby fight global warming. For example, he co-authored the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme passed by the House of Representatives in June 2009. (Thankfully, the bill died in the Senate.) Because the entire point of this policy was to “put a price” on carbon, it would have increased the price of gasoline, by design.

OK….So Rep. Markey supports higher gas prices to fight climate change. However, Rep. Markey is also a politician, in addition to being a global warming alarmist. And, like all American politicians, he gets the vapors when gas prices rise. The reason is simple: Americans get angry when they have to pay $4 a gallon, and nothing terrifies incumbent politicians like angry voters. This is why Rep. Markey last week told the press,

“Now, next week I will have legislation out on the floor that ensures that we do have a strategy to deploy the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. When President Bush 1 used it during the first Persian Gulf War, the price of oil went down 33 percent. When Bill Clinton used it in September and October of 2000, the price [of gas] went down 18 percent. When George Bush 2 used it after Katrina, it went down 9 percent.”

That is, he intends to introduce a policy to lower the price of gas.

The cynic in me thinks that Rep. Markey is trying to have it both ways, depending on the direction of prevailing political winds, which suggests his “green” principles are rooted in the thin soil of expediency. But perhaps he’s only trying to be a “first-rate intelligence.”

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