To no one’s surprise, Bill Richardson is officially a candidate for President.
Richardson is showing well right now in Iowa, though some people doubt he can break through to the supposed “top tier” of candidates. I think he certainly has the potential; whether or not his candidacy really takes off remains to be seen.
But enough punditry. Richardson is hitting exactly the right mark on some important policy issues, which should (albeit rarely) serve as the meat and potatoes of campaigns.
Richardson’s ideas may lack the grassrootsy populism of Edwards’s, the boldness of Kucinich’s, or the worldly sophistication of Obama’s, but they are very well thought out. His foreign policy is clear-headed and coherent, and his energy policy is uniquely on point.
Richardson recognizes the impacts of oil dependence on foreign policy, he the humanitarian and geopolitical consequences of climate change, and he avoids the farcical notion that the U.S. can somehow cut itself off from the global energy marketplace.
There’s a lot more to like about Richardson’s energy plan, too. Specifically:
I think we need the same sort of strong and focused diplomacy with friend and foe to adapt our foreign policy to the global nature of energy.
As he lays it out, the plan involves drastically cutting oil consumption, enhancing Western hemispheric energy cooperation, and setting up a multilateral system to protect the Persian Gulf in the post-oil economy in place of an American troop presence.
Oh, and he delivered his energy speech at an oil and gas conference, a nice plus.
I’m still digesting some of the specifics, but the broad brushstrokes of Bill Richardson’s energy policy are notably different. Sure, distracting political slogans like “energy independence” pop up here and there. Fortunately – and this is rare, the slogans are worked into the policy, not vice versa.
Many candidates have discussed in vague terms integrating energy policy with foreign policy. Here’s hoping they follow Richardson’s lead.
— Scott Paul