The Horse's Mouth Looks at the Press
The Current Recovery

Because Writing About Energy Policy Is *So* Boring...

Joshua Green, writing in Hotline, he says that HRC's energy speech was boring because it was substantive:

Hotline On Call: Clinton's 50 By 25....: Senator Hillary Clinton was well attuned to her audience when she paused, during her major energy speech at the Press Club this morning, to apologize for "probably a more wonkish speech than many of you had anticipated."

Fittingly so, because even the most enthusiastic wonks have a tough time digesting talk of "cellulosic ethanol" and "biomass fuels" before lunch.

Thankfully, the centerpiece of Clinton's speech was easier to grasp: her "fifty-by-twenty-five energy initiative," as she put it, would reduce America's dependence on foreign oil by fifty percent by the year 2025. Clinton compared her proposal to the Manhattan Project; given the specificity and detail with which she explained it, a nuclear engineering degree might have helped her audience.

Clinton's speech provided a sharp contrast to the Bush administration's recent cautious rhetoric about energy and gas prices, both by countering their generalities with specifics (plenty of those!) and rebutting their notion that little can be done to change things by asserting otherwise and then, in a style that would do her husband proud, backing up those assertions with detailed plans to boost everything from wind power to biofuels to a Strategic Energy Fund she hopes to create by introducing legislation today (it will be funded partially by a two-year windfall profits tax on oil companies, who she also whacked for not providing ethanol pumps at gas stations).

On a dais heavy with New York state reporters, Clinton also deftly wove in mention of some of her state's business-environmental success stories, among them the low-sulfur diesel fuel produced by Cummins and the school-bus exhaust filters made by Corning -- a traditionally Republican company that has lately swooned, Murdoch-like, for the state's junior Democratic Senator.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?