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Jewish World Review June 4, 2001 / 14 Sivan, 5761

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Consumer Reports

Paying through the nose -- THE entire state of California got hungry at the movies. And as every American knows, if you get hungry inside the theater, you'll pay through the nose for what you put in your mouth. That's because the only food available is in the hands of the theater people, and they know just how much you want it.

That's why when California ran out of power, the out-of-state energy producers jacked up the prices fast. They knew the Golden State had to pay up or stay energy-starved. Of course there was profiteering -- and it is illegal. And of course the Clinton administration did nothing to stop it because that would have meant the Department of Energy and Janet Reno might actually have to do something.

Now President Bush is getting blamed. California Governor Gray Davis wants Mr. Bush to impose price controls. Bush won't do it because, if he did, he'd have to cap all kinds of other stuff all over the country. The president will not say so, but that is the real reason he will not give Davis the power cap. Mr. Bush does not want to go into the price-control business, and I doubt Dick Cheney would let him, even if he did.

The whole California mess is the fault of cowardly politicians and a zoned-out electorate. The environmentalists shut down any and all power expansion -- and the granola crowd ate it up. That is, until the air conditioner died. Now the greens are furiously back-peddling and hurling accusations at the "evil" Bush administration. You know those guys -- they want babies to drink arsenic.

Clear thinking Americans know that the special interests in this country are now totally out of control. Let's take nuclear power, for example. The United States ranks 19th in the use of it, even though we invented it. Countries like Japan, Switzerland, Sweden and even Canada use nuclear power much more than we do. Now, I understand Japan has had some trouble with Godzilla, the radioactive monster but, other than that, things seem to be going smoothly throughout the nuclear-power-using world.

But America gets less than 20 percent of its power from a nuclear resource, and there are no new plants about to go on-line. That's because the greens hate nuclear power, and they have scared everybody with stories about vicious mutants breaking into Taco Bells all over the country.

I am not a big fan of nuclear power because it is extremely delicate, and the waste disposal problem is just that -- a problem. But I am also not a big fan of OPEC, which could shut down the American economy in a month if it had the mind to. And it might have the mind to if there's another Arab-Israeli war. So I say, let's use our technology to see if we can make super-safe nuclear plants. Let's give it a try under extremely tight federal oversight. I know, I know -- the feds have a big problem in that area.

Geologists say there are millions of gallons of oil and natural gas under the Arctic ice. But the greens say no to any drilling because the caribou wouldn't like it. So no nuclear power, no oil and no gas. Can you believe America is buying this?

We truly live in an astounding age. Almost everything we do involves using some kind of power, yet we don't like energy-producing substances. We hate coal. We like caribou, but we hate coal.

I like wind and solar power, and I'm also very fond of fuel cells. But our government has not really encouraged this kind of energy development, and Exxon isn't working on it either. That's because Exxon is making record profits importing OPEC oil while working Americans are seeing their wallets shrink faster than Rosie O'Donnell's ratings. Exxon is very happy no alternative fuel is swinging in the on-deck circle. They love no competition.

When you combine the power of the greens and the power of the oil cartel, you have an unbeatable combination -- one that neutralizes both Republicans and Democrats. The greens have convinced the left to oppose nuclear plants and drilling, the slippery oil guys have nudged the right away from alternative energy. In the middle stand the vast working class of America who have but one special interest: Having enough money to carve out decent lives for their families. So who is looking out for them? Maybe I'll ask a caribou.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and The Completely Ridiculous in American Life. Comments by clicking here.


05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate