Friday, 2:05pm - More Energy Policy
Next up on the interview couch is Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission Michael Williams. For those outside Texas, the Railroad Commission handles a lot of things having to do with energy policy with oversight over all sorts of other agencies and with a major role in determining where and how oil can be drilled for in the state. Ironically it no longer has any authority over railroads. I'm going to ask him about something I haven't had time to write on yet, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's decision to ban biodiesel fuel mixes inside Texas on the basis of a report which erroneously suggested that it caused Nitrous Oxide pollution, despite a federal report from last year which shows the emissions to be negligible.
Chairman Williams didn't really have much to say about the TCEQ decision, but he did agree with me in his answer on the basic principle of establishing a unified energy policy. I may have played into his desire to expand the authority of his energy, but I think he was dead on (as I would since he agreed with me) in saying that it would benefit the state greatly to have biofuel regulation put under the Railroad Commission as was done a few years ago with electricity and natural gas. Having a coherent energy policy run by one specific agency seems like a no brainer to me.
Williams was very articulate and seemed to have a good grasp on his field. He handled the questions from other bloggers pretty well, plus he was wearing cowboy boots with a pinstriped suit and has less hair than I do.
Friday, 3:15pm - What's Wrong with the GOP
Some of my readers will appreciate this. I'm not going to bash on Ron Paul supporters (at least for now). They're having a hard enough time with his announcement last night. With the cheers of the convention floor in the background as Mike Huckabee tells folksy jokes and stories, I have been going around the exhibit hall and taking a tour of everything that's wrong with the GOP.
The image to the right is a pretty good symbol of one of the problems, the bizarre and gratuitous obsession with religion as a driving force in politics. I've got no problem with people praying. If you're serious about it you can pray pretty much anywhere anytime. But what does it say when you have a special 'Prayer Room' set aside, kind of like a smoking room or a baby changing station. It seems bizarre. It's like the convention is trying to impress someone with how righteous and holy it is. But it's a political convention. Most of these people don't have souls. And the room is empty and entirely symbolic.