In response to a letter from a constituent, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) responded:
Thank you for contacting me about alternative energy sources. I appreciate hearing your concerns on this issue.
Concerns over climate change and our continued dependence on foreign oil have made the switch to alternative energy sources imperative for our economic, environmental and national security. We must move toward a new alternative energy strategy that will stimulate the economy, create millions of new jobs, and assert America’s leadership in the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future.
We need to implement new federal programs to assist in the transition away from fossil fuels and toward the production of clean, renewable energy sources. We should be following Massachusetts’ lead by implementing a Renewable Energy Standard, which would require a certain amount of U.S. power to be generated by clean, renewable electricity sources like solar and wind.
The 111th Congress has made clean energy a top priority. I supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (P.L. 111-5), which included approximately $67 billion to support the research and development of clean energy. According to the Energy Information Administration, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will increase wind generation 67 percent in the next three years and renewable electricity 93 percent in the next four years. It will avert the emission of 106 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from 2010 to 2012, and reduce annual household utility expenditures in future years. In addition, this investment will help update our nation’s electrical grid, promote the manufacturing of advanced batteries, and commercialize renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-8), which I supported, also makes significant investments to advance renewable energy and create green jobs. For example, the bill provides $204 million in additional funds for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency which will further vehicle technology improvements, the deployment of solar technology, and increase the energy efficiency of homes.
Please be assured that I will continue to fight for legislation that encourages investment in cleaner, more efficient energy sources, helps address climate change, and supports a more sustainable future.
This response is typical of the princely class in our society, all of whom support more and more spending “on our behalf,” without the benefit of our having expressed our concerns to them–concerns which are often contrary to what that princely individual himself supports.
More importantly, we should challenge ourselves, and our self-appointed princes and princesses, to find the specific text within the Constitution that permits federal legislation of this type. Can you find it? If not, how do you propose that we rein in the elitism that exists in the Congress (and the other branches of government) and restore our once-great republic?