Wednesday, April 17, 2002


Bush has taken heat (as recently as today in the WSJ's editorial page) for being a hypocrite when it comes to conservative ideology. It's usually for not being committed enough to free trade -- the tariff on steel imports has drawn the most conservative ire. A better area to investigate might be his commitment, or lack thereof, to that cornerstone of conservative ideology: a less meddlesome federal government. Connecticut is wrangling with whether to put an energy transmission line under the Sound to Long Island. This is a classic example of what conservatives, I thought, would argue states should be doing: deciding for themselves what's best for their citizens and businesses. Bush, however, believes the federal government, presumably through FERC*, should determine where to put the lines. Great. Instead of having local politicians who are accountable to their electorate make this type of decision, let's turn this process over to a federal bureaucracy with no accountability. We'll have power lines running through elementary school classrooms into protected park land before you know it, if they get their way.

*The deregulation issue is pretty thorny. California is an example of what can happen when a state decides to go the All Hail Capitalism, Competition Will Set You Free route. Clearly, states can bungle things. Where the federal government fits into the equation, I don't feel competent to render judgement. In the specific case of the line under the Sound, I know I'd rather CT's legislature and Governor work that out than a federal agency.
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