Turn out the lights

Apart from the turnaround in Iraq, the Bush administration has sustained some notable failures this year. One is in its efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, with respect to which the administration appears to be throwing in the towel. When Moscow’s shipment of lightly enriched uranium to fuel the power reactor at Bushehr in Iran was announced this week, President Bush all but celebrated it. “If the Russians are willing to do that [supply the uranium], which I support, then the Iranians do not need to learn how to enrich,” he said. Henry Sokolski describes the resulting policy implosion.
One can see something of the same phenomenon with respect to environmental policy. In “A nation of dim bulbs” Andrew Ferguson reports:

On December 19, President Bush signed an energy bill that will, among many, many other things, force you to buy a new kind of light bulb. He did this because environmental enthusiasts don’t like the light bulbs you’re using now. He and they reason, therefore, that you shouldn’t be allowed to have them. So now you can’t.

President Bush extolled the energy bill in a statement at the Department of Energy. For reasons that Ferguson brilliantly explains, Bush acknolwedged the light bulb provision a bit circumspectly: “The bill…includes revisions to improve energy efficiency in lighting and appliances.” After summarizing the bill, he stated: “With these steps, particularly in the bill I’m about to sign, we’re going to help American consumers a lot.” And he thanked Congress: “I appreciate the fact that we’ve worked together, that we can show what’s possible in addressing the big issues facing our nation.”
As Glenn Reynolds frequently says: Indeed.
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