Lean, mean, green machine Harry Reid recently co-hosted National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas with leftist Center for American Progress. As the Heartland Institute notes, the day was full of surprises:
As the Summit kicked off at 9:00 in the morning, approximately 50 environmental activists gathered in protest outside the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center. Wearing t-shirts and carrying posters castigating coal and praising solar power, somebody forgot to tell the protesters that the Summit speakers actually agreed with them. ...
Shortly before the rain hit, Harry Reid rushed out to assure the protesters that they and he were on the same team. Unable or unwilling to traverse the 100 yards of relatively empty parking lot between the Thomas & Mack Center and the protest on the sidewalk along Swenson Street, a caravan of gas-guzzling SUVs pulled up to the Mack Center to whisk Reid and a few aides to the protest.
With the rabble finally mollified and dispersed, Reid hopped back into one of the SUVs in the caravan and made the lengthy 100-yard commute back to the Thomas & Mack Center.
"I was absolutely astonished, not to mention appalled, that Harry Reid would retain a fleet of gas-guzzling SUVs so that he and a few aides would not have to walk the mere 100 yards to address environmental activists," says Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James M. Taylor. "If greenhouse gas emissions are such a problem, you would think Reid might have actually made the short stroll through the parking lot, or at least retain Priuses rather than large SUVs for the summit."
Once back inside the conference, Reid went on to praise the hydropower provided by the Hoover Dam, and friends like John Podesta from the Center for American Progress, T. Boone Pickens and PG&E each took a turn at the podium and "preached to the environmental choir."
Just days before the summit, Reid held a conference call with other clean energy allies and promised to push Democrats' energy bill during the lame-duck session following the midterm elections.
Reid went over the history of the energy bill, which initially was a comprehensive plan from John Kerry and others, including a cap and trade system for carbon emissions. “We originally tried to do a bill that John Kerry worked on for 8 or 9 months,” Reid said, but at the end of the process, Kerry and his colleagues found themselves unable to attract Republican support. “We had to step back with something more modest… a more compact bill.” The bill that Reid unveiled before the August recess includes the Home Star energy retrofits for residential properties, inducements for natural gas and electric vehicles, particularly in the trucking fleets, to reduce dependence on oil, and increased money for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which can go toward any number of land use projects.
And while he's not out commuting around in his "fleet" of SUVs, the Democratic Majority Leader denounces them as a wasteful mode of transportation.