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Letter: Energy policy and job creation

Politicians, anxious for votes, are now all about jobs.

Republicans want regulations/taxes reduced to let business create jobs.

Democrats want to spend government funds on our aging infrastructure, thereby putting people to work.

The first strategy likely has too much lag time. The second is quicker, but with U.S. debt at 92 percent of GNP, spending could trigger a loss of confidence in government's ability to repay and our economy could crash.

How about a different strategy with a quick short-term response to create jobs, no increase in government debt, and a strategy necessary for our long-term survival at any rate? Pass energy policy legislation to stimulate domestic energy production, both traditional and alternative.

The U.S. spends a billion dollars a day importing transportation fuel. A dollar spent for imported energy is lost. A dollar spent locally typically turns seven times, strengthening the economy as it turns.

That policy must excite alternative energy innovators as much as oil hunters to maximize rapid job creation. It needs teeth to drive consumers to choose an alternative. It needs teeth to give lenders confidence in making loans to innovators. That will create jobs fast as well as help us in the long run.

John Baumgartner