The Science Friday Blog


John Warner: Jimmy Carter Was Right


Posted by Ira Flatow

August 1. 2008


It took 30 years, but Jimmy Carter finally has gotten recognition for the wisdom of his energy policies. Speaking on Science Friday, Senator John Warner, a Republican from Virginia who first entered the Senate during Carter's term in office, said that Jimmy Carter "was right" when he called for a massive program of energy conservation and alternative energy research.


Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat from New Mexico, agreed. As chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, one would expect a fellow democrat to back the former President. But I must admit I was a bit surprised to hear Warner readily agree. Jimmy Carter has a tough time being called "right" about anything in his administration, let alone from Republicans. Warner has recently discovered the threat posed by global warming through his discussions with Pentagon brass who are concerned about the submerging of Naval ports around the world as the oceans rise.


Though he is late to the ball, Warner readily admitted the country was asleep at the switch for the last three decades. However, concern for global warming is universal on Capitol Hill this week or even bi-partisan enough to extend the tax credits for the development of alternative energy sources like solar and wind. Bingaman, a champion of the credits, complained that huge alternative energy projects on the drawing boards will reamain there, if the credits are not restored. Once again, for the up-teenth time, not enough Senators voted for extension of the credits.