The heated debate continues in Washington about how to achieve energy security while pursuing President Obama’s green agenda. The latest dispute is a continuation of the Republican assault on the climate bill (now in the House of Representatives) that addresses capping releases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. An article by H. Josef Hebert of the Associated Press highlights some of the fray. According to the article, Rep. Mike Pence, in the GOP said in a weekly radio and Internet address that Congress should open the way for more domestic oil and natural gas production and ease regulatory barriers for building new nuclear power plants instead of instituting cap and trade legislation. “During these difficult times, the American people don’t want a national energy tax out of Washington, DC,” he said. The address further summarized what Republicans have been saying for weeks: The climate bill that is now in the House would lead to much higher energy costs and accomplish little to counter global warming if other nations do not act as well. Supporters, of course, argue that the increased costs can be minimized. According to Hebert’s article, Pence reiterated the Republican view that no mandatory limits should be placed on greenhouse gas emissions. For the Democrats, that premise is a non-starter, despite the GOP’s argument that generating nuclear energy is emission-free and that developing oil and gas resources is not necessarily a “dirty” business. Pence also expressed support for “investments in renewable and alternative energy technologies and incentives to spur greater conservation among individuals and businesses.” The Republicans’ plan is based on using revenue from increased oil and gas drilling to promote renewable energy such as wind and solar technologies. The plan also proposes ways to simplify the approval process for building more nuclear power plants and sets a goal of doubling the number of nuclear reactors over the next 20 years. Unfortunately, the heart of the energy debate is characterized by an overweening proclivity on the part of Democrats to side with “clean” energy in any form over “dirty” energy like oil and gas irrespective of the nation’s need for affordable energy. The Democrats’ commentary on the GOP plan illustrates their reluctance to consider any proposal that includes promotion of any kind for oil and gas. According to Hebert’s article, when Pence introduced the GOP measure, the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (a Democrat from California) called it, “The same tired policies at a time when Americans are seeking new solutions to rebuild our economy and break our dependence on foreign energy sources.” No matter that the “new solutions” will take decades to fully develop and even then do not have the capacity to replace hydrocarbons in energy provision. The fact is that in Washington today, green-mindedness is next to godliness, and logic and pragmatism haven’t got a leg to stand on. The unfortunate truth is that no matter how logical or pragmatic the Republicans’ plan might be, the only people who seem to be listening are other Republicans. And it's difficult to make headway in a debate when you're talking to yourself.