Kill Off The Department of Energy?!? Crazy talk! September 27, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in politics.
Sometime back in 1994 McCain was quoted saying:
"I would certainly favor doing away with the Department of Energy and I think that given the origins of the Department of Education," the Senator said on CNN’s Late Edition in December 1994. "I would favor doing away with it as well."
I do not know what McCain’s current position is on this topic – it is impossible to find something official like this on his web site. After all, it is a fairly controversial topic. Does eliminating the Department of Education pass the Grandma test? I think not.
But these two seem to be favorite punching bags of the conservative right. I think I understand their motivation behind getting rid of the Department of Education. It makes home schooling – and religious schooling – hard by setting up rules and regulations that follow the church-and-state-are-separate and all children must pass tests, etc. I have my doubts about their ability to execute a coherent science program, but there is a lot of infrastructure that must be taken care of to keep our education system going.
The one I don’t get is the Department of Energy. Why does the right not like that? Is it the cold-war era of spending and problems cleaning up nuclear and bomb waste? The DOE is huge, and it does so much. Heck – it is the largest funder of research in the USA (yes, larger than the NSF). In an organization that big there are bound to be some problems – but if you decided to eliminate it you would have to replace most of its functions in other departments. And that would be a huge headache – and wouldn’t save much money. So why do people want to get rid of it?