Conserve on Your Own Time

K-Lo proclaimed a "Dubya-Love Moment" over this answer to a question about why he doesn't support a federal energy conservation program at yesterday's press conference:

"The American people are smart enough to figure it out. They know the price of gas. They're already driving less and seeking smaller cars. I don't need to tell them; they can balance their checkbook."

This is pretty silly. When I go to National Airport, I take the Metro -- an energy efficient option. That's a personal decision I make based on assessing the relevant factors. But one of the relevant factors is that there's a Metro station near my house and another one right by the airport. And of course more people would live near the U Street / Cardozo Metro Station were there more housing units located near the U Street / Cardozo Metro Station which there would be if more residential density were legally permitted. And I would take the Metro to Dulles Airport if there were a Metro line that went to Dulles Airport.

The point being, of course we all make decisions that are relevant to our energy consumption. But the choices we make are affected by public policy decisions in dozens of different ways. To suggest individual action as an alternative to changing policy is to ignore the fact that different policies would produce different individual choices.