To the Capitol, We Are All from District 12

Guest Blog | March 30, 2012 | Energy Policy

Ever wish your elected officials would leave Washington and come talk directly to the public about important issues? Well, in two weeks, our elected officials will be back home in their districts to talk to constituents during Easter Recess! (Disclaimer: It’s actually called a “District Work Period.” As a side note, doesn’t that sound like something ominous – straight out of the Hunger Games?)

So what are our elected officials planning on doing during the District Work Period starting on April 12th? Well, if a document from the House of Representatives Majority Whip’s office (Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA) is any indicator, then we’ll be hearing a lot about energy.

But not that “all of the above” strategy so many of us have heard about. No, we’ll be inundated with misinformation about how great coal, oil and natural gas are. You can read the 22 page document if you want, but for us visual folks, I’m a big fan of using Wordle. Wordle counts the number of times a word is mentioned in a document, then resizes words based on how many times they have been used. Bigger words mean they get mentioned more. Smaller words – not so much. I copied and pasted all the text from the document, Wordle excluded common words, and here we have a picture of what our elected representatives will be toting with them while they go home. If it’s tough to see the image below, click on this link to see a bigger version.


Now, let’s play word find. Try to find the following words (answers at the bottom!):

Energy * Oil * Gas * Jobs * Renewable * Fact * Result * Efficiency * Wind * Solar

When 78% of Americans support more federal work on renewable energy like wind, solar and hydrogen technology, you have to wonder: are our legislatures permanently on recess from reality?


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