It's an interesting article mostly because after a whole article that consisted of nothing but parroting favored Republican talking points, it ends with:
"I think people of Western and Central Mass. deserve better," he said. "I'm an independent thinker. A good idea's a good idea."Okaaaay...
"I want to get this seat back into the hands of someone who will diligently and honestly represent the people and not just someone who pushes the party line," Bech said. "I can think for myself."
It was of course entirely possible that Bech does have some views that don't match up perfectly with the views of the Republican establishment, and the S&E article just didn't bother to mention them, so I checked out Bech's website.
Man, the guy really harps on being a vet. I will give him credit for that though, most Republicans who support the war haven't ever been in the armed service. He's a Republican who supports the war enough to have fought in it. It doesn't really separate him from the party leadership though, aside from making him seem less hypocritical.
So I kept looking for whatever I could find that might separate him out from other Republicans. Here's what I found:
- He doesn't support a "National ID card," just something that's exactly like it.
- He's opposed to torture (which he does not define).
No? Oh well, I tried.
But that's not the most interesting part of his website. The most interesting part of his site is this crazy gas thing where he shows how all his fancy plans would have us paying just $2.08 at the pump today compared to how Olver's plans would have us paying $4.01. Oh my god, the man must be
Actually, he just seems to have taken these "ideas" from the Bush administration and stuck numbers with them.
Anyway, we have math to play with! Let's look at all his fancy-pants cuts!
His first item is:
Bring onshore oil online (ANWR, Shale) with a savings of $0.70 - $1.60.
Hmm, that doesn't seem likely. I mean, this study (pdf) on ANWR drilling suggests a mean savings of 75 cents per barrel, and that's not until 2025. There are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil, so that means a 1.8 cent decrease per gallon. Yay?
Now, that's wholesale of course. You'll probably see less retail. Maybe a cent, if you're lucky. So it must be the oil shale that account for somewhere between 69 cents and $1.59 in Bech's calculations.
Wow, it takes a brave (or stupid) man to propose something with so many nasty environmental side effects while also playing up his supposed environmentalism.
I don't know where Bech gets his figures, but even this RAND study (pdf) suggests it would take at least 12 years to begin production and probably would only save a few dollars a gallon. Plus it would be environmentally disastrous to do, of course.
Well crap, Mr. Bech. Your first figure just didn't work out.
How about the next one?
Bring deepwater oil online (OCS) with a savings of $0.90-$2.50. Sweet!
This is the "offshore drilling" stuff so popular with Bush and McCain and all their toadies these days. The one that would take 10 years before any oil would start flowing and then wouldn't actually have any impact on prices anyway. Well, maybe after 2030. But probably not.
This isn't working so well for Mr. Bech. All his savings are disappearing!
So, what's left?
blah blah blah "gas tax holiday" for 18 cents.
Man, do I even need to mention this one? Like the way every economist in the country has said it won't work? No, I didn't think so. Moving on.
His last sizable cut is also an old favorite of the Republicans who he's oh-so-different from.
Bring new refineries online for $0.15-$0.45.
Sure, that sounds swell. But nobody wants to build them because their profit-margins are razor-thin. The first new one since 1976 has been in the works for a decade or so, and construction has yet to even begin. They do claim to be expecting full operation by 2012, but I got that off a FAQ that's 4 years old.
Damn. Another one down.
I won't bother addressing the supposed 5 cent decrease from halting shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, since both Olver and Bech support it.
I'd like to know where Bech gets his figures (aside from the 18 cent gas holiday one, I already know that). They're either ridiculously optimistic or totally made up. Decide for yourself. Either way, his little gas price chart is nothing more than a big fat lie. Way to represent for the Replubicans, Bech!
So yeah, vote for Olver.