Let Them Use Solar

It’s a heart-warming ad, literally. A poverty-striken mother and daughter sit freezing in their unheated home in the dead of winter, trying to warm themselves with a small cooking stove. But then a fuel truck pulls up and a band of smiling deliverymen pile out and fill up the family’s oil tank. Now they’ll be warm.

The tagline, if I remember it correctly from when I saw the tv spot earlier this week, is “low-cost oil for those in need, brought to you by the good people of Venezuela and Citizens Energy.”

Now there’s been quite a bit of controversy over Hugo Chavez’s program to distribute discount-priced oil to the needy in this country. But I’ve got a question about Citizens Energy, which touts its energy conservation and green power programs. When they pull up to that poor family’s home, why are they delivering oil? Why aren’t they delivering solar panels and fuel cells and insulation and sweaters–the much-touted alternatives to our so-called oil addiction? Don’t those things work?