The GW College Democrats and College Republicans participated in an animated debate over energy policy Monday night in front of an audience of about 30 people.
Moderated by senior Eshawn Rawlley, CDs Matt McDermott and Brad Dlatt faced CRs Moses Weisberg and Sam Dewitt, sounding off an issues like off-shore drilling, nuclear energy, global climate change and reusable energy sources.
“Republicans are out of touch with reality,” McDermott said in his opening statement, summarizing what he called Republicans’ lack of action concerning energy policy and saying that Democrats want to “create a clean, green and independent America.”
Weisberg opened his side of the debate by calling Republicans “the party of yes.” He also criticized President Barack Obama’s cap-and-trade bill, saying Democrats believe that “with one stroke of a pen.they can solve all the troubles of our energy policy.”
A major issue that came up in almost every question and answer was the concern over oil and off-shore versus domestic drilling, and its effect on the country’s job market.
“We cannot just overnight stop using oil,” Devitt said.
McDermott, however pointed to alternative energies like wind power, saying “every year we go into the future, there will be a decrease in oil.”
The argument between nuclear power versus reusable solar and wind energy was another focal point of the debate.
“Democrats want you to believe that the works in a nuclear power plant are a bunch of Homer Simpsons running around saying ‘D’oh!’ ” Dewitt said. “Nuclear power is a viable option to moving America forward.”
The CD representatives, however, remained consistent in saying they would rather spend the money that would be used to produce nuclear power plants to conduct research about effective, reusable energy sources a “more efficient way to store waste.”
Although the CRs argued the CDs claims about the effectiveness of solar and wind power, they still referred to themselves as the “all-of-the-above” party.
“It’s impossible.to meet our country’s needs on solar and wind power,” Devitt said. “Where are we gonna put these turbines and solar panels? There’s no more money for this.”
The final question raised in the debate concerned the current economic recession and how moving forward with energy policy would affect the country’s future.
Both sides argued over statistical details, with the CRs claiming that the cap-and-trade bill would put families $1,700 in debt, whereas McDermott said, “We’re talking about 50 cents to dramatically change this country’s independence.”
Dlatt – who is also a Hatchet columnist – continued his partner’s claims in his closing argument, saying, “The U.S. must be the leader in renewable energy sources,” and that other countries “should come to us.”
“The Republican party, tonight, has offered no alternative to cap-and-trade,” he added.
Dewitt closed the CR argument, saying, “Anyone with an economic intelligence opposes cap-and-trade.”
Although general body members from each team remained steadfast in their party’s beliefs after the debate, moderator Rawlley closed the event saying, “I have to give it to the Republicans, for the Simpson’s reference alone.”