Instead of pursuing the usual rancor of partisan politics over the energy crisis, solutions should be focused on the welfare of the American people. If political posturing isn't replaced by common sense, we might very well be facing the frightening prospects of nationalized energy and rationing. Indeed, California is already headed in that direction.

Certainly, the reality is that nearly everything about the economy and the cost of living is linked to the cost of energy. Alas, we've simply reached a point where there is no quick fix to the energy crisis short of such things as price controls, which would result in temporary relief, while the underbelly of the economy collapses.

Clearly, this dilemma isn't like the 1970's oil embargo and the resulting recession. Rather, it's the result of the failures of good intentions and the lack of sound energy policy. For several decades government, political, environmental and corporate interests have focused on themselves instead of planning for the long term energy needs of the nation.

While we're waiting for "expert decisions," consideration might be given to making Daylight Saving Time, permanent. And while all the resources, power plants and transmission grids are brought up to speed, alternative energy sources should be given a second look.

With the advances in solar technology, some degree of solar electric installations could be required on all new construction, which would bring down costs and stimulate more people to take advantage of solar power (with rebates and tax credits) for existing homes and businesses.

Long term energy solutions should also include exploring the success of using ocean tides to produce double basin tidal hydro-electric power that is being used in Japan, France and Australia.

Surely, the energy crisis is the result of years of short-sighted, selfish stupidity. The question is: How far must the misery index rise before we shift gears and demand the truth, real solutions and responsible action?

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center