It's good to see Bill Ford stepping into an industry leadership role when it comes to energy.
There's no guarantee his letter to President Bush seeking a national energy summit meeting will come to anything. After all, when you're dealing with politicians, you just never know.
But it shouldn't be too hard to get government officials, business leaders and consumers to sit down and amiably define long-term solutions to the nation's energy problems, should it? Just because it has never happened before?
In August at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Toyota's Jim Press proposed a closed-door summit for the auto industry's top execs. The group would tackle issues such as energy and emissions and hammer out solutions that would be best for society and the industry.
Seems like there are a few people who want to talk about our energy future. Or is it coincidence that execs from the two companies with wide-ranging plans for gasoline-electric hybrids are the ones doing the urging?
Summit meetings can be productive.
But because the topic would be energy, this summit would be a magnet for people who would think it is a capitalist conspiracy to destroy the planet and fleece the downtrodden masses just to generate obscene profits.
As proof, they'll point out that Bill Ford was listed as one of the 132 attendees at this year's Bilderberg meetings in Rottach-Egern, Germany, in May. This year's list also included industrialists, European royalty, government ministers, bankers, financiers, academicians and media moguls.
The group's name comes from the Bilderberg Hotel in Amsterdam, where the first meeting was held in 1954 to discuss areas of mutual cooperation between North America and western Europe.
Some conspiracy theorists think of it as a secret cabal that topples governments, orders assassinations, rigs elections and dictates national policies.
Last year, President Bush, Sen. John Edwards, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and British Petroleum CEO John Browne were among the guests.
The folks who see black helicopters following them used to blame the Trilateral Commission for the world's ills. It was founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller, right about the time of the OPEC oil embargo.
The group comprises 300-plus nongovernmental members from Europe, Japan and North America who discuss and study issues of mutual interest to Western democracies. Jimmy Carter was a member before being elected president.
At one time the Trilateral Commission was as mysterious as Bilderberg. But now the group has a Web site that lists its members, meetings and agendas, which is probably why you don't hear much about it anymore.
So if the Bush administration sponsors an energy summit, some might be as skeptical of it as the Bilderberg group or Trilateral Commission. But isn't our energy future worth it?
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