McCain’s More Sensible Energy Proposals

Okay. I was less than impressed with the call for drilling. I’m still unimpressed — and can not figure out why so many people are gung ho for it. (But that’s another post).

McCain has come out new policy proposals that I think are going in the right direction:

* $5,000 tax credit for buying low-emission cars. Cutting the price by $5K will provide incentive to buy the cars, and thus incentive for car manufacturers to make them.

* $300 million prize for full commercial development of a battery capable of powering plug-in hybrids and zero-emission cars. (Honda has announced a full-producton of a hydrogen fuel-cell car already.)

Other measures designed to improve our production of electricity — but not at the individual level. Moreover, clean coal technology and more nuclear plants will do nothing to reduce our demand for oil.

The problem, as our current president has said, is that America is addicted to oil.

So the first measure was to FEED the addiction through more drilling, then toss out a few paltry steps to curb it.

If someone is addicted to drugs, you send them to rehab — where they cut it off cold turkey.

The problem, my friends, is not the supply of oil. It is the demand for it. My next car will be a hybrid at best, one that plugs in would be great… and my concern is not for the environment, but for national security — and my own wallet. Going green would be a welcome bonus.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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5 Responses to McCain’s More Sensible Energy Proposals

  1. Vince says:

    Jim, with all due respect, are you a still a Republican Strategist? This whole post on enery reads like Democratic talking points. If you wonder why McCain and the Republican Party are hemorraging conservatives who are tired of “Republicans” that ape Democrat positions, you’ve just provided an a perfect example. You’ve got it entirely backwards. The problem is indeed the supply, which has not kept pace with world’s increased demand. And it is your policy prescriptions continue to undermine the key role that oil- which is available in superabundance in so many locations within US territory- should be as our primary energy source for generations to come.

    Cowboy up, Jim, and re-assess your thinking on this issue.

  2. Bryan Farris says:

    In addition to what Vince said above, the $5,000 tax credit is only a reimbursement on the taxes paid on that money, not a total refund of that amount. So, the amount off any purchased car would only be the difference based on your tax rate.

  3. Juan Ruiz says:

    I would actually argue that the problem is not that America is addicted to oil (which it is), but that America is addicted to energy use. We are not efficient users of energy, we waste so much energy. Whether it is living far away from each other, or taking frivelous trips, or the fact that we have very little light and heavy rail to transport people and goods, or all the electronic gadgets we use (me included). We have subsidized energy use for too long and now we are at the mercy of energy companies that will squeeze as much out of us since this is a limited resource. We need to rethink how we plan our communities, and build infrastructure so that we can better cope with energy crisis in the future. And remember the longer you put off building that infrastructure, the more expensive it will be in the future to build it.

  4. Jim Johnson says:

    Vince — First, I do not consider myself a Republican “strategist,” especially since I am not involved in any campaigns this year.

    Second, Republicans can have bad ideas. If you disagree, then I hope the kool-aid is that good.

    Third, you are right. Demand for oil has far outpaced the supply. So there are two possible options: increase supply or reduce demand. For me, the choice is about time: reducing demand can be done far, far quicker than increasing supply.

    I am not talking about reducing fossil fuels because of the myth of global warming. I am looking at this because depending on oil puts us at the mercy of other nations.

    When India’s Tata is producing a $2,500 car — there is no way we can increase supply fast enough. Without reducing demand, we could be looking at $10 per gallon for gas by end of McCain’s or Obama’s first term.

  5. Vince says:

    “For me, the choice is about time: reducing demand can be done far, far quicker than increasing supply.”

    Jim, think about the implications of your rationale. By reducing demand, I assume that you are going to continue to encourage higher gas prices by supporting a number of market distortions. And by advocating that line of thinking, you are seriously encroaching on people’s individual liberties, especially people of lesser means, since they have the smallest amount of disposable income with which to purchase gas. You are also restricting people’s mobility- to drive longer distances, to take trips, vacations. And at the same time, you are increasing governmental control over the private sector- whether it be by increasing gas taxes to cut demand, or continuing the restrictions on oil companies from drilling off the Continental Shelf.

    We have untapped sources of oil in the Bakken Oil Fields, Alaska, and off the coast of Florida waiting to be drilled. We could eliminate our dependency on foreign sources of oil FROM UNSTABLE OR ROGUE REGIMES very easily, while still importing oil from friendlier countries, if we had the collective will to do so. Had we not put all these ridiculous restrictions on ourselves during the past 2 decades, we would not be in the position we are in now, but that is NO EXCUSE for inaction now. By removing restrictions on drilling, not only are you making us more energy independent, not only are you creating more jobs domestically, but you are relieving much of the market stress on the price of oil in the near future.

    Don’t forget, much of the price of oil has a built-in assumption that we are not going to drill our own oil. If you merely eliminate that restriction, the price of a barrel will fall.

    Jim, I hope you can reasses your thinking on this issue, so you can help our country (and the Party) take control of our energy future through a bold plan that makes no apologies for wanting our future generations to improve both their standard of living and their economic opportunities.

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