Obama’s Energy Independence Promise and Challenge

read the whole thing here, thanks to paul krugman for the pointer.

Obama’s Promises:

If I am President, I will immediately direct the full resources of the federal government and the full energy of the private sector to a single, overarching goal – in ten years, we will eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela.  To do this, we will invest $150 billion over the next ten years and leverage billions more in private capital to build a new energy economy that harnesses American energy and creates five million new American jobs.

First, we will help states like Michigan build the fuel-efficient cars we need, and we will get one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years.

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The second step I’ll take is to require that 10% of our energy comes from renewable sources by the end of my first term – more than double what we have now.  To meet these goals, we will invest more in the clean technology research and development that’s occurring in labs and research facilities all across the country and right here at MSU, where you’re working with farm owners to develop this state’s wind potential and developing nanotechnology that will make solar cells cheaper.

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Finally, the third step I will take is to call on businesses, government, and the American people to meet the goal of reducing our demand for electricity 15% by the end of the next decade.  This is by far the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to reduce our energy consumption – and it will save us $130 billion on our energy bills.

his challenge:

This is the choice that we face in the months ahead. This is the challenge we must meet.  This is the opportunity we must seize – and this may be our last chance to seize it.

And if it seems too difficult or improbable, I ask you to think about the struggles and the challenges that past generations have overcome.  Think about how World War II forced us to transform a peacetime economy still climbing out of Depression into an Arsenal of Democracy that could wage war across three continents.  And when President Roosevelt’s advisors informed him that his goals for wartime production were impossible to meet, he waved them off and said “believe me, the production people can do it if they really try.”  And they did.

Think about when the scientists and engineers told John F. Kennedy that they had no idea how to put a man on the moon, he told them they would find a way.  And we found one.  Remember how we trained a generation for a new, industrial economy by building a nationwide system of public high schools; how we laid down railroad tracks and highways across an entire continent; how we pushed the boundaries of science and technology to unlock the very building blocks of human life.

I ask you to draw hope from the improbable progress this nation has made and look to the future with confidence that we too can meet the great test of our time.  I ask you to join me, in November and in the years to come, to ensure that we will not only control our own energy, but once again control our own destiny, and forge a new and better future for the country that we love.  Thank you.

PS couldn’t help myself:

You won’t hear me say this too often, but I couldn’t agree more with the explanation that Senator McCain offered a few weeks ago.  He said, “Our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been thirty years in the making, and was caused by the failure of politicians in Washington to think long-term about the future of the country.”

What Senator McCain neglected to mention was that during those thirty years, he was in Washington for twenty-six of them.  And in all that time, he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  He voted against increased fuel efficiency standards and opposed legislation that included tax credits for more efficient cars.  He voted against renewable sources of energy.  Against clean biofuels.  Against solar power.  Against wind power.  Against an energy bill that – while far from perfect – represented the largest investment in renewable sources of energy in the history of this country.  So when Senator McCain talks about the failure of politicians in Washington to do anything about our energy crisis, it’s important to remember that he’s been a part of that failure. Now, after years of inaction, and in the face of public frustration over rising gas prices, the only energy proposal he’s really promoting is more offshore drilling – a position he recently adopted that has become the centerpiece of his plan, and one that will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.

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