Instead of ‘Drill, Baby, drill’ let’s Charge, Baby, Charge

An Electric CarAs gas prices spiral out of control again, threatening our economic recovery, President Barack Obama laid out a bold plan to address the threats of our dependence on oil.  Brad Johnson has the story.

Only by making our transportation system oil-free will Americans be free from skyrocketing gas prices, free from oil disasters, free from hostile governments that control foreign oil supplies. The great campaign to free America from the toxic influence of oil has been stalled for decades. Obama’s State of the Union address laid out a vision for restarting the United States, built upon a simple idea: less oil, more clean energy:

With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own.

“Within 25 years,” Obama added, “our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.”

We need to build now to pay less for oil. Gas prices are going up, but more importantly, the costs of using gas are rising even faster. The pollution, the destruction of our climate, the national security risks, the crushing influence on the national debt of over a billion dollars a day flowing overseas to pay for oil “” all of these mean Americans can’t keep jobs and can’t feed their families.

It’s time to “charge, baby, charge.” If this Congress wants to take on the pain at the pump, it will support legislation to build a national infrastructure of electric charging stations for electric vehicles, deploy 21st-century high-speed rail, and curb oil profiteering by Wall Street. This transformation should be paid for by eliminating the billions of dollars of subsidies for the oil and gas industry, and by instituting a slowly graduated gas tax that keeps the money of American drivers inside the United States, instead of going to speculators and foreign dictatorships.

Brad Johnson, in a WonkRoom cross-post.

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6 Responses to Instead of ‘Drill, Baby, drill’ let’s Charge, Baby, Charge

  1. Wonhyo says:

    While the SOTU speech sounded nice, this article shows just how inadequate the President’s proposals are.

    More importantly, the President continues to discuss matters within the self-destructive Conservative cognitive framework. To display true leadership, he needs to be changing the framework of discussion. Right now, we are compromising climate and energy progress to satisfy all of our other priorities. We should be doing the opposite.

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    ” I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own.”

    Time to end this unsustainable party! Eliminate them all!
    And btw at the G20

    Report: G20 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Phase Out
    G20 Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Phase Out: A review of current gaps and needed changes to achieve success
    Oil Change International & Earth Track

    In Pittsburgh in September 2009, G20 leaders pledged to “rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.” Reports and country submissions documenting G20 progress were released publicly in August 2010. Oil Change International and Earth Track examined and evaluated these public documents to conduct the study.

    “The G20 is neither revealing nor removing fossil fuel subsidies,” said Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International. “Each G20 country has defined ‘inefficient fossil fuel subsidy’ as they like, reported on what they want, and then listed either no subsidies, or things that they had already said they were doing.”

    “There is no accountability, no oversight and review, no actual mechanism to hold these leaders to their words. Some of the analysis coming out of the OECD and IEA is quite helpful, but so far, in the process itself, there’s just no action behind the words of the G20,” said Kretzmann.

    G20 Leaders Agree to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies

    Unpublished G-20 Report: Fossil fuel subsidies cost the world $557 billion

    All that shutter fuels climate change, CEO’s like Mr Rex Tillerson are nothing less then sociopath when using this money to pay for the attack on the science! In the meantime, arabs laugh their ass off, about this free ticket. What’s up with the BP business with the iran regime again? And now the russian government even ownz parts of BP. Stop the unsustainable, dangerous giveways to people like Heywood and the new CEO, aka the startled deer. Eliminate fossil fuel entirely or even make these companies governmental and change AS FAST AS POSSIBLE to clean solutions!

  3. Prokaryotes says:

    Exxon Mobil posts $9.25B Q4 profit

    Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. — the world’s largest corporation — posted a $9.25 billion fourth quarter profit Monday, a 53-percent increase compared with the previous fourth quarter.
    The quarterly earnings mark Exxon Mobil’s biggest quarterly profit in two years, reflecting the increased demand for energy by increased oil and fuel costs, according to media reports.
    “Exxon Mobil continues to deliver strong financial and operating results,” said Rex Tillerson, the corporation’s chairman, in a written release. “The full year 2010 earnings, excluding special items, were $30.5 billion, up 57 percent from 2009, driven by higher crude oil and natural gas realizations, stronger refining margins and record chemical performance.”

  4. Prokaryotes says:

    Egyptian Chaos a Reminder That Clean Energy Should Be a National Security Priority

    Investors tend to think of the outlook for clean energy stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in terms of which way the political winds are blowing in the climate change debate. In 2009, shortly after President Obama took office, clean energy stocks and ETFs took off on the premise that with Democrats firmly in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress genuine climate change legislation might be enacted. But as President Obama’s popularity waned and the politically exaggerated and carbon fuel industry-funded Climategate “controversy” gained traction, the issue of climate change was relegated to the backburner.

    As a result, clean energy stocks and ETFs mostly took a pounding in 2009.

    But in the summer of 2010, with talk of global warming virtually eliminated from the national discussion and the prospect of climate change legislation wiped away by Republican mid-term election gains a funny thing happened: renewable energy stocks and ETFs stopped dropping and started forming what increasingly looks like important base patterns on their longer-term charts.

    You can see this pattern in most of the clean energy Exchange Traded Funds such as First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Fund (FAN); Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index (TAN); PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio (PWND); PowerShares Global Clean Energy Portfolio (PBD); Market Vectors Solar Energy Fund (KWT); Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF Trust (GEX); iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index Fund (ICLN); and others. First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Index (QCLN) is actually trading close to a 2 1/2-year high, although this particular ETF is weighted far more heavily with semiconducters and other stocks that are suppliers to the clean energy industries.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    Wonhyo, thanks for the link to the Post Carbon Institute piece- excellent.
    I had the same problems with Obama’s speech.

    Gas, nuclear, “clean” coal and biofuels will leave us right where we started, which means we will continue on the path to catastrophe. Either we change to truly clean and renewable energy or we don’t. I’m terrified that we will only do so when it’s too late.

  6. Ziyu says:

    Wonhyo, regardless of which arguments you make for the framework debate, America’s general mood is to the right. Meaning the masses won’t sit to listen about complex arguments on framework when they’ve already got the “patriotic” feeling from the conservative framework they’re used to. But yes. The framework of the debate itself needs to be changed.