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Monday, August 04, 2008

In the face of continued childish mockery of his absolutely correct statements about engine tune-ups and tire pressure—an attempt to Carterize Obama I'm sorry to say will probably work wonders for his flagging campaign—Obama unveiled a "New Energy for America" plan today.

* Providing short‐term relief to American families facing pain at the pump
* Helping create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
* Within 10 years, saving more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
* Putting 1 million Plug‐In Hybrid cars – cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon – on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
* Ensuring 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
* Implementing an economy‐wide cap‐and‐trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Climate Progess may be right to say "this is easily the best energy plan ever put forward by a nominee of either party," but given the enormity of the crisis these are still just baby steps—high-minded non-offensive for the campaign trail, but hopefully less ambitious than what he will attempt to implement once he is in office. The rhetoric might give us hope, for what it's worth:
It is also a transformation that will require more than just a few government programs. Energy independence will require an all-hands-on-deck effort from America - effort from our scientists and entrepreneurs; from businesses and from every American citizen. Factories will have to re-tool and re-design. Businesses will need to find ways to emit less carbon dioxide. All of us will need to buy more of the fuel-efficient cars built by this state, and find new ways to improve efficiency and save energy in our own homes and businesses.

This will not be easy. And it will not happen overnight. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they are either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.

But I know we can do this. We can do this because we are Americans. We do the improbable. We beat great odds. We rally together to meet whatever challenge stands in our way. That's what we've always done - and it's what we must do now. For the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, we must end the age of oil in our time.
That's the reality. This plan may be good politics, but it's still just halfway there.