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June 23, 2008

McCain’s Energy Plan, Do Everything But The Obvious

McCain is giving another energy speech today and his big idea of the day is a government sponsored prize for the development of new electric car technology.

Among other ideas, he'll propose inspiring "the ingenuity and resolve of the American people by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars."

…With that, McCain will propose leveling "the playing field for all alcohol fuels that break the monopoly of gasoline" and issue a "Clean Car Challenge" -- a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys a zero-emission vehicle.

Wow, government sponsored prizes and tax credits. Thanks Mav!

One of the most consistent complaints we hear against drilling is it will take years to impact the price (of course, that always ignores the incontinent truth that if we had started drilling years ago, it would be impacting the price of gas right now.) yet there’s this fetish for mythical new technologies that proponents seems to think will spring forward any second now. Yep, any second now. All that’s needed is some government money and a few mandates. Wasn’t that the argument we heard for ethanol 30 years ago? Look how well that’s worked out.

Despite the hopes and dreams of many people, oil and gasoline as we know it isn’t going anywhere for a good long time, so let’s go find more. Hell, it’s even politically popular.

UPDATE: Here are some longer excerpts. Sadly (or predictably), they only make things worse.

McCain talks a lot about the central role of government in forcing a change in the kinds of cars we drive.

He talks about how auto makers ignore fuel standards because “the penalties are too small to encourage innovation”. Hey Mav, have you ever considered automakers are simply making the kinds of cars people want to buy? Why exactly should the government be penalizing them for that?

And the hubris of thinking that "the ingenuity and resolve of the American people” will be inspired by some government sponsored contest. Where the hell does he think the that $300 million is going to come from? Here’s a hint…that money he wants to pass out comes from the government taxing people who show ingenuity and resolve every damn day keeping the American economy working and strong.

It’s really too bad the Republicans took a pass on nominating a candidate for President this year.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:04 AM

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