Showing posts with label Global Warming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Warming. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"From A Request To A Demand"

It sounds like the We Campaign might be about to bring a gun to a knife fight.

GMP1 just received this (mass) email from We Campaign communications director Giselle Barry:

I want to make sure you know about a new ad that started airing today. "Free Us" starts with the phrase 'To our leaders,' and will air during both upcoming political conventions. It completes an important shift in the We Campaign's messaging.



This new ad focuses specifically on the challenge to Repower America by generating 100% of our electricity from clean sources within 10 years. This was also true of our recently seen "Switch" ad (watch the "Switch" ad.) These ads, along with the T. Boone Pickens' media buy mean that millions of Americans are now hearing about big goals - with real targets and immediate timelines. The notion that the best way to rebuild our economy is to make a dramatic shift in our energy mix is now getting critical attention.

"Free Us" takes a different tone from our previous ads. While the first We Campaign ads offered a general invitation to the movement for climate solutions, this ad issues a direct challenge. While showing what a transformed economy looks like, the ad also hints at a transformation among the American people. It explicitly moves from a request to a demand.
"From a request to a demand".

Rip. It.

But the We Campaign must remember that while national TV ads and op-eds in the Washington Post and big Al Gore speeches are lots of fun, it only really counts if you have an aggressive grassroots lobbying strategy to kick the living shit out of disagreeable politicians back in their home districts.

The energy "status-quo" is dug in tighter than a tick.

And changing it is going to take real fight.

What wonderful fun!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Albert Gore/We Campaign To Discuss Climate Change In DC Thursday

Be still our beating swing voter heart.

Per the Glover Park Group managed press release:

Gore to Lay Out Unprecedented Challenge on Energy and Climate

Address Will Set National Goal for Clean Energy Future

Washington, DC – Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will outline his bold vision for the future of America’s energy needs at D.A.R. Constitution Hall this Thursday, July 17. The speech will be hosted by the “We” Campaign, a fast-growing organization focused on solutions to the climate crisis.

The speech will offer a new way of thinking about our energy production and consumption and a new sense of what is possible when we choose to work together. It will propose a means of tapping America’s innovative skills to build a more secure energy future.

Who: Former Vice President Al Gore

What: A discussion on the future of America’s energy needs

Where: D.A.R. Constitution Hall – 1776 D St., NW, Washington, DC

When: Thursday, July 17 at 12:00 p.m. EDT:

Friday, July 11, 2008

We Think That This Is A Pretty Good Republican Energy Plan From 2006

Why do we think it's pretty good?

Well, we wrote it. For a targeted '06 U.S. House race in Vermont. With help from several energy experts from across the political spectrum.

And with the price of a barrel of oil hitting another record today, we thought now would be the prefect time to dust our plan off.

We know, we know, cue the calls from some quarters of "Plagiarist!" and "Burn him at the stake!"

But we'll let our readers make up their own mind as to whether we lifted this energy proposal from Hillary Clinton.

And we might even dare hope that forward thinking GOP political operatives find parts of this plan useful in their ongoing '08 races.

For Immediate Release
Thursday July 27, 2006

Rainville Unveils National Energy Plan
Calls American energy stability “vital for national security”
Outlines short and long-term steps to protect the environment

WILLISTON, Vt. — U.S. House Candidate Martha Rainville today unveiled a comprehensive plan to address America’s energy future. Rainville’s plan includes short- and long-term steps to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, protect the environment and ultimately help move the world away from the use of fossil fuels entirely.

“Now is the time to act. A growing American economy needs energy to maintain its strength and to enhance our quality of life,” Rainville said. “My plan will help protect our national security, protect our pocketbooks and protect our environment.”

The plan recognizes that world economic growth — notably in China and India — is bidding up the demand for and thus the price of energy. Rising energy prices mean that energy will claim a larger portion of Vermonters’ income — for transportation, home heating, business and industry, governments and schools.

The plan also takes into account that the world’s dependence on ‘traditional’ forms of energy has had an adverse effect on the environment, especially strip mining for coal, air pollution from fossil fuel burning and the serious problem of nuclear waste disposal. Congress must begin the process that moves the world away from fossil fuels as an energy source and Rainville’s long-term energy plan starts that conversation.

“When I graduated from high school, more than 30 years ago, the keynote speech was on alternative energy. We cannot afford to wait another 30 years,” said Rainville.

“My energy plan acknowledges short-term realities while planning a long-term solution,” she added.

In the short term, Rainville’s plan has four goals for immediate action, which will have long-range effects:

1. Increased conservation and home energy production.
2. Increase supply of alternative fuels by repealing import duties and support for development of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel production.
3. Mandate government fleet vehicles be flex-fuel or hybrid.
4. Increase domestic offshore production of oil and natural gas.

Rainville’s plan also sets out two long-range goals:

1. Support programs to get American students interested in studying math, science and engineering
2. The creation of a far-sighted International Advanced Research Projects Agency on Energy

“My short-term plan will lessen America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil from unstable regimes by increasing domestic production, promoting ethanol use and enhancing commonsense conservation,” said Rainville. “My long-range plan might be far reaching but I believe it is important for elected officials to have vision and goals for the future.”


Increased conservation and home energy production.

Rainville’s plan will curb America’s energy demand by encouraging household energy conservation through “green construction” and Energy Star homes. The plan encourages individual household electric generation through small scale wind power generation, rooftop solar photovoltaic cells and mini-hydroelectric projects. The plan also calls for increased funding for public transportation and car pooling support programs.

“These are commonsense steps that Vermonters can take in our own back yards and must be encouraged,” Rainville said. “It’s amazing to me how many of the world’s problems can be solved locally.”

“In my own house, when my incandescent light bulbs burn out, I make sure to replace the bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting, which reduces my household electricity use,” she added.

Increase supply of ethanol by repealing import duties and increased support for development of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel production.

“We cannot seriously address America’s oil consumption without talking about our transportation system,” said Rainville. “In addition to looking at ways to conserve gas, we also need to look at other sources of vehicle fuels.”

The plan would repeal the 54-cent per gallon import duty on Brazilian ethanol, made from sugar cane. It is one of the most efficient ethanol processes and requires less energy to produce than it generates.

Rainville’s plan calls for increased support for research on cellulosic ethanol production using biomass waste and switchgrass. This is preferable to subsidizing corn-based ethanol production, which arguably consumes more petroleum energy than the product yields.

Mandate government fleet vehicles be flex-fuel or hybrid.

“We need to promote not only the availability but the use of alternative fuels,” Rainville said. “Government can lead by example.”

The plan calls for a “Golden Carrot” program of targeted procurement of high mileage flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles with four year payback periods for government fleet use. Rainville credited the “Golden Carrot” idea to Amory Lovins, author of Winning the Oil End Game.

The plan would also assist domestic auto manufacturers in retooling for flex-fuel and hybrid vehicle production with a series of tax credits, which would apply to vehicles produced for the commercial market.

Increase domestic offshore production of oil and natural gas.

Rainville’s plan calls for increased oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Florida, with federal royalty payments to affected states and sensible, 100-mile buffer zones to protect scenic costal property and public beaches.

Rainville’s plan would not permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“The natural gas resources we could tap by exploring the outer continental shelf could make a difference in the way we use oil,” Rainville said. “By shifting power plants over to natural gas use we will make the oil currently used in the plants available for transportation and for heating homes in the winter.”

Increase student interest, confidence and achievement in science, math and technology

“Through the STARBASE Vermont program I’ve seen thousands of students get very excited about science and technology,” Rainville said. “We need more programs like this and we need to support those students when they go on to pursue higher education in math, science and engineering.”

STARBASE, which stands for Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration, is a program of summer activities for students in grades four through six. Its goals include getting students interested in science math and technology, supporting young women who get involved in those fields, and building teamwork, decision making skills and self esteem.

Rainville’s plan calls for more such programs nationally, because the energy future of the world will need America’s best and brightest minds in science.

The creation of a far-sighted International Advanced Research Projects Agency on Energy.

“I believe America should join with the world’s other big energy consumers, such as China and India, to coordinate our technology and manpower to end our dependence on fossil fuels. When all of humankind works toward a common goal, there is nothing we can’t achieve,” Rainville said.

The sole mission of the International Advanced Research Projects Agency on Energy (IARPA-E) would be to create a renewable, clean and affordable energy source for the world’s future.

Rainville’s plan calls for three global scientific headquarters for the agency, one in Asia, the second in India and the third in the United States. The IARPA-E would be the equivalent of Lockheed-Martin’s famous “Skunk Works” when it built the famed U-2 and SR-71 “Blackbird” reconnaissance planes.

IARPA-E would harness the intellectual capital of the finest minds around the world to discover a new, clean, renewable and affordable energy source.

“In the interest of our children and our children’s children we must inspire the world to find the answer to our energy future,” Rainville said. “There is no greater gift we can give to future generations.”

Rainville’s plan would fund America’s portion of the international project in two ways. First, she supports eliminating “royalty-relief” for oil companies drilling on public lands. Royalty-relief, started in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and expanded in 2001 by President George Bush, would cost the federal government $7 billion dollars over the next five years. Rainville believes that this money will be better spent funding the IARPA-E.

She also supports a “windfall profit tax” of 50 percent for any profit oil companies make for oil sold above $40 a barrel, which should generate between $3 billion and $4 billion per year.


###
Paid for by Martha Rainville for Congress


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As Team McCain Continues To Drive The Energy Conversation In '08, Smart GOP Operatives Will Look Here To Find A 2010 Agenda


Johnny Mac continues to do his energy thing, bless him.

Meanwhile, we suggest that wannabe GOP strategists pick-up a copy of Worldchanging: A User's Guide To The 21st Century.

Noted: Yes, yes, Al Gore writes the introduction. Feel free to ignore it.

The book is jammed with PRACTICAL ideas for good GREEN governance that will work at the LOCAL/STATE/FEDERAL level.

Hey, 2010 is right around the corner.

And nobody believes that the GOP likes minority party status, right?

From the Publishers Weekly review:

This 600-page companion to the eco-friendly website of the same name (www.worldchanging.com) is chock-a-block with information about what is going on right now to create an environmentally and economically sustainable future-and what stands in opposition. Along the way, editor Steffen and his team make the stakes perfectly clear: "Oil company experts debate whether we will effectively run out of oil in twenty years or fifty, but the essential point remains: if you're under thirty, you can expect to see a post-oil civilization in your lifetime." The organization of the hefty volume mimics that of the website, divided into sections on Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Community, Business, Politics and Planet. Typical readers will be introduced to new concepts such as harvesting rainwater, zero-energy houses, South-South science and the use of flowers to detect land mines in entries on everything from "Knowing What's Green" to "Demanding Human Rights." Each entry is brief but comprehensive; for example, the passage on "Better Food Everywhere" focuses on "Where it Matters Most," "Better Restaurants," "Community Gardens," and "Urban Farming." All entries wrap up with reviews of pertinent resources-including books, websites and moves-where readers can get more detailed information. With color photos on nearly every page, and written by a small army of contributors living and working around the world (with biographies almost as fascinating as their contributions), it's hard to imagine a more complete resource for those hoping to live in a future that is, as editor Steffen puts it, "bright, green, free and tough."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Do You Go To Bed At Night And Wake-Up In The Morning?"

So jokes Chris Rock, ripping on the pharmaceutical industry:



What do you think someone with Rock's talent could do with API's latest lipstick on a pig attempt?

Noted: Surprise, you really do own an oil company! We all do! Sorta. So shut your mouth, pay $4+/gallon and for God's sakes don't rock the boat!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Team McCain & Team Obama Talk Energy. Read The Whole Thing.

Food for your brain.

Especially if you want to really understand where each candidate stands on the energy issue.

From last night's NewsHour:

JEFFREY BROWN: With gas prices up more than a dollar since this time last year, solving the country's energy needs has become a hot topic on the presidential campaign.

One of the sharpest differences is over off-shore drilling, the issue President Bush waded into today.

Yesterday, John McCain said he favored lifting a 26-year-old federal ban on off-shore drilling in the U.S.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States, but a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use.

JEFFREY BROWN: Barack Obama responded quickly, noting that the Arizona senator had supported the drilling ban when he ran for president eight years ago.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: This is yet another reversal by John McCain, in terms of his earlier positions. And I think we could set up an interesting debate between John McCain 2000 and John McCain 2008.

It seems like a classic Washington political solution, which is to go out there and make a statement without any clear evidence that this would result in strengthening the U.S. economy or providing relief to consumers.

JEFFREY BROWN: The ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf was first enacted by Congress in 1982. It protects nearly all of the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday, McCain sought to allay concerns that opening the shelf to drilling would damage the environment and tourism industries of some states.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: We can do this in ways that are consistent with sensible standards of environmental protection. And in states that choose to permit exploration, there must be an appropriate sharing of benefits between federal and state governments.

But as a matter of fairness to the American people and a matter of duty for our government, we must deal with the here and now and assure affordable fuel for America by increasing domestic production.

JEFFREY BROWN: In recent weeks, the candidates have had several other sharp disagreements, over a summer holiday from the federal gas tax -- McCain is for it, Obama opposed -- whether to tax the windfall profits of oil companies -- Obama has pushed this, McCain is opposed -- and subsidizing corn-based ethanol production -- Obama supports this, McCain is against. On nuclear power, McCain supports subsidies for new plants; Obama has said it can be part of the overall energy mix.

Obama spoke about his approach on Monday in Michigan.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: We will invest in research and development of every form of alternative energy -- solar, wind, and biofuels -- as well as technologies that can make coal burn cleanly and nuclear power safe.

We will provide incentives to businesses and consumers to save energy and make buildings more efficient. That's how we're going to create jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. That's how we're going to win back control of our destiny from oil-rich dictators.

JEFFREY BROWN: With surveys showing nearly 80 percent of Americans saying they're being financially affected by rising fuel prices, the issue is likely to remain a focus of the campaign.

Debating off-shore drilling

JEFFREY BROWN: And for a closer look at the candidates' different approaches, we're joined by senior policy advisers from the two campaigns.

Jason Grumet is with Barack Obama. Douglas Holtz-Eakin is with John McCain. He joins us from campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Well, Mr. Holtz-Eakin, in now calling for an end to the ban on off-shore drilling, does Senator McCain believe that would have a quick impact on oil prices?

DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN, Domestic Policy Adviser to John McCain: The impact would come in two forms. The first and most substantial would be increased production. Expanding global supply is part and parcel of any reasonable energy strategy, but it would take five years or so for dramatic amounts of new production to take place.

The more immediate impact would come from changing expectations, changing the behavior of participants in the energy futures markets that we've seen run up so sharply in recent months.

JEFFREY BROWN: Jason Grumet, what is the basis for Senator Obama's opposition?

JASON GRUMET, Senior Adviser to Barack Obama: Well, Jeff, Senator Obama just has a totally different vision for the future of energy policy and the future of our economy than that which Senator McCain and President Bush have laid out over the last couple of days.

It's time that we have a real, authentic discussion with the American people about the structural challenges we face. We are not going to get the job done with gimmicks, like the gas tax holiday...

JEFFREY BROWN: But off-shore drilling, you're calling that a gimmick?

JASON GRUMET: No, I'm calling that a false hope. The Department of Energy indicates that we're not going to get a drop of oil, even if we opened the entire off-shore, for at least a decade.

And by 2030, even if we drill all around the coast of this country, we will not have a meaningful impact on production or prices. And that's because we have a global energy market.

Three-quarters of every barrel we produce in this country goes to benefit somebody else. The only way we're going to regain any control of our own destiny, if we stop having this kind of silly debate about, "It's foreign oil versus domestic oil," and recognize we have to get off of oil.

Until we diversify our energy so that we are not dependent for 97 percent out of our transportation system on oil, we will be at the mercy of people who don't hold our interests at heart. Our economy will be vulnerable; our national security will be vulnerable.

And, you know, even Senator McCain three weeks ago acknowledged that drilling off the coast was just a kind of temporary salve with no real significance.

So we're not sure why he's going back to that old playbook, because we've been there for a long time. We've been on an energy policy holiday for 30 years, and I think it's time to get off.

JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Mr. Holtz-Eakin, respond to that. How does this fit into a much larger picture that he just raised?

DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Senator McCain has pledged to have a real change in leadership in Washington. No one would run for president and say we need to be increasing reliant on especially the foreign sources of oil. They constitute a national security threat, an economic threat, and an environmental threat.

Senator McCain has been a leader in the attempts to move us to a different kind of energy approach. In three successive congresses, he worked across the aisle, worked against even the interests of his own party at times, to produce climate change, cap-and-trade legislation that would fundamentally alter the incentives to produce oil in the United States and around the globe and to use it in the United States.

But any realistic, honest discussion with the American people includes oil over the near term. The commission that Jason led came to the same conclusion.

And so it's important in being honest with the American people to provide real leadership with real solutions. And that includes expanding, where possible, in an environmentally safe way, and Senator McCain is insistent that states get to say where it's appropriate to explore, that we take advantage of the ability to relieve pressure in the world oil markets.

Changing gas prices now


JEFFREY BROWN: Jason Grumet, stay in the near term for a moment. Does Senator Obama think that anything can be done to affect oil and gas prices or do Americans now have to get used to these high levels?

JASON GRUMET: Well, until we fundamentally grapple with our oil dependence and we make more efficient choices in our economy and come up with alternatives, we are going to be struggling with a system that's out of our control.

In the near term, there's really one thing that we can focus on, and that is to address the speculation in the oil markets. Senator Obama has sponsored legislation to get the CFTC to take a harder look at what...

JEFFREY BROWN: That's the commodities...

JASON GRUMET: Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He has supported legislative efforts that would try to address that kind of speculation.

But short of trying to address people profiteering during the suffering, we have to have a much more honest conversation -- and I think -- I guess Doug and I may have different views of honesty -- you know, telling the American people, as Senator McCain did in his speech that you ran, that we have to assure affordable fuel by increasing domestic production is not having an honest conversation with the American people.

We do not have the resources in this country to assure fuel prices through domestic production. We have 3 percent of the globe's energy resources. We simply do not have the ability to turn the crank here and make ourselves safe and secure.

And it's that kind of return to those failed policies that we think is misdirecting the American people from the real conversation we need to have, and that's about investing in efficiency and investing in alternatives.

JEFFREY BROWN: Let me just turn to a few specifics here, Mr. Holtz-Eakin. ANWR, another drilling issue, Senator McCain in the past has opposed drilling there. Does he still?

DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: He still opposes drilling in ANWR. It is named a national refuge for a reason. It is an ecologically special place, and he has always felt it should be at the back of the line for any domestic exploration.

JEFFREY BROWN: Is this an area of agreement?

JASON GRUMET: Well, there's an area of agreement there, but I guess there's a question of consistency, because the coast of this country, the great national parks of this country, the places where the moratoria are in place are also special and fragile places.

And I think we have a misconception. This is not a choice about whether America needs to play a role in the energy market. We're the third-largest energy-producing country in the world.

Two-thirds of all the oil wells ever drilled in the world have been drilled here in the U.S. Eighty percent of the recoverable resources on the Outer Continental Shelf are presently accessible.

So, you know, the issue is, in our mind, that this is just not fessing up to the real challenges. We fundamentally have to have not just tinkering around the edges. We have to have a fundamental course correction in our approach to energy policy, and we're not going to get there by hoping to get a little bit more oil in 15 years from the Outer Continental Shelf.

Is nuclear power possible?

JEFFREY BROWN: All right, another issue is nuclear power. Both candidates have talked about some role here. Senator McCain has talked about subsidies for building new plants, Doug Holtz-Eakin. Why? And what future does he see for nuclear power?

DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, John McCain actually puts action instead of just words on this issue. As I said, he's led on climate change. Nuclear power is zero emissions, available technology, powers 20 percent of our electricity today.

In the second of his addresses to the American people about the importance of fundamentally changing the way we do business, he said that we should aim for 45 additional nuclear power plants by 2030, moving us north of that 20 percent, ultimately building 100.

He talked about not a lobbyist's dream of handouts for tax credits on solar and wind power, but instead a rational system of sustained credits that bring those alternatives to the market and allow us to produce electricity cleanly.

And he made the commitment to be able to use our coal cleanly and to capture the carbon.

If you are going to be effective in changing the dynamic of global climate change discussions, we must be able to use our coal. We have a quarter of the world's supply, and China must be able to use it.

We can build the technologies, sell them to China, alter the landscape of the United States and around the globe. That's conversation he's having with American people, specific proposals, not saying, "America can't do this, America can't do that," provide the leadership, give the solutions, real reform to have prosperity and some change.

JEFFREY BROWN: On nuclear power, Senator Obama has talked about it being part of the mix, but not specific, from what I've heard.

JASON GRUMET: Senator Obama believes that we have a real crisis when it comes to the Earth's climate and believes that nuclear power is one of the most significant opportunities to bring non-carbon energy into the future.

It's 70 percent of our non-carbon energy right now. And Senator Obama believes that we need to do everything we can to create an opportunity for a future for the nuclear industry because of the concerns we have about climate change.

At the same time, he recognizes that there are serious questions about costs. There are concerns in the public's eye about safety. And we have real issues with waste storage and proliferation.

Rather than just coming up with a random number, kind of pointing for the fence and saying, "I want 100 new plants," Senator Obama believes we have to kind of grapple with those very real problems.

And, you know, the Energy Act provided very significant taxpayer supports already for nuclear power. We have insurance for the risks of accidents. We have taxpayer-supported insurance if we have delays in permitting.

What we don't understand is, beyond saying, "I'd like to have 100 new nuclear power plants," what is it that the McCain campaign is suggesting the taxpayers do for nuclear power that we're not doing already?

Government's role in new energy


JEFFREY BROWN: We're not going to be able to walk through all of the issues here this time, and I promise you we'll come back during the campaign.

But for a final question, a kind of philosophical question, the role of government in affecting our energy future. I'll start with you, Jason Grumet. How does Senator Obama think the government should -- how aggressive should the government be in pushing alternative energy or whatever the policy is?

JASON GRUMET: The challenges that we face right now in energy dependence and climate change are different in scope and in character than almost anything that we've really confronted as a country before.

And we need a different kind of leadership that's going to bring coalitions together to solve real problems, but that's also going to have an honest conversation with the American people.

This is not just about, you know, fancy new ideas. It's going to require a sense of shared commitment among the politics to actually move new solutions forward. We're going to actually have to acknowledge that we are in this together and that we're going to actually have to take real actions as a people, not just try to point to some hope for a future.

So I think that the concern that Senator Obama has of the energy policy is critical to our domestic security; it's critical to our economic security; it's critical to our national security. And he'll make it a real priority in the Obama White House.

JEFFREY BROWN: Doug Holtz-Eakin, the role of government?

DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Senator McCain believes deeply that this is an important challenge that faces America, but the American people have always been the source of greatness that overcomes challenges.

He believes that an effective government will put in place those policies that unite corporate planners and environmentalists, bring venture capitalists together with those who want to use coal, and find the technologies and the innovations that will allow America to free itself of the threat that oil places us in a national security basis, an economic basis, an environmental basis.

He's going to put in place incentives for the private sector, turn it loose, and America can have reforms that make us cleaner, reforms that lead to prosperity, and rid ourselves of the threats that we face at this moment.

JEFFREY BROWN: All right. And we will come back to any number of these issues over the next few months. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Jason Grumet, thank you very much.

JASON GRUMET: Thanks.

DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Thank you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Excellent! (not)


Oh good!

The Cowboy Governor is jumping in with McCain to try and end the offshore drilling ban.

And it looks like there is going to be a statement from the Rose Garden at 10:30? Great!!!

Hopefully The Big Dick will weigh in over the next 24 hours and really seal the deal. Maybe he can bring his secret energy advisers along for the ride.

But let's set aside the snark for a moment and get serious.

Ending the ban on offshore drilling is "shitty" policy because it won't do anything to affect gas prices (those aren't Obama talking points, that's reality).

And ending the ban on offshore drilling is "shitty" politics because it not only puts the candidate in jeopardy in coast states like Florida (we don't have data, but we can't believe that swing voters in FL support lifting the ban, even with $4/gallon gas), and it further ties McCain to Bush/Cheney/and all those fat and happy oil execs down in Houston who hooted and hollered like children when McCain announced he was in favor of lifting the ban.

Think Team Obama has video footage of that?

We humbly suggest that Team McCain move on to the next piece of its energy plan as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beginning To Understand What An "Apollo Type Crash Program" For Renewable Energy Looks Like


Statesmen who wish to sell "Going Green Forever" to the American public better be damn sure they know what they're getting into. Because if they don't, those who would sit on their hands and do nothing about the energy mess we're currently in will eat their lunch.

So before forward thinking statesmen (and their political staff) start plotting the future, they might try taking a look back.

And read what NYT's reporter John Noble Wilford wrote about the early days of our space program.

So that they may learn how a government run crash program spanning (and including) an entire continent managed to couple America's Biggest Dreams (and fears) with the intense willpower, manpower, money and organization necessary to allow the boys in the picture above a shot at getting the job done.

Absolutely. Fascinating.

And well worth every dreamer's time.

Hey, Who Turned Off The Xbox? And Why The F*ck Is Our Beer Warm?!!??


Forbes's Mark Mills has a must-read on the coming electricity crisis.

The scariest graphs:

Recall the summers of electric discontent for California in 2000 and 2001? Wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed, reflecting tight supply conditions (conditions that were exploited, but not created, by traders at Enron). The consequences were a bankruptcy filing by the state's biggest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (amex: PCG.PR.A - news - people ), and the early departure of a governor.

Multiply by dozens of states. Add in brownouts. Buy candles.
That sure doesn't sound like a party.

Example #1,492 of why America needs to fire up an Apollo type crash program to "create" a cheap, renewable and clean burning energy source.

And then share it with the whole world. For free.

An American Hero Refuses To Cede The Global Warming/Alternative Energy Issue To The Democrats

By 2010 the national Republican Party will be on its knees thanking God that Johnny Mac came out on this issue as early and as forcibly as he did.

Until then, the independents in the swing states are going to love this:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Team Obama Echo Chamber At Red Alert

Over this:



Remarks that Johnny Mac has been making on the trail for about the last 12 months.

Remarks that, from where we're sitting, are absolutely accurate.

In any event, Senator John Kerry (D-Paris), responded by saying:

What Sen. McCain has articulated again today… is a policy for staying in Iraq, and it’s completely contrary to the desires as well as the needs of the American people.
To which we respond:
If John Kerry and the Democrats got off their asses, stopped whining about the minority party and actually passed forward looking energy legislation well, Senator Kerry might have a point.

But until America moves off of fossil fuels, America has a national security interest in the Middle East. And "having a national security interest in the Middle East" in this case means tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of U.S. troops being station in Iraq.

Shitty. But true.

And by the way, how many miles per gallon does your wife's private jet get Senator Kerry?
We're not shouting at the rain when we say again (and again and again and again) that our addiction to oil is driving our foreign policy and national security needs and flushing (in our opinion) this country right down the toilet.

Get it?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Harry Reid Sure Is No Lyndon Johnson


As measured by Reid's effectiveness as Senator Majority Leader - the Senate's Climate Change bill is dead.

So put a check mark in the win column for the Saudis/Iranians/Russians/Venezuelans and Dick Cheney's buddies.

Pathetic.

Noted 2010 Watch: Forward looking Republican operatives will see an opportunity in the Democratic Party's inability to deliver on climate change legislation. And with one eye fixed firmly on independent voters and Clean Tech's deep wallets, will plan accordingly.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Grab A Dictionary And Play Along!


Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten have a piece up in this morning's LA Times: GOP struggles to reinvent without losing itself.

We thought it would be fun to grab our dictionary and sort out some of our favorite graphs.

Like this one:

The difficulty of a swift reinvention was on display last week as the central players in Washington's conservative community gathered for their weekly strategy session, the Wednesday Meeting, held in a conference room of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform organization.
In our dictionary under "out-of-touch & impotent" it says "see those old white guys".

And:
While reaching out to Latinos, McCain showed last week that he is fully aware of the risks that his immigration stance poses in alienating a vocal portion of conservative Republicans.
In our dictionary under "mouth breathing, shouting-at-the-rain xenophobes" it says "see those old white guys".

And:
Republican strategists who once sought to annihilate McCain for his independence are now enthusiastically backing his candidacy, offering strategic advice and affirmation of his conservative credentials. They include Bush's former senior strategist, Karl Rove; and Norquist, the anti-tax activist.
In our dictionary under "two guys who helped bury their client with an approval rating of 28%, didn't see the '06 Democrat romp coming, think that '08 is going to be fine so long as the Republicans are steady as she goes & wake-up each and every morning desperately wishing that it was 2002 again (and then acting like it was)" it says "see those two white guys".

And:
Late last week, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh castigated McCain for his "embrace of a radical environmental agenda," calling it a sign that the Republican Party "is abandoning conservatism, abandoning those things and those people that made it victorious."
In our dictionary under "might be living in a pharmaceutical haze and is definitely forgetting that the GOP abandoned its 'conservatism' 7 (or more) years ago with his loud, obnoxious and extraordinarily over-paid and over-pampered help" it says "see that white guy".

We love the dictionary. It brings such clarity to our thinking.

Snark.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Interesting Bit Of Info On McCain's Recent Climate Ad

Jim Geraghty has got it.

Somewhere once or twice before we think we've mentioned that climate change - excuse us, we mean national/economic security - can be a great issue for the Republicans in a general.

Next step, lowering the toxicity of the climate change issue in Republican Primaries.

No sweat.

Here is McCain's ad again

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On The Editors At National Review Online

Ah yes!

Now we get it!

NRO's position on global warming/alternative energy must be unfashionable, yet informed.

Why? Because John McCain's position is exactly the opposite of theirs.

Of course, writing it on your editorial page don't make it so.

To put in another way: What do people think the true cost is, in treasure and blood, to continue hauling a dirty, finite resource out of hellholes around the globe? To have a foreign policy driven by our addiction to oil? To have a unholy dependence on nation states who would slit our throats if they could only figure out a way to take money from a dead body?

It's. A. Lot.

And we figure that any critique of any progressive energy plan better have those numbers in the "cost of doing nothing" column.

John McCain's energy plan is far from perfect. But it's a start. Which puts him ahead of 99% of DC Republicans (and their publishing organs) and ahead of 50% of the Republican Governors.

And he came up with his plan not because it's "fashionable" or "politically expedient". He came up with his plan because he knows what our energy reality is. And that reality has as much or more to do with our national and economic security as it does with polar bears and melting ice caps.

So the boys and girls at NRO might spend a little less time on "Any talk of ending our dependence on oil is an Al Gore plot to turn the keys of our kingdom over to Red China", and a little more time using their large soapbox to start a dialogue on what a fossil free future looks like and how to get there.

We're just saying.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Breaking On The AP Wire: "Oil prices eclipse $126 a barrel before US driving season as investors flee the dollar"


Is it time to start talking about a massive, state sponsored, global alternative energy project?

No.

That time has passed. It's now time to start doing it.

What doesn't Washington understand?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Alternative Energy: While Washington Continues To Suck On The Status Quo Teat, The States Don't


The WaPo's Juliet Eilperin had a great story over the weekend about communities across the United States being unwilling/unable to wait for Washington to get its act together on the issue of global warming.

Well worth a read.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Iran Dumps U.S. Dollar For Oil Trades


CNN (and the AP) is reporting.

The first and twelfth story graphs are so "through the looking glass" we think that we might have been slipped some acid earlier in the day:

Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer, has stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars, a top Oil Ministry official said Wednesday, in a concerted attempt to reduce reliance on Washington at a time of tension over Tehran's nuclear program and suspected involvement in Iraq...
However, the U.S. has been wary of targeting Iran's oil industry directly, apparently worried that such a move could drive up crude prices that are already at record levels.
"Reduce reliance on Washington".

&

"the U.S. has been wary of targeting Iran's oil industry directly"

The Iranians are smart enough to reduce their reliance on us (and further reduce the demand for our currency), but what do we do? We fight over some chickensh*t gas tax while at the same time continuing to fill our gas guzzling cars and trucks at the gasoline pumps like the last 50 years never happened.

Isn't anyone else tired of our foreign/economic policy being hijacked by our addiction to an outdated technology?

Because the Iranians sure aren't.

Snark.

You're Going To Need A Lot Of Money...


to break the Exxon Mobile/Saudi Arabia/incumbent bureaucracy's stranglehold on America's current (lack of a) energy policy.

Money to organize and communicate at the neighborhood level in key states across the United States. Money to operate through 2012 (maybe even the '14 midterms, maybe beyond). Money to snap up the best political talent in America and keep them happy and willing to throw political haymakers. Money to go to war with a century of entrenched interests. Money to fight people who built their empires literally by digging in forgotten places around the globe with their bare hands. Money for a crusade. Money to turn on the DC money spigot for the best and brightest scientists and engineers and keep it on for as long as they need.

In other words, you need political "F*ck You" money.

And you're going to need a ocean of it.

The good news? It's out there.

And then some.

All it's doing now is looking for political representation.

And the Smithsonian is holding a choice spot in its American History Museum for whoever that turns out to be.