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You Drive Me Crazy? McCain's Car Prize and Obama's Ethanol

You Drive Me Crazy? McCain's Car Prize and Obama's Ethanol

John McCain is putting money where his energy mouth is: he's just announced he's proposing a $300 million government prize for the successful development of a car battery that far surpasses existing technology. The prize haul is equal to $1 for every man, woman, and child in the country, which he says is "a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency."

If you're thinking about entering, the winning device should deliver power at 30 percent of current costs and have "the size, capacity, cost, and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars." Looking toward rewarding success in finding eco-autos, he's also promoting a Clean Car Challenge that will give US automakers with a $5,000 tax credit for every zero-carbon emissions car they develop and sell.

McCain says of the prize, "In the quest for alternatives to oil, our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure. From now on, we will encourage heroic efforts in engineering, and we will reward the greatest success."

Get out of my dreams, get into my car? Perhaps.

Who's driving Barack Obama's "Pink Cadillac?" To find out,

.

Last summer Obama was on hand to cut the ribbon at the new VeraSun Energy ethanol processing plant. As a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a full-throttle endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
He said that ethanol, “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” Saying that US oil dependence, "makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”

McCain sharply disagrees on the corn-as-fuel plan as well as subsidies for it, saying, “we made a series of mistakes by not adopting a sustainable energy policy, one of which is the subsidies for corn ethanol, which I warned in Iowa were going to destroy the market.” Obama favors the subsidies, some of which inevitably wind up in the hands of the same oil companies he says should be subjected to a windfall profits tax.

Who's driving the better auto alternative? More ethanol? A prize for developing a better battery? Is either plan "Paradise by the Dashboard Light?"

Source

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Jillness Jillness 7 years
"If the government pays out a $300-million dollar prize for this battery, do the people of the U.S. then own the battery technology? Who gets it?" I was wondering this too. If the government owns it, it will surely make waaaaaay more than $300 million in selling and using the technology. If a person or company did come up with this invention, they would be better served by selling it to a company, where they would most likely make far more money.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Corn for ethanol has turned out to be a horrible idea. However, it has allowed scientists to figure out ways to use moss, or other none food plants to make ethanol. Now if we could just get the carmakers to create engines that run on ethanol...
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I agree that ethanol is not the way to go. I admit that I once did, but you see that is the beauty of trial and error. There are a variety of options some much better than others. Some more suited for different regions than others. Ethanol might be a great idea in the heart of corn land but a horrible idea in the heart of California. Bolstering research into battery technology is a great way to go. I'm sure that although Sen. Obama endorsed an ethanol plant in Illinois I'm not going to take that as his only idea for alternate fuel. I'm sure that he agrees with Sen. McCain’s ideas as well as others.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
I hope that if the government is paying $300 million, the US government gets the technology. I have a feeling that the US is going to take that technology and give it to the other nations as a gesture of goodwill to help us all fight man-made GWT.
stephley stephley 7 years
If the government pays out a $300-million dollar prize for this battery, do the people of the U.S. then own the battery technology? Who gets it? If the prize winner gets to keep the rights to the battery then he or she gets the prize and all the money from marketing the battery. How carefully thought out is this idea?
Jillness Jillness 7 years
He also gave a speech he called his "Metropolitan Strategy" on Friday...but I haven't had a chance to read that one yet!
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I just posted links to his plans, but they got flagged, but hopefully it will be up soon.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I was wondering about that too...was he offering HIS money as a prize, or tax payer money? Here is Obama's long term energy/economy speech. http://www.barackobama.com/2008/06/16/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_79.php Here is the short term energy/economic speech: http://www.barackobama.com/2008/06/09/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_76.php
stephley stephley 7 years
I think the $300 million dollar prize is more a gimmick than a serious proposal. Since the government would offer the prize, it won't be McCain's fault when the idea is voted down in Congress.
nicachica nicachica 7 years
thanks Jillness! Just out of curiosity, what do you think of McCain's 300 million prize? It's a lot of money, but i'm sure its more symbolic than anything...
Jillness Jillness 7 years
Nica, this thread REALLY has nothing to do with Obama's plan. He has a speech he gave on June 16th, I believe, that is called something like "Increasing Competitiveness". It has soooooo many details, and shows how he the problems of economy and energy can be tackled in a way that benefits American business and environment. I highly recommend that you guys check it out. I thought it was brilliant. But it is long and detailed...so if you like fluff it might not be your thing.
nicachica nicachica 7 years
I actually really like McCain's plan. It would be a real point of national pride to create a car battery that saves energy and frees us from oil. I think there are also a lot of other aspects to Obama's plan that we're not seeing. I'll have to research that more...
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I thought Bloomberg already offered a hundred million dollars for a more efficient car battery? As for Ethanol, I know that Obama thinks we should support many different forms of alternative energy, not just ethanol. Since ethanol is already a functioning technology, it can be a transitional fuel to get us off oil faster. I don't think there will be 1 alternative fuel solution...we will need to recognize the pros and cons of each alternative and use it to our best advantage.
liliblu liliblu 7 years
From the article,"Ethanol industry executives and advocates have not made large donations to either candidate for president, an examination of campaign contribution records shows." "McCain does lead all other senators, and all others who ran for president, in contributions from the oil and gas industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ analysis of federal data in the 2007-08 election cycle. McCain collected $724,000 through May." http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/06/18/protester-drills-mccain-on-oil-money/
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
Didn't some celebrity recently do something similar involving space travel? I definitely think that this is a great idea. I have heard a lot recently that ethanol isn't a great idea, but back in 2007 I didn't hear that as much. It's possible that more research has brought to light some downfalls.That's the thing with expirimenting with new technologies. I think some missteps are inevitable. But I don't think trying new things and failing should be inexcusable. It would be inexcusable if despite all the research he went ahead with it solely to benefit some big corporations.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
Didn't some celebrity recently do something similar involving space travel? I definitely think that this is a great idea. I have heard a lot recently that ethanol isn't a great idea, but back in 2007 I didn't hear that as much. It's possible that more research has brought to light some downfalls. That's the thing with expirimenting with new technologies. I think some missteps are inevitable. But I don't think trying new things and failing should be inexcusable. It would be inexcusable if despite all the research he went ahead with it solely to benefit some big corporations.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
OK, like a third of the way down.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
OK, like a third of the way down.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
Ooh, I wasn't making it up! Yay. :) It's halfway down on this page...
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
Ooh, I wasn't making it up! Yay. :) It's halfway down on <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/us/politics/23ethanol.html?pagewanted=2&ref=politics">this page</a>...
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Do you have the link citizen? I don't remember specifics, it has been a while since I read up on ethanol, mainly because I thought everyone now understood it is a bad plan. In New Jersey they force the oil companies to put Ethanol in the gas here over the summer, to help with pollution. The only problem is that it actually burns gas quicker so you are using MORE gas!
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Do you have the link citizen? I don't remember specifics, it has been a while since I read up on ethanol, mainly because I thought everyone now understood it is a bad plan.In New Jersey they force the oil companies to put Ethanol in the gas here over the summer, to help with pollution. The only problem is that it actually burns gas quicker so you are using MORE gas!
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
I think I might remember from the article that corn ethanol makes 2 parts energy to every 1 part used, and sugar cane ethanol is 8 to 1, but there's trouble with that because most of it comes from Brazil? That's just a vague paraphrase from the piece, but yes there are efficiency issues for sure.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
I think I might remember from the article that corn ethanol makes 2 parts energy to every 1 part used, and sugar cane ethanol is 8 to 1, but there's trouble with that because most of it comes from Brazil? That's just a vague paraphrase from the piece, but yes there are efficiency issues for sure.
pinkmystic pinkmystic 7 years
It says that Obama was for ethanol last summer... I wonder if he still feels the same way (since so much research on the topic has been done since then).
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