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Energy Independence

Fighting the New American Revolution — Energy Independence

The US is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day, the day when citizens vowed to fight against crushing taxes, inflation, and a rising price of necessities — Americans took a stand then against tyranny, and fought. Now as the country picnics and watches fireworks to commemorate that fight, is the situation any different?

Taxes, inflation, cost of necessities — what was once tea, is now Texas Tea — oil, all factors point to another fight. Is energy the new American Revolution? In this new battle for independence, are citizens willing to sacrifice to win freedom from the tyrannous and costly addiction we have to standard forms of energy?

John McCain's plan for a modern energy revolution takes that parallel seriously — he's dubbed his energy revolution the "Lexington Project," named for the town where, according to his speech last week, "Americans asserted their independence once before." To see the battle plan for energy independence,


McCain's Lexington Project includes:

  • Expanding Domestic Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production: "John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities."
  • Taking Action Now To Break Our Dependency On Foreign Oil By Reforming Our Transportation Sector: Which includes innovation incentives like his Clean Car Challenge.
  • Investing In Clean, Alternative Sources Of Energy: The plan commits $2 billion annually to clean coal technologies and 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030.
  • Protecting Our Environment By Addressing Climate Change: Basically this: "A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s."
  • Promoting Energy Efficiency: By making the federal government conserve too — since they are the largest electricity consumer on the planet.
  • Addressing Speculative Pricing Of Oil: No Carter-inspired windfall profits tax and strict policing on energy market-wagering abuses.

Will this do it? Is the US headed into a new revolution? Is the US ready to wage a war for energy independence? Is it time for a Boston SUV party?


Join The Conversation
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I like McCain's policies, but I don't feel they go far enough. Right now we are competing with Spain, Germany, Brazil, Japan, all of these countries that have invested in their energy economy, and they are greatly reaping the benefits. In order for us to be global leaders and not followers, I think we need to be pro-active. Germany, for example, in less than 8 years has created 250,000 jobs and is now a world leader in solar power even though they have a not super sunny climate. China is developing an advanced network of hubs and ports, and Germany has launced rail and telecom projects to tie their cities together. I just feel we know where the economy is headed, we know that over the next 50 years energy and transportation will be a major obstacle...or a major opportunity. I think we need to be very aggressive when it comes to this.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Also, it was my understanding that the $300 million wouldn't mean the federal government was buying the battery from the creator; it would be a reward in addition to whatever the person got from the sale of his or her idea. Oh, and I see that the grid problem was raised. Here's what McCain has to say about that: John McCain Will Move The United States Toward Electricity Grid And Metering Improvements To Save Energy. John McCain will work to reduce red tape to allow a serious investment to upgrade our national grid to meet the demands of the 21st century - which will include a capacity to charge the electric cars that will one day fill the roads and highways of America. And to save both money and electrical power for our people and businesses, we will also need to deploy SmartMeter technologies. These new meters give customers a more precise picture of their overall energy consumption, and over time will encourage a more cost-efficient use of power. Of course, all of these are just bullet points, his actual plans are much more in depth.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Here are just a few more parts of McCain's plan: John McCain Supports Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) And Believes They Should Play A Greater Role In Our Transportation Sector. In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs. John McCain Will Effectively Enforce Existing CAFE Standards. John McCain has long supported CAFE standards - the mileage requirements that automobile manufacturers' cars must meet. Some carmakers ignore these standards, pay a small financial penalty, and add it to the price of their cars. John McCain believes that the penalties for not following these standards must be effective enough to compel all carmakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles. John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power. According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars. All are taken directly from McCain's website.
stephley stephley 8 years
Will we ever be able to get coal without risking miners' lives and ruining the environment? Since we know the sun, wind and geothermal are sustaining and pollute less, I consider that a more revolutionary way to go. Conservation should really be a major part of any plan.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
People have been testy around here lately. It must be the astrological stuff Harmony was talking about the other day...
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
The last post was supposed to say McCain's plan.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Jill, I wasn't referring to you. I could tell from #3 that you don't think drilling is the only part of Obama's plan.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I feel bad when I make super long posts, but apparently some people want them! I think the clean car idea is a good direction to focus on, but I think that $300 million prizes fall short of strong energy policy. So it is nice, but not a solid plan, IMO. First off, it will take a big investment to create that technology. Why would a company/inventor sell their idea to the US government for $300 million, when they could make more money off the technology by having a variety of people/countries to sell to? I think Obama's plan is more focused on the car and energy industry as a whole, and the education and resources that are needed to revolutionize how Americans use energy. I think Clean Coal is a good idea, but I have heard some experts suggest that this technology is a long ways away, if possible at all. I think that if we can develop this technology before China, we can sell it to them. They have a lot of coal that they will use one way or another. I just have doubts as to whether this technology can be developed. I also think that depending on fossil fuels is a bad habit, so maybe we shouldn't start another addiction. Cap and Trade is interesting, and I believe both Obama and McCain are for this. To be honest, since they are both for it, I haven't looked into it as much! ;) Bad Jillness! I think that ending speculation is a good thing, however, I have heard Obama mention closing the loopholes that Enron highlighted. It was a while ago that I read about it, but I read that leading up to Enron's collapse, there was speculation going on that played into the grid failures that caused rolling blackouts in CA. Those blackouts were unnecessary, they were the result of an energy company shorting the supply to increase profit. I know that Obama focuses a lot on wind, sun, and ecothermal energy, and I wonder if McCain sees drawbacks to these sources. I like that they don't produce waste like coal or Nuclear.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Which is noted in the article but seems to have been forgotten by some of those commenting.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I think it's important to note that exploring the reserves is not the only part of McCain's energy plan.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
jillness, are you kidding? he really said "exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial." ???? YIKES! Why make real changes that would move you forward when you can just sit in the same muck, but feel better about it? :-(
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Revolution! Ha! That would disrupt our comfy daily lives. I'd say that I agree with McCain on 2/3 of his energy policy. Not bad for a Republican.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
When asked about how offshore drilling would help, even though it would have little impact on the price of oil and the minor benefits wouldn't reach us for years, McCain said: "exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial."
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I'm with stephly and kerryg - come on, let's get some innovative ideas flowing here. This is just more of the same-old, repackaged!
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I don't really understand the new drilling idea. Most economists recognize that this wouldn't reach our supply for around 10 years, and even then it wouldn't have an effect on gas prices because it wouldn't enter the global market. The gas companies already have millions of acres they can drill on but chose not to, and then there is also the problem of refineries. It doesn't matter how much unrefined oil we get if there aren't enough refineries to process it in a timely manner. It doesn't help the "supply" side of things if it isn't ready to go. I worry about Nuclear power, but I do think it is something to further research. We just really need to know a safe way to handle the waste if we do. The good thing about wind and solar power is they don't create the self defeating hazardous waste.
KerryG KerryG 8 years
I'm with stephley. Old ideas that mostly pander to industry without encouraging the kind of innovation (and conservation) that will be required to actually fix the problem.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
His ideas are interesting, but I like Obama's better. Shocking, I know. ;)
stephley stephley 8 years
"John McCain's plan for a modern energy revolution takes that parallel seriously..." Really? Since when is the best first step in kicking an addiction to find new sources for your drug? I know that finding equally unhealthy alternatives to your first addiction (coal and nuclear)won't help the situation much either. A gimmick to come up with a new kind of car battery is cute, but how about getting serious and offer incentives or pressure to companies already making cars to make them more efficient with incentives for consumers to buy the efficient cars? Under Clinton/Gore, the government already had taken serious steps to conserve so how revolutionary is something that's been done for years anyway? McCain's homage to Lexington is less 'shot heard round the world' and more firing of a pop gun.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
i'd like to see an announcement from washington that all americans have to start conserving gas. i think it needs to happen now, not in january 2009 during a new administration. everyone needs to pitch in here, not just those who can't afford the gas and who are using less due to necessity.
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