Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Will Dubya Shoot for the Moon Tonight?

Probably not, but the Apollo Alliance's Jerome Ringo makes a compelling case for why funding renewable energy development is not only smart and bold, but also conservative. From his TomPaine.com piece:
Tonight, instead of recycling last year’s failed promises, the president ought to use his State of the Union address to call for clean energy solutions equal to the challenge our country now faces. He should then follow through with the funding and legislation needed to get the job done.

Whether President Bush will do so remains to be seen. Over the weekend, the president confided to CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer that he would once again talk up ethanol—a gasoline substitute made from corn—in tonight’s address. We shouldn’t forget, though, that Bush promised “strong funding” for ethanol in last year’s State of the Union, then just days later cut funding for ethanol research and development in his budget to Congress.

Instead of more empty promises, the president should offer a bold plan to unite the country behind a 10-year man-to-the-moon, Apollo-style challenge to make America independent of foreign oil. When accomplished, this mission will create 3 million new clean energy jobs and, finally, make us independent of foreign oil. Two ideas in particular can get the country on the right course immediately.
Ringo argues that reducing oil imports (through incentives for biofuels and "flex-fuel" cars) while investing in renewable energy technology through federal loan guarantees would generate entrepreneurial enthusiasm for renewables, and "...create a clean energy future that made our country safer, created millions of family-supporting jobs and let our planet breath just a little bit easier." In other words, he sees a "win-win-win" situation that holds to the President's "faith in free markets." A bold plan, no doubt... but don't count on hearing anything like it tonight...

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