Just for the record, I am not a tree-hugger or environmental extremist by any means — and not that there is anything wrong with being a tree-hugger or environmental extremist anyway.
Like many things in life, I believe you should be able to choose to live your life in a fashion that you can afford and in a manner that society accepts as long as your pay your fair share of the costs associated with the mess you leave while those things you do.
But when it comes to oil and the citizens of the United States being so dependent on foreign oil for their gas guzzling cars, I think anything we can do to reduce this dependency is only in our best interests.
Over the past five years there has been an amazing increase in technology to create viable hybrid alternatives to gas powered vehicles. A New York Times article reported on a hybrid by Ford that uses grid electricity and hydrogen to provide power for the vehicle.
The only barrier to hybrids becoming mainstream and replacing gasoline powered vehicles is getting to the tipping point of mass adoption. Now, I’m not a fan of the government getting involved in my life at every turn; however, when it comes to policies that can increase everyone’s standard of living I think it is the proper role of the government to help us collectively move down the right path.
We, as a unified people, need to move our society to these technologies. The price of oil and the geo-political issues surrounding oil are only going to increase and become more volatile.
We have the skills and if properly motivated, we can move our petroleum based society to clean, alternative energy solutions.
Here’s how we do it politically and economically:
- Starting in 2010 require each car manufacturer to manufacture 10% of their new cars produced for United States consumption as alternative energy compliant – only pure electric, hydrogen or a mix of both qualify.
- Each year thereafter increase the quota ten percent until 2020 when all new cars manufactured are alternative energy based cars.
- To entice consumers to purchase these cars, in 2010 give a one hundred percent tax credit for the full purchase price of the vehicle to each tax payer buying such equipped cars.
- For each year after 2010 reduce the tax credit by ten percent until 2019 when there will be only a ten percent tax credit available from then on.
Yes, there will always be our antiques and old cars that continue to run on gas. But after 2019 there will be no new cars sold in the United States that run on gas. And just think of the derivatives of creating this demand — new power generation technologies will explode and new ways of creating clean, alternative energy will trickle down to other parts of our lives. For instance, creating alternative energy technologies will fuel advances in lowering the costs to power homes and businesses.
And here is one last thought as to the benefits: there are NO downsides. Going in this direction will reduce our dependencies on external energy suppliers and we will reduce the impact each of us makes to the environment. In the game of business and politics this is what’s known as a WIN-WIN for everyone eventually.