Friday, July 11, 2008

The politics of big... alternative energy?

The world is trying to diversify on energy and in the United States Green Politics has become the new throwdown arena. The shirt sleeves are rolled up (but just a little bit) and money is on the line (just a little bit, I mean it is a lot but not when compared to how much goes elsewhere) so it is no wonder that, in an election cycle, that energy security and diversification is starting to move to the forefront.

It starts off small, a NC US Senate candidate named Kay Hagan decides to address the issue while at a local gas station. Apparently Hagan supports alternative energy, wants to know how the gas prices are impacting those who may vote, and is towing the new Democratic line of releasing oil from the reserves which Bush has rejected thus far.

It is obvious to anyone who has been listening that McCain and Obama, both Presidential wannabes, have differing views on how to save the United States. In the arena of Green Politics it is no different. While both agree that something needs to be done with the energy policy (that diversification thing I mentioned above), they do differ on how we need to move into the future energy market. Obama wants to reduce oil imports and consumption by way of alternative energy and also by mandating higher MPG goals for automakers. McCain wants us to continue using oil, tap into reserves that are currently off limits, and yes, a little bit of renewable energies might make it to the table too but it is unlikely.

Recently shots have been fired on the energy front. The Republicans aired a spot that attacked Obama on energy. Basically they label him as an obstruction to what they deem to be the immediate solutions to our energy crisis. That is to say he does not want to drill off the coast, he does not do backflips for nuclear energy (which is unfortunate IMHO), and that he brings nothing new to the table in this debate.

Not to be outdone because this is an election after all, the DNC has fired back with a spot of their own. Basically they paint McCain as being George Bush in new clothing, supporting a plan that will not produce any new supplies for at least seven years, and that Obama would give the poor tax breaks and fast track alternative energy programs.

Now just to throw some gasoline on the fire (or rather ethanol) we can also be prepared to be hammered by the Grocery Manufacturers Association who are going to start waging an open war against ethanol. The question is will they end up being a Swift Boat attack or will they have staying power?

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