While speaking at a gas station in Indianapolis, IN today, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid the blame for the nation’s energy woes on the special interests and Washington, D.C. politicians desire to cater to them. Obama also talked about his energy plan.
“We need a President who’s looking out for families in Indiana, not just doing what’s good for multinational corporations, and that’s the kind of President I’ll be. It isn’t right that oil companies are making record profits at a time when ordinary Americans are going into debt trying to pay rising energy costs. In the paper today, there was an article about how millions of Americans are falling behind on their energy bills, and a record number of Americans could face energy shut-offs over the next two months,” Obama said.
He proposed, “That’s why we’ll put a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use it to help Indiana families pay their heating and cooling bills and reduce energy costs. We’ll also take steps to reduce the price of oil and increase transparency in how prices are set so we can ensure that energy companies aren’t bending the rules. And to help Indiana families meet the rising cost of gas, we’ll put a middle class tax cut in their pockets that will save them $1,000 a year, and we’ll eliminate income taxes altogether for seniors making less than $50,000.”
He talked about investing in green technology to relieve our energy problems and create jobs, “And as President, I’ll work to solve this energy crisis once and for all. We’ll invest $150 billion over the next ten years in establishing a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million new jobs – and those are jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced. We’ll invest in clean energies like solar, wind, and biodiesel. And we’ll help make sure that the fuel we’re using is more efficient.”
Obama said about Clinton and McCain, “The candidates with the Washington experience – my opponents – are good people. They mean well. But they’ve been in Washington for a long time, and even with all that experience they talk about, nothing has happened. This country didn’t raise fuel efficiency standards for over thirty years. So what have we got for all that experience? Gas that’s approaching $4 a gallon – because you can fight all you want inside Washington, but until you change the way it works, you won’t be able to make the changes Americans need.”
One of Obama’s greatest assets is his honesty. Unlike his opponents, he doesn’t try to minimize the energy problem. Notice that unlike McCain, he didn’t offer a “gas tax holiday” that would only make our problems worse in the long term. Obama offers real long term solutions, but what concerns me if he becomes the next president is that he will find out just how strong and entrenched the special interests really are, and how limited presidential power can be.
If you are going to vote Obama in the fall, be sure to vote for more Democratic Congressional candidates. A President Obama will need a majority in Congress large enough to pass his agenda.
Text of Obama’s remarks: