Today Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama was on NBC’s Meet the Press for the full hour. Besides talking about the gas tax, Rev. Wright, and all the other regular campaign issues, Obama was also able to talk about his plan to reduce oil consumption by 35-40 percent.
Host Tim Russert asked Obama how long he thought it would be before our automobiles are off gasoline and using an alternative source. Obama answered, “Well, you know, I, I think that if we decided right now that we were going to make the kind of investment I’ve proposed–$150 billion over 10 years–then I think at the end of the decade we could have a auto industry that has significantly reduced our consumption of oil by as much as 35, 40 percent.”
He also pointed out that China has a higher fuel efficiency standard than the United States, “China already has higher fuel efficiency standards than we do. If we want to compete for those markets, then we’re going to have to invest in technology. The government can help, but the automakers have to make some changes.”
Obama talked about clean burning coal, “But if we can figure out how to sequester carbon and burn clean coal, we’re the Saudi Arabia of coal, and I don’t think that we can dismiss out of hand the use of coal as part of our energy mix. What we are going to have to understand, though, is, is that global warming is real, it is serious and that whatever options we come up with, if they are not addressing the fact that the planet is getting warmer, then we are failing not just this generation, but future generations.”
He mentioned nuclear power, but said that we need to figure out how to safely store the material, and wondered if we can deal with the expense of building nuclear power plants. Instead of giving us a ridiculous option like a gas tax holiday, or vaguely talking about creating jobs through alternative fuels, Obama understands that the key to lowering the price of oil is reducing consumption.
The man has a real plan, and one of the great things about hour long candidate appearances on programs like Meet the Press, which is the gold standard of Sunday talk, is that we get hear some of these ideas.
Obama Meet the Press Transcript