At a speech at Fresno State University today, Republican presidential candidate John McCain will propose a $5,000 tax credit for every customer who buys a zero emissions car, and he wants to hold a contest to give away $300 million to whoever can develop a better electric or hybrid battery.
“I further propose we inspire the ingenuity and resolve of the American people by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. This is one dollar for every man, woman and child in the U.S. – a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency – and should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs,” McCain will say.
This is another example of the two John McCains. Last week while speaking in Texas, McCain said that the solution to our energy problems was in offshore oil drilling. This week while speaking in liberal California, McCain is a champion of alternative energy. He is talking out of both sides of his mouth again.
This proposal strikes me as a reality show sort of gimmick. A contest is really the best thing that his campaign could come up with? Does anyone believe that the average American will be winning this $300 million? In contrast, Obama is proposing that we invest $150 billion over the next 10 years in developing clean energy technology, while McCain wants to hold a contest and give away one fifth of what Obama will spend in a year.
You might think that $15 billion a year is a lot to spend, but that is almost the same amount of money that we are spending in Iraq every month. Unlike the Iraq money pit, a limited investment in alternative energy could break our dependence on oil, and reshape the American economy. Would you be willing to spend $15 billion for 10 years if it meant that our energy costs would be under control, and there would be no more inflationary worries caused by out of control fuel costs? One candidate in this race is offering real solutions, the other wants to fool us with gimmicks.