Sunday, September 7, 2008

An open letter to the Presidental Candidate teams

An open letter to the Presidential Candidate teams of:

Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. Joe Biden
and
Sen. John McCain
Gov. Sarah Palin

Dear Gang,
Let me start by saying congratulations and a job well done on both of your conventions over the past couple of weeks. They were both full of excitement, energy and provided a lot of points for me to ponder. You see, I'm on the fence about which one of your teams I'm going to support and end up voting for going through this election season. I'm an average schmo. Near forty, I've got a wife, two kids, dog, mortgage, bills, yada, yada, yada. We work hard for what we have and do our best to raise our kids with love and guidance so that they can become productive members of our society one day. I'm no different than anyone else I know, regardless of political beliefs and let me tell you I have some friends on both sides and there have been times where we have had some interesting debates about stuff.
But I have something for you guys to ponder. It's something that is really foremost in my mind right now. It's about the simple fact that I drive about 65 miles a day round trip to work. I don't drive anything flashy, trust me. It's an '02 Ford Focus and even keeping gas in that thing is costly enough. With gas hovering in the $3.50 to $4 a gallon range in NE Ohio, it's got a lot of people on the ropes. Now people usually tell me to just move closer to work. Sure, that would be great, but we have many personal reasons that involve our kids that are keeping us put in the local school district. Plus, even if I could move it is unlikely also due to the housing market. But back to my main point of this post. We need to do something about our oil situation, guys. I mean we are sending billions overseas and what do we as citizens of the United States get in return? Funded terrorist attacks? I know, there is a lot of debate back and forth on that one but the matter is that we are being held hostage to foreign powers when we don't have to be. Let's face facts, we have options right now, people are talking, but no one is doing.
In 1962, then President Kennedy put forth a challenge to the American people. To land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. I'm sure there were plenty that thought he was nuts but America did it. Science and technology evolved from it and they found a way to do it! It took guts to make a challenge like that. Now, we need someone to make a new challenge like that. We need someone to stand up and make the difficult challenge to say within 10 years, we will no longer be reliant on sources of energy from anywhere other then the United States of America. Pretty bold, isn't it? But let's face it, technology is getting closer and closer to a point when other sources of energy are within reach, but someone has to be the one to give us that push to do it. Our own oil, natural gas and renewable solar and wind energy. We can do it. We need Washington to push it. We need the partisan garbage to end and action to begin. It's not going to be easy, but neither was putting a man on the moon. Someone needs to make and drive that challenge forward.
Who's willing to do it?

Let us know, we and our wallets are listening.

(Editors note: If you plan on adding a comment to this post, please make it a productive one. Any name calling or anything else I deem unfit will be removed.)

5 comments:

David said...

Andy,

Your right and when I say that I mean, if we would have drilled 10 years ago when they said it would take 10 years then where would we be today?

There is plenty of OIL here in the US and Canada for us to really not need the bad guys OIL.

I don't think we are that close to something other than OIL as a fuel for our transportation. I think we are a lot farther than we think, and even 20 years from now we are still going to need OIL for other things even if we are not using it for transportation. Anyone want to guess what's not in your house that is not mail with OIL? Not much.

I don't think OIL prices are going to drop that soon, but it's emotional more than it is supply and demand so we need to fix that too.

-David

Richard Schwartz said...

The US produces ~10% of the world's petroleum output. We consume 25% of it. We simply can not drill our way out of high gas prices. We would have to increase our production to 250% of what it is today just to become energy independent, and nobody -- Nobody! -- is proposing that drilling could do that, and it still wouldn't lower the price substantially even if we could. Why? Because demand in the rest of the world is exploding. The majority of the world's reserves are held by countries that work as a cartel to keep production in order to support higher prices, maximizing their long-term income. We have 2% of the world's proven reserves. As demand continues to increase around the world, we can not possibly increase our production enough to meet it, therefore the world price will still be set by the cartel, and our oil companies will sell at the world price (unless we nationalize them, which I'm sure nobody would be crazy enough to support). "Drill now!" is a slogan, not a solution. There is only one solution: reduce our consumption of petroleum and aggressively move to alternative energy. Only one side in this year's election recognizes this: http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy

Ben Langhinrichs said...

I completely agree with the general idea that we need to move to energy independence. The difference between the goal of getting to the moon and attaining this independence, much as I like the concept, is that in the case of the moon, only the government and scientists they hired had to be involved. In the case of energy independence, the government has to be heavily involved, but so do all the people in the country. You drive a '02 Ford Focus, but nothing the government is going to do is going to make that use less gas, so part of the solution is going to require people like you (and me and everybody else) buying more efficient cars as they become available. Yet, if we all ran out and bought hybrids now, we wouldn't run out and buy more efficient hybrids in two years. Replacing individual automobiles is the hardest thing to accomplish, followed by making individual houses more fuel efficient (or more, switching to alternative energy).

This is a huge task, and one will will all have to fight for, no matter which party wins. Granted, Barack Obama has actually stated this ten year goal, but even if elected, the government will not, and can not, do it by itself.

Axel Janssen said...

If a galon is 3.7 liters 1 galon of gas costs about 7.41$ in Germany. Still yesterday most cars were faster than me going like 85 miles on a german autobahn. And I can tell you from experience that you spend a lot more gas by driving like 130 miles per hour than 85.
We really need to save energy consumption. I had plenty to bitch about my country in the last years, but in this energy thing we are quite good (except driving limit on autobahn would be a good idea).
We have a great long distance train system, lots of alternative energy & people using smart technology to save energy, partly due to subsidies, but also to people awareness.
You Americans can really save a lot by developing a more energy eficient mindset. Cheap gas prices won't help in the process.
The huge windfall profits due to high oil prices seems to foster a not very simpático breed of Governments in the producer countries (to name a few: Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran). It creates a nice environment for corruption and often hampers economic development by innovation, sound institutions, competition, etc.

MegatonMaynard said...

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