Obama to relaunch energy policy in car country; Update: Tire gauges!

posted at 8:40 am on August 4, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama will “launch” the energy policy today that he released late last week — before he began his reversal on off-shore drilling.  Interestingly, he’ll push it in Lansing, Michigan, where the oil supply crisis has created dark times for auto manufacturers.  According to the AP, Obama’s plan looks long on redistribution and short on real solutions, especially those that will help Michigan’s biggest industry:

Obama says he wants to tax oil companies’ windfall profits and use some of the money to help motorists pay for more expensive gasoline.

He says he also wants to use $50 billion to help jump-start job creation and help local communities struggling in the economic downturn.

Obama already has an energy policy on his website, one that has been part of his campaign for months.  The word “drill” does not appear anywhere in this policy, even today.  The word “oil” never appears in the context of increased domestic production.  Instead, Obama refers to “big oil” and the need to reduce our use of oil by 35% over the next twenty years.

How do we get there?  Keep inflating those tires, folks:

  • Increase Fuel Economy Standards
  • Invest in Developing Advanced Vehicles
  • Build Biofuel Distribution Infrastructure
  • Build More Livable and Sustainable Communities

Read this as mandates, mandates, mandates, all to avoid drilling for abundant resources we have at our disposal.  Obama’s plan assumes that car manufacturers need government direction to build cars that will get 250 mpg, and that government should “plan” communities so that people don’t drive themselves to work.  It relies heavily on the biofuel concept — not surprising given the industry’s lobbyists in his campaign — even while current government subsidies drive food prices to the poing where people now starve.

The last bullet point should really raise Michigan’s ire.  Obama wants to sink a fortune into expanding public transportation, top-down community planning, and remove the need for automobiles:

Over the longer term, we know that the amount of fuel we will use is directly related to our land use decisions and development patterns, much of which have been organized around the principle of cheap gasoline. Barack Obama believes that we must move beyond our simple fixation of investing so many of our transportation dollars in serving drivers and that we must make more investments that make it easier for us to walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives.

Not only does Obama believe that, but as President, he would spend hundreds of billions of dollars in making cars more or less obsolete within the suburban ring of American cities.  How would that affect Michigan’s economy?  Maybe someone in Lansing will ask him today.  The rest of us can wonder why the government would spend so much money to force manufacturers to produce cars to specs that can’t be met while undercutting their market at the same time.

I suspect that these contradictions will be met with the usual Obama strategy of flip-flopping and obfuscation.  Michigan voters should not be fooled.  If they think they’re having tough economic times now, wait until Obama takes office.  Michigan should be the loudest “drill here, drill now” state in the Union.

Update: According to Mark Halperin, the McCain campaign will distribute tire gauges to Obama’s Lansing audience and the media covering the event, with the words “Obama’s Energy Plan” on the side.  It seems that the McCain campaign has begun to hit its stride.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Those of us without vacation are admonished by Nancy The Demented to use our imagination since she plugged our pump in order to enjoy all the more for herself.

This is the day that Obama has made. Let the gnashing of teeth begin as Obama denounces any oil products available in his national energy policy. We are addicts. Oil is evil. Obama, Nancy and Harry, the DNC Trinity, will purge us of our sustenance without even promising manna from heaven. What have they to offer? Thin air; hold your breath until you experience the conversion. Al Gore, Obama’s prophet, has prophesied again! There is not enough oxygen to support life on planet earth any longer. We must eliminate the air gobblers along with the oil gobblers in order to prove ourselves worthy of the thin air remaining, having offered all oil up in burnt sacrifice to the DNC Trinity.

maverick muse on August 4, 2008 at 12:48 PM

I was in the Peoples Republic of Austin, TX yesterday where Obamaniacs flourish. There were billboards everywhere urging everyone not to sit and idle. Believe me, even the nutroots in Austin aren’t stopping the engine and A/C in this 100+ heat.

brtex on August 4, 2008 at 12:53 PM

How do we get there? Keep inflating those tires, folks:

* Increase Fuel Economy Standards
* Invest in Developing Advanced Vehicles
* Build Biofuel Distribution Infrastructure
* Build More Livable and Sustainable Communities

* remove the tariffs on sugar *
*mandate 50% of all new cars produced to be flex fuel cars *
* drill more at home for US consumption only*
*break the OPEC cartel by implementing alcohol fuels to be used as an alternative to oil *
we can do this now

Mojack420 on August 4, 2008 at 12:54 PM

…DNC Trinity.

maverick muse on August 4, 2008 at 12:48 PM

DNC trinity. I like it. McCain needs to start tying Obama to Pelosi and Reid, and make it clear that the far left of the Democrats are in charge of both houses of Congress. I’m pretty sure there are millions of potential voters out there who are still not aware of this because they just don’t follow this stuff very closely.

forest on August 4, 2008 at 12:56 PM

I suddenly find myself wanting to buy a dozen of those tire gauges… if they can be had at least.

dahat on August 4, 2008 at 12:57 PM

He was dragged kicking and screaming. The lefties will hate him for this, not that it will affect their vote, though.

Entelechy on August 4, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Even NASCAR knows about proper tire pressure.
The more those idiots spend on tire gauges, the less they can spend on inane TV ads. And the gauges will be useful— it’s the first useful energy action from the Republicans since Bush got elected came into office.

Obama should make just that point—the Republicans are more interested in winning elections with gimmicks and attacks than in doing simple things to save energy. He could say, “I am happy that the Republicans have come around to my position, and I thank them for their contribution, however small and small-minded, to the effort. The McCain campaign would rather win an election than win the war on foreign oil dependence“.

sashal on August 4, 2008 at 12:58 PM

alphie, yer Obama betrayed you.

Entelechy on August 4, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Does anyone know how to put a sail on a 2008 Mazda 3?

Barry’s economic advisers are telling me that I need to forget about drilling for more oil and wait for wind.

These people are total idiots.

benrand on August 4, 2008 at 12:59 PM

McCain’s Lexington Plan and the house republicians “all of the above energy plan” sounds alot better and will get my vote.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Cool…Barry’s going to make it easier for me to walk or ride a bike instead of drive?! What about when it’s -20° out and 3 feet of snow…oh, that’s right, he’s the Messiah. He’ll just not let it snow or get cold for us peeps our here in fly-over country.

Wyznowski on August 4, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Anyone remember the lyrics to Rush’s New World Man? My god, someone ought to put some video to that music. In fact, have a contest…

He’s a rebel and a runner
He’s a signal turning green
He’s a restless young romantic
Wants to run the big machine

He’s old enough to know whats right
But young enough not to choose it
He’s noble enough to win the world
But weak enough to lose it —
He’s a new world man…

beatcanvas on August 4, 2008 at 1:02 PM

It’s gonna be hard to run cars on biofuels when they are taking transfats out of food.

Let’s not use food for fuel.

Kini on August 4, 2008 at 1:03 PM

If General Motors can produce flex-fuel cars in Brazil, with a production add on cost per vehicle of about $100 for the flex-fuel conversion, less than the cost of seatbelts, wouldn’t it make sense to make all GM new vehicles flex-fuel here, and offer the flex-fuel after-market conversion kits for curtrent GM models at perhaps just a bit over $100? $200?

It makes good economic sense for GM…which is currently going under here in the States simply because they are not listening to their own engineers. Flex-fuel allows us to use gasoline, but also encourages us to produce methanol fuels (no, NOT corn ethanol…) which actually burn far better than ethanol anyway. Once the methanol capacity is established, one could use gas or methanol depending on location or availability of either gasoline or methanol. This way we can safely wean ourselves off a total gasoline dependency for the next decade or two until something better comes along.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 1:03 PM

BillH on August 4, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Thanks. Carter’s solution was sweaters; WIN buttons belonged to Ford. Where do we find these people?

petefrt on August 4, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Carter’s solution was sweaters…

No wonder Billy stayed drunk all the time.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 1:08 PM

It will take 30 years to extract all the oil out of ANWR, and 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline are wasted in the US due to underinflated tires each year. Over the next 30 years, properly inflated tires could save 25% of the oil that will ever be extracted out of ANWR.

dave742 on August 4, 2008 at 1:16 PM

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 1:03 PM

you got it .

I just caught Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security at the YAF the 30th National Conservative Student Conference on cspan; she pretty much broke it down. And really opened my eyes to this. With flex fuel cars we could use ethanol, methanol, ect to compete against oil as a transportation fuel. Which is what most of or oil consumption is. We use less then 2% to produce electricity so all the wind and solar in the world wont get my car from point a to point b. I wonder if Nobama is ready to say no more tariffs on sugar and yes to mandate all new vehicles sold in America must be flex fuel.

Mojack420 on August 4, 2008 at 1:17 PM

beatcanvas on August 4, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Brill!

carbon_footprint on August 4, 2008 at 1:18 PM

One of the best things to come down the road has been the YAF. I watch them every chance I get. This is where the GOP of tomorrow is being developed. Plus, they have some of the best informed and witty and articulate speakers as well.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Even NASCAR knows about proper tire pressure.

sashal on August 4, 2008 at 12:58 PM

“Even NASCAR”? What ever did you mean here?

MarkABinVA on August 4, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Update: According to Mark Halperin, the McCain campaign will distribute tire gauges to Obama’s Lansing audience and the media covering the event, with the words “Obama’s Energy Plan” on the side. It seems that the McCain campaign has begun to hit its stride.

Bunch of RACISTS…

SARCASM

Rick on August 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Here’s Obama’s energy policy in action:

http://nomayo.mu.nu/solving_the_energy_crisis

Stephen Macklin on August 4, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Barack Obama believes that we must move beyond our simple fixation of investing so many of our transportation dollars in serving drivers and that we must make more investments that make it easier for us to walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives.

What about horses? I’ve always dreamed of living in the Wild Wild West — If Obama gets elected, I may just get to live out that dream.

Rick on August 4, 2008 at 1:41 PM

petefrt on August 4, 2008 at 1:06 PM

I had almost forgotten about the sweaters. You were asking where do we find such men of strength and character? I think there’s a large rock over there somewhere. Truth be told, I liked Ford one whole hell of a lot more than either Nixon or Carter, despite his short time in office.

BillH on August 4, 2008 at 1:44 PM

It will take 30 years to extract all the oil out of ANWR, and 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline are wasted in the US due to underinflated tires each year. Over the next 30 years, properly inflated tires could save 25% of the oil that will ever be extracted out of ANWR.

Your data is wrong on several points.

Your 1.2 Billion number is off by three orders of magniture. it is more like 1.15 Million gallons and that is assuming that EVERY car is running with underinflated tires, which in and of itself is a flawed assuption. This is based on EIA numbers of a daily gas consuption of about 9.6 million barrels per day and a measly 3% (also a govt. figure) loss to underinflated tires.

Also ANWAR is project to produce 650,000 to 1.9 million barrels per day (as per EIA http://www.eia.doe.gov)

And this is barrels not gallons (42 gallons to the barrel) so a single day of production would wipe out the losses to underinflated tire.

You also assume that only anwar would be online. If we bring it all online we can actually produce more than we use.

– Drill Here, Drill NOW, Drill Thrawl

Drill_Thrawl on August 4, 2008 at 1:59 PM

If General Motors can produce flex-fuel cars in Brazil, with a production add on cost per vehicle of about $100 for the flex-fuel conversion, less than the cost of seatbelts, wouldn’t it make sense to make all GM new vehicles flex-fuel here, and offer the flex-fuel after-market conversion kits for curtrent GM models at perhaps just a bit over $100? $200?

Coldwarrior, I’m not against the idea of flexfuel cars, but it won’t be that cheap. General rule of thumb is if it costs a dollar to put it on the car, by the time it reaches the dealership it’ll be five dollars. That’s one of the reasons why so-called cost estimates for new and exciting gadgets from people like the IIHS and the NHTSA are always so out-of-whack with reality. Getting back to flexfuel, I know Ford and GM offer the option on some models. Offering it on most, if not all would not be difficult. Pricing could be a somewhat more realistic $650.00-850.00 (it’s simply easier to offer this stuff as the car is being built than as an aftermarket accessory). Still considerably cheaper than that Hybrid or Diesel option, with a better chance of recouping the cost more quickly over the life of the car.

BillH on August 4, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Drill_Thrawl:

“Your data is wrong on several points.”

No it isn’t.

“Your 1.2 Billion number is off by three orders of magniture. it is more like 1.15 Million gallons…”

According to the USDOE:
“The Department of Energy’s designated economist on this issue indicated that, of the 130 billion gallons of fuel that the Transportation Research Board (TRB) estimated were used in passenger cars and light trucks in 2005, about 1.2 billion gallons were wasted as a result of driving on underinflated tires.”

“Also ANWAR is project to produce 650,000 to 1.9 million barrels per day (as per EIA)”

The number I used was the lifetime output of ANWR, and was obtained from the USGS:
“In 1998, the USGS estimated that between 5.7 and 16.0 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil1 are in the coastal plain area of ANWR (also referred to as the 1002 Area), with a mean estimate of 10.4 billion barrels, of which 7.7 billion barrels falls within the Federal portion of the ANWR 1002 Area.”

“And this is barrels not gallons (42 gallons to the barrel)”

From the EIA:
“One barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil, when refined, yields approximately 19.6 gallons of finished motor gasoline.”
You now have all the number you need to verify my statement.

dave742 on August 4, 2008 at 2:11 PM

What about when it’s -20° out and 3 feet of snow…
Wyznowski on August 4, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Global warming…d’uh….

/sarc

ihasurnominashun on August 4, 2008 at 2:26 PM

From the EIA:
“One barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil, when refined, yields approximately 19.6 gallons of finished motor gasoline.”

You forgot about the

9.2 gallons of Diesel
4 Gallons of Jet Fuel
1.75 gallons of Heating fuel
9.27 gallons for other products.

WoosterOh on August 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Dave 742 is correct:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/07/from-the-fact-1.html

Energy conservation is a very valid way to help reduce energy costs. And awareness of it is a perfect job for the government.

Go ahead with the “clever” use of tire gauges to mock Obama. Seriously, have fun with that.

Tom_Shipley on August 4, 2008 at 2:36 PM

It relies heavily on the biofuel concept — not surprising given the industry’s lobbyists in his campaign — even while current government subsidies drive food prices to the poing where people now starve.
The last bullet point should really raise Michigan’s ire

Is a poing the sound a bullet point makes when it ricochets?

dean_acheson on August 4, 2008 at 2:39 PM

BillH on August 4, 2008 at 1:59 PM –

Understood.

Having an add-on/after-market conversion at $500 or $700 is a lot better than having to fork over $50k for one of those Japanese Anime models. A lot of Americans like the design of their cars…it is one of those nebulous sellng points that made the 1950′s auto industry and lingers today. The Aztec did real well, didn’t it? Design, how it looked in the driveway or going down the Interstate, is what killed it. Same a a number of other models over the years.

Being able to keep your present vehicle…whether a Geo or Escalade with bling…and convert to flex-fuel cheaply would make a lot more progress a lot sooner than any pie in the sky mandated 85% no-gasoline cars by 2020, and being dependnet on all new vehicles being churned out to meet that goal.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 2:42 PM

WoosterOh:

You forgot

I didn’t forget. The issue being addressed here is gas savings from properly inflated tires. The consensus here is that McCains idea to drill in ANWR is pure genius and will save the nation, and Obama is a fool for bringing up things like conservation or efficiency. The fact is, however, that Obama’s idiotic tire pressure point, combined with three other equally idiotic ideas, would be enough to totally negate McCains idea of drilling in ANWR (with respect to gasoline). I do admit that even though 4 idiotic ideas would save as much gasoline as drilling in ANWR, that some other uses would also come from the ANWR oil.

dave742 on August 4, 2008 at 2:45 PM

The McCain team should order a ton of Tire Gauges, get “Obama Energy Plan” printed on one side, and Obama’s quote claiming they are the solution not drilling on the other and hand them out in every swing district around the country for Free. Would be better bang for the buck than TV ads, imo?

jp on August 4, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Increasing fuel ecomony standards without revising the laws of physics should prove to be a nice “feel good” measure.

The current Democrat energy policy is to shut off the supply of oil without anything to transition to.

If they wanted to transition to other fuels they should have required all vehicles be equipped for dual fuels (propane, cng, hybrid-electric) 5 or 10 years ago. Requiring all filling stations to supply at least two types of fuel would also be a step in the right direction.

As things how stand they are causing massive unemployment in the auto industry (GM last 15.5 billion in the second quarter), the air lines are laying off, this will in turn hurt Boeing. Millions of union workers are likely to be unemployed by November.

Transitioning to bio-fuels will drive food prices out of reach for the poor. Go Green-Starve the poor!

The members of the environmental religion (mostly liberals) will find the unemployment rate in Washington DC satisfyingly high to conservatives.

To all liberals I say: “Keep up the good work!”

I also think that we should keep abortion legal so long as liberals are allowed to reproduce.

The Rock on August 4, 2008 at 2:51 PM

On a related sidenote: Here in NC they are test marketing Nitrogen in Tires instead of regular Air. I got new tires last year and was sold on it, they claimed the $30 bucks to do it paid for itself within a Year from gas Mileage savings and wear and tear. They hold form at low speeds unlike regular air.

NASCAR and the Military and airplanes have been using Nitrogen for years I beleive. So Obama could throw this curve into the debate.

http://www.getnitrogen.org/

jp on August 4, 2008 at 2:53 PM

^They hold form at low speeds unlike regular air…..which is suppose to equal improved MPG, and life of tire. Or so they say.

figure if NASCAR uses it, something probably to it?

jp on August 4, 2008 at 2:55 PM

jp on August 4, 2008 at 2:55 PM –

If NASCAR uses it…

Only works if you are making left turns…right turns really screw things up./s/

Around here you get nitorgen free when you buy tires at the better tire shops. Have been using nitrogen for a couple years now. Improved tire wear is evident. Better handling in cold or hot.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 2:58 PM

“Present technology” yields approximately 10% recovery. Do not forget the 90% that is still there, and the potential technology to recover it.

infidel on August 4, 2008 at 3:16 PM

What about when it’s -20° out and 3 feet of snow…
Wyznowski on August 4, 2008 at 1:00 PM
Global warming…d’uh….

/sarc

ihasurnominashun on August 4, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Oh, yeah…I forgot. Never mind then…wait, what about air conditioning? What happens if I can’t run my A/C instead because I’ll be walking, or, or, my bike doesnt have A/C?! Will the Messiah bequoth me cloud cover or cool days for my commute…I forgot, global warming again. I’ll put nitrogen in my bike tires, I’m sure that’ll help.

Wyznowski on August 4, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Additionally, has anyone asked McCain, in between making mocking references about tire gauges, how he voted on the TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT (.pdf), in which the following is established:

SEC. 13. TIRE PRESSURE WARNING. Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete a rulemaking for a regulation to require a warning system in new motor vehicles to indicate to the operator when a tire is significantly under inflated. Such requirement shall become effective not later than 2 years after the date of the completion of such rulemaking.

I mean, after all, here he is fighting former Senator Hollings to get the bill passed:

Mr. McCAIN. Let me just say that I will be here on the floor. If the two Senators who object from the other side of the aisle would like to come down, I would be glad to discuss their concerns. I would be glad to commit to holding hearings, along with Senator HOLLINGS, next year to try to perfect this bill.

I know my friend from South Carolina has serious concerns about the safe harbor aspect of this bill. I intend to work with him to tighten it up. I much would have preferred the bill pass through the Senate, let me tell you.

We inaugurated a little phrase called “straight talk’’ back when I was seeking another office. I will tell you, in straight talk, what this is all about. This is the trial lawyers against the automotive interests. Trial lawyers do not want it because they do not like the provisions. They want to be able to sue anybody for anything under any circumstances. And the automotive industry wants this thing killed, figuring that the publicity surrounding these accidents and these tragedies that are taking place will die out and they will be able to kill off this legislation next year.

sashal on August 4, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Maybe the real issue is that fat-ass Americans are unable to bend over to check their tire pressure.

dave742 on August 4, 2008 at 3:31 PM

A brave new world. No choice, no freedom, no liberty. Washington knows best.

ThePrez on August 4, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Only works if you are making left turns…right turns really screw things up./s/

coldwarrior on August 4, 2008 at 2:58 PM

I had to let out a snicker at that one. I’ve never thought about nitrogen one way or another for tire inflation. I was of the camp “well, even if it doesn’t really do anything, at least it causes no damage”.

Maybe the real issue is that fat-ass Americans are unable to bend over to check their tire pressure.

Gee, Dave. Nice ad hominem. Mind if I take a whack at it? Thank you.

Maybe the real issue is there are retarded leftists like Dave742 who have little to no clue of how oil works in our economy.

BillH on August 4, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Well, they destroyed the inner cities with central planning and housing blocks once, I guess they’re revving up to try it again.

They must really hate the poor.

Also, ethanol is about 33% less efficient than gas. So, biofuels+higher CAFE standards = train wreck.

But then, we knew the Bammer was a moron, didn’t we?

Merovign on August 4, 2008 at 9:51 PM

Dave742
You now have all the number you need to verify my statement.

Wow. Really bad math on my part, sorry. Let me try again Based on the 9.6 M gal consumption and 3% loss it only comes to 1 B gallons lost. Even using the lowest estimates for ANWAR (450000 bbl a day) only 1/3 of ANWAR production is needed to cover the cost. Really my point being two fold. ANWAR more than covers for the tire pressure lost and it would not just be ANWAR but everywhere.

The much bigger arguement to be made is that we cannot rely on just one aspect to get energy independence.

We must drill.
We must catch the wind.
We must soak up the sun.
We must split the atom.
We must built better batteries to store excess electrical production
We must convert biomass (non food) to fuel.
And pursue every other alternative to it’s logical conclusion, only then will be be free from oil. But it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon so we need that oil. now.

Drill_Thrawl on August 4, 2008 at 10:26 PM

DrillThrawl:
I don’t think that we “must” do everything on your list. The only thing that we “must” do sooner or later isn’t on your list. That is:

Use less gas.

Everyone in the US is squirming like crazy trying to figure out what combination of things will allow us to keep on using gas (and energy in general) like we always have. I, for one, realize that these hundred years where we had a great big party and drained the earths resources as quickly as we could without thinking is just a tiny blip in human history. Soon things will return to normal. Renewable resources will never allow consumption to remain at present levels. Things are going to change, and there’s no way to stop it. I’m having, and will have, fun watching everyone beat their heads against the walls trying to make it stop happening.

dave742 on August 5, 2008 at 8:17 AM

How would that affect Michigan’s economy? Are you NUTS!? Who the heck cares! How would it affect my lifestyle – now thats a question you should be asking. Americans love their cars – we’ll love electric cars too when MI figures out how to build one that competes. How would that affect Michigan’s economy? Please!

mlnicosia on August 5, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Comment pages: 1 2