Monday, August 04, 2008
Inflating Tires and Tuning Up Cars Not Such a Bad Idea
John McCain is once again mocking Barack Obama for Obama's comment to a voter that keeping tires properly inflated and tuned up, with regular oil changes, can end up collectively saving almost as much oil as one might expect to get from offshore drilling. ABC News asked an expert about this savings, and the estimate is some 800,000 barrels of oil per day could be saved if we all kept our cars maintained as recommended. This value should be fairly reliable since we understand cars and their efficiencies. However, how much oil we would get from new drilling is quite speculative, and it will take time to get full production. If we want something we can do now to help reduce the amount of oil required to fuel out nation, I personally do not agree with mocking the savings that Obama is suggesting. New drilling is the heart and soul of McCain's energy plan, but it truly is not a quick fix for our energy needs. Americans need to understand this, and that an actual plan with new technologies and new infrastructure must be part of, ultimately, a longer-term energy solution. Much of the technology already exists, or is at a point where serious investment will almost certainly accelerate results and benefits. I'll be writing more about some energy possibilities, and why I believe the Obama plan is much more beneficial, better thought-out based on policy priorities in multiple areas of concern (including energy, the economy, jobs, national security, the environment, and manufacturing; all of these are related) and more realistic than many think based on the present science and technology. With a Manhattan Project type investment and challenge, it is very likely that a good portion of what Obama outlined today will be realized within a decade.