Quote of the Day: Tom Friedman on the Politics of Energy

thomas l friedman photo
Tom Friedman battles Michele Bachmann in the Quote of the Day Olympics with a tirade against McCain for missing all eight votes on the renewable energy tax credit extensions (and Obama too, for missing the last vote). Without this bill's passage, most investment in solar and wind in the US will grind to a halt.

" Richard K. Lester, an energy-innovation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, notes, "The best chance we have — perhaps the only chance" of addressing the combined challenges of energy supply and demand, climate change and energy security "is to accelerate the introduction of new technologies for energy supply and use and deploy them on a very large scale."

This, he argues, will take more than a Manhattan Project. It will require a fundamental reshaping by government of the prices and regulations and research-and-development budgets that shape the energy market. Without taxing fossil fuels so they become more expensive and giving subsidies to renewable fuels so they become more competitive — and changing regulations so more people and companies have an interest in energy efficiency — we will not get innovation in clean power at the scale we need.

That is what this election should be focusing on. Everything else is just bogus rhetoric designed by cynical candidates who think Americans are so stupid — so bloody stupid — that if you just show them wind turbines in your Olympics ad they'll actually think you showed up and voted for such renewable power — when you didn't." ::New York Times

More Tom Friedman in TreeHugger

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Tom Friedman on America's Addict-In-Chief
Thomas L. Friedman on "Our Green Bubble"

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