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Senator “Too Busy Campaigning” is looking for a cheap date

I’ve noticed that Hillary’s ideas are often derided as “stupid” by the OFB. In fact, my earliest memory of sitting up and noticing her campaign was while reading something at the Washington Monthly and a commenter condemned her stupidity for suggesting a freeze on adjustable-rate mortgages & foreclosure moratorium. This was back in December when a lot of people were still thinking that the housing bubble might be popping but, we’d probably have a “soft landing”. We don’t hear THAT talk anymore.

But, apparently her ideas are still stupid. This time it’s the Gas Tax Holiday. Which everyone from millionaire reporters to creative Obama Blogger Boyz knows will solve exactly nothing. The Gas Tax Holiday will do nothing for global warming or our dependence on foreign oil, will delay needed highway repairs and will only save an average of $30.00.

hmmmm. Oh Really?

Here’s a quote from one of Hillary’s press releases announcing the Gas Tax Holiday. :

American families are hurting now. They need a President who will focus every day on ensuring that they can make ends meet. That is why today, Hillary is discussing her aggressive plan to address the problem of skyrocketing gas prices. Hillary’s plan includes:

  • Imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies and using the money to suspend the gas tax for the peak summer months;
  • Closing $7.5 billion in oil and gas loopholes and using the funds to provide assistance for lower-income families to pay their energy and grocery bills;
  • Cracking down on speculation by energy traders and market manipulation in oil and gas markets that are driving up the price of oil by at least $20 a barrel;
  • Pressuring OPEC to increase oil production, including by filing a WTO complaint against OPEC countries
  • Stopping new additions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and standing ready to release oil to counter market spikes and reduce volatility.

This plan builds on Hillary’s long-term plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address global warming. She has committed moving America towards energy independence by cutting foreign oil imports by two-thirds from 2030 projected levels, more than 10 million barrels per day.

Checkout the bits I put in bold — She is clearly talking about short-term financial relief while at the same time keeps her eye on the goal of finding long-term solutions to our energy problems. And that windfall profit’s tax would mean those critical highway repairs will still happen right on time. (whispering) Could it open the door for a long-term windfall profit tax?

But what about the money? Isn’t this pure pandering? $30 isn’t worth anything these days, is it? (snort)

Lambert (My Secret Love) says it best:

As alert reader gqmartinez points out, $30 is a month’s worth of food, if you need to live on ramen noodles. And as alert reader BDBlue points out, it’s 15 weeks worth of school lunches for one of your kids.

I’ve done that math, because after the dot com bubble burst, that was the situation I was faced with, and I was lucky, because my situation only lasted for months. Except I can top gqmartinez: My survival formula was dollar store spaghetti sauce. You can get two days out of a jar, and even with spaghetti, I could still get change back from my thirty! That was before things got really bad, and I went to the cans of generic pork and beans, 4 for a dollar. Plus, since by that time the gas and the electricity were off, I could heat the beans with the hotplate after stringing an extension cord out into the hall and plugging it into a socket I’d screwed into the light for the purpose. Too risky to boil water that way, I felt. What if I heard someone on the stairs and had to cut the power when the spaghetti was only half boiled?

$0.25 a day.

And Lambert doesn’t quit there, finding this useful quote from Salon:

But Obama is wrong. He did not learn this lesson. In fact, the only scientific study done on the pass-through of the tax holiday savings to Illinois consumers (and those in Indiana, as well, whose citizens enjoyed a similar holiday) found that it actually worked to a large extent.

The study is titled “$2.00 Gas! Studying the Effects of a Gas Tax Moratorium,” by Joseph J. Doyle Jr. and Krislert Samphantharak. Download the PDF here. The authors concluded that “the suspension of the 5% sales tax led to decreases in retail prices of 3% compared to neighboring states. And when the tax was reinstated, retail prices rose by roughly 4%.”

This suggests that the tax holiday delivered at least 60 percent of the tax savings to motorists.

Meanwhile, Obama is looking for a cheap date and $30 would pretty much cover it:

Barack Obama dropped in on a busy coffee shop in downtown Durham, N.C., on Monday and bought 15 slices of cake, announcing to those crowding around him, “I’m treating you.”

The bill for 15 slices — six of vanilla pound cake, seven of lemon pound cake and two red velvet — came to $26.95. “Oh, I can handle that,” he said, “You guys are a cheap date.” The Democratic presidential candidate handed out plates to patrons and several reporters after paying the bill with cash. He stuffed a $10 bill in the tip cup.

“Can I sit down and have my cake?” he asked . . . .

I swear, he really said that.

(Tags stolen from Susie at Suburban Guerrilla)

62 Responses

  1. God! I don’t even know what to say. I truly can remember paying all my bills and going to the grocery store twice a month on paydays when I was a single mom. I had milk delivered so that I would never run out and have to spend the money for a couple extra things at the store.

    When I see the gas and food prices, I think about what that would have meant to me back then. I know there are people who are barely making it, $30 more would make a difference for them. Even if we all start riding the bus, the food impact is there. I have friends who are truck drivers for a living, this is huge for them too. They aren’t getting rich driving trucks.

    Oh, and don’t forget independent contractors, like plumbers, electricians, yard workers, merry maids… the gas prices impact the money they are able to make. They don’t have a bus option and they don’t make a ton of money to begin with. This is bigger than many of the commuters realize (or the OFB) – it isn’t about getting a prius instead of your escalade.

  2. Oh, KB what a terrific post. Too bad about BO’s opposition to the Gas Tax Holiday. It’s really hard to say “no, that extra money in your pocket won’t really help you and Senator Clinton is diverting you from the real discussion about global warming and reducing our dependence on foreign… oh, .. well.. uh, I have a policy on that too. So, who wants another piece of cake?”

  3. Let him eat cake…back in Chicago.

  4. From Alex Koppelman at Salon:

    One thing I’d definitely keep an ear out for, though, is anyone high up in the Clinton organization calling a state a “must-win” for Obama. I first heard them saying that on a conference call with reporters on Super Tuesday, when they said it about California and Massachusetts, two states Clinton ended up winning, and subsequent experience has just about confirmed for me that “must-win for Obama” is Clinton camp code for “a state we know we’re going to win.”

  5. I’m sure many readers feel as I do, when I see the gas prices go up I think twice about that trip to my daughter’s soccer game three towns away, that trip the cheaper supermarket, the trip to my sister’s house that we always take on Memorial Day. Sure, those pennies off may only add up to $30 for each of us but it makes the psychological difference between spending and not – it’s the economy, stupid. Don’t people see the effect high gas prices have on our economy in general?

  6. Obama fails to understand how people decide what they consider priorities. Right now, with gas prices rising this high, just the thought of getting to work has risen to the top of the list. Without a job there is no food, clothing, shelter. Without a job there is no health insurance, employer backed or otherwise. Certain age brackets face the loss of pensions without a job.

    Hillary admits to offering short term relief and he appears to want to assemble a panel to discuss it. She offers solutions while he seems to be somewhere in another dimension. He needs to fully appreciate the daily life of those voters who are truly affected by this situation and sadly to say, I don’t think he does.

  7. @ myiq2xu: have we heard this from the clinton camp about NC or IN?

  8. If anyone doesn’t want their $30 dollar savings please send it to me.

  9. Elixer:
    Naw, they are probably waiting for some exit poll data.

    Right now it’s playing the expectations game.

  10. Its a fundamental difference between Hillary and Obama. Hillary wants oil companies using their “excessive profits” to pay the gas tax while Obama wants us to pay it. Why do Obama and his supporters love oil companies more than workers? He did after all vote for the Cheney energy bill and they love him for it.

  11. God, this country is in such an economic freefall. This is what 8 years of Bush has given us.

  12. Terrific post. But I like most this part:

    * Pressuring OPEC to increase oil production, including by filing a WTO complaint against OPEC countries […]

    This plan builds on Hillary’s long-term plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address global warming. She has committed moving America towards energy independence by cutting foreign oil imports by two-thirds from 2030 projected levels, more than 10 million barrels per day.

    Is the Hillary camp thinking of what it releases to the public? What the hell is the production for? LOL!

  13. ggm: The only thing Obama wants is to win. He has no ideology.

    McSame came out in favor of a gas tax holiday. That’s the GOP standard response to everything: cut taxes.

    Hillary one-upped him by saying okay, but add in a windfall profits tax on oil companies to pay for it.

    Obama, looking desperately for traction and a chance to change the subject, said no, but had no alternative that would give immediate relief.

  14. My experience with trying to push clean energy legislation through congress (it takes years) tells me this was a bad move.

    She has some of the best clean energy advisors in the world on her staff, and they are not wild about it.

    She has pandered for the first time with this not-gonna-happen gastax holiday to try for the political neophyte vote that Obama owns.

    By contrast, Obamas entire candidacy has been based on the also not-gonna-happen pandering of somehow “changing Washington” appeal to that political simpleton.

    But, since it has been precisely our confidence in her judgment that propels her voters, I sure hope this crazy emphasis on this pie-in-the-sky idea does not drive more of her own voters away, than she picks up of his.

    Hers are practical voters, his: not….

    Whether by age, suffering or class, hers know better. This grab for his pie in the sky voter-base could seriously backfire by undermining her policy wonk base.

  15. I wish she had used the furor over this to get publicity for all her greast longterm clean energy/independance ideas like the $10,000 subsidies to trade in for a PHEV – (I can’t link here so just put http://www. in front of

    autobloggreen.com/2007/11/05/hillary-clintons-energy-plan-calls-for-55-mpg-10-000-phev-tax/

  16. Totally disagre, dot. this is great politics.

  17. http://www. heres all of the link

    autobloggreen.com/2007/11/05/hillary-clintons-energy-plan-
    calls-for-55-mpg-10-000-phev-tax/

  18. Yup – “Let them eat cake” it is.

  19. I sure hope so.

    Praying for her (and us all!) today!

    Obama’s energy (non)plan of more BushCheney nukes “clean coal” and ethanol is NOT going to save us from cataclysmic climate change!

    How can people not know what they will get from Mr Bipartisan Obama – after Lieberman??? It baffles me!
    Getting his clean energy plan from an outfit called The Bipartisan Policy Center does not set off alarm bells????

    Did anyone see Mrs Bush on the 10,000 dead in the hurricane in Burma last night? (They call them cyclones when East of some spot on the globe…) and how the Mrs was shocked…shocked I say, that the corrupt govt didn’t give a damn?

  20. I have no way at all to know what’s going on in Hillary’s mind, or in the minds of her advisers, but I’m hoping that it’s along the lines of:

    Once we rid the United States of this concocted Obama attempt to knock her out of the fight for the presidency, and distract people from the real issues (more at the core of the very deep crisis we are in), we are going to start really kicking ass.

    High gas/oil prices are a result of speculation on the London spot market.

    FDR knew very well what “top of the pyramid” and “unscrupulous money changers” meant. I pray Hillary does too.

    And they are just using Obama.(Sadly, and ironically, in part to commit genocide in Africa.)

    We are literally fighting for the lives of our children.

  21. The right is simply trying to up their image with the voters. Anyone remember Katrina right here in the USA? Don’t remember them trotting Laura out then. And remember when Castro offered help and was soundly rejected? Now she is appealing to the Myanmar government to let relief efforts in over there. Double standard perhaps?

  22. She talks about speculation driving up prices just about everyday. Someone at TM posted an urgent message to call NC, if anyone has the time.

  23. woops I didn’t mean to put a smileyface there
    and so glad you fixed the no linky policy riverdaughter, thanks!!!

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/3/14/221425/110

    So there is the Grist.org story showing that Clinton gets her clean energy policy from the longtime progressive Democratic thinktank The Center For American Progress which has great fellows like Joseph Romm (Plan B 2.0) who blogs at

    http://climateprogress.org/

    while poor babe in the woods Obama is bamboozled into being “Bipartisan” ie continuing Republican dirty energy policy.

  24. I agree with you Gary

    “And they are just using Obama”
    but disagree – part of the oil costs are peak oil
    Ghawah Is Dead!

    plus plain old competition from so many developing nations like Chine now galloping towards our completely unsustainable model.

    Clinton is willing to make a clean break from the internal combustion engine (ICE) for transportaion. Obama puts off the inevitable by the ethanol boondoggle. Of course automakes prefer him, because its easy to retool for flexfuel. they can keep the ICE, just adapt for running ethanol.

  25. Pat,

    yeah,

    the irony apparently escaped poor Marie Antionette Laura…

  26. The thing is, as much as we want to have green alternatives – they aren’t there yet AND more important, they are affordable to mere mortals. I think Ed Bagley Jr. has got to be about the coolest person on the planet, but most of us can’t afford the things he is doing.

    People who are making the average or less in family income aren’t saving for retirement, the house is mortgaged above market value at this point (so they can’t move) and putting dinner on the table is getting more expensive. If we can get 55mpg now, in 5 years people who can’t afford a new car will start to be able to find used ones. We just have to make sure lower gas prices AND tighter requirements on auto makers go hand in hand, so we don’t end up with everybody getting a giant V-8 kid-hauler.

  27. May all the luck be on Hillary. May she win both states today.

    Anyway, in my opinion, I think that what she really wanted to emphasize and get it into the public sphere is the idea of the windfall profit tax.

    If implemented properly, it has the ability to take away some of the power oil companies have in pricing and supply. The anti competitive oil market is only going to put ridiculous amount of money into oil companies’ pockets. It is about time to cut their wings or the green industry will have a very hard time because of the oil industry’s vested interest.

    Moreover, the tax revenue can be used for setting up the new green industry which will cost a lot of money to start off.

  28. I think Lambert is in the midst of his shrillest week. Here’s his post from midnight.

    Movement… Change…

    Why does the word “diapers” suddenly come to mind?

    Well, along with the slogan “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” of course.

    If you add Bob Somerby’s post from yesterday and a lot other writing from “The Hillary Bloggers”, you’ll have to confess that the entire Progressive Blogosphere 2.0 has entirely moved to Shrillville.

    Let see if we will have to buy houses there @ 8pm tonight.

    One quick question: If the whole Democratic primary at this point was an exercise in futility because Obama won the nomination in IA, why doesn’t The Precious One go home to Chicago and eat his waffles?
    In the meantime vile Hillary and her low-class supporters can keep wasting their time, energy, money they don’t even have.

  29. The reason theres so many ten ton SUVs out there is the huge subsidies the Repubs put on businesses buying them, so you got like the dentist putting on a macho front…

    She would do the opposite, by subsidising low carbon cars.

    Since by 2009 and 2010 there will be cheaper electric cars coming off the assemblyline: (already the Tesla has shipped, but so expensive!) this would jumpstart that cleaner business for people who will be buying a new car soon – by taking $10,000 off when most automakers can’t retool to making an entirely different kind of vehicle for much under $30,000 (to begin with.)

    The (freeway speed version) ZENN, the TH!NK (back from Norway where it was exiled after Who Killed The Electric Car), the (mostly electric) Volt will all be electric options by the time she is president.

    And her subsidies include conversions, which you can do for $12,000 on a shell you could pick up for $1,000. She is solutions oriented.

  30. Katiebird– great post!

    Dotcommodity–

    I know from reading your comments in the past that you really know your stuff when it comes to energy issues. But I too think this is good politics for Hillary. It gives people a little breathing room over the summer and would also give the big oil companies fair warning that the Bush laissez faire policies are coming to an end.

    I think Obama made a huge mistake by opposing Hillary on this. He would have been better off to just ignore the issue. His attitude that $30 is no big deal just feeds into the meme that he is an out-of-touch elitist. An extra $30 would make a difference to me this summer. It would buy me enough gas to drive back and forth to work for a couple of weeks. It would buy me about 5 loaves of bread, more than 6 gallons of milk, or 15 boxes of Tetley British Blend tea, 80 ct. That would make a difference to me, living a on very tight budget.

  31. Been calling NC all morning. So far, so good! Not ONE said they were voting for BO, and all were friendly and responsive.

    Go make some calls, y’all.

  32. I am retired and also living on a different budget but I only have to worry about me. What about those people with kids who have to feed them as well? It can make a big difference to their pocketbooks. At least she is saying loudly what many of us are feeling and that is the sign of a leader who can clearly articulate the mood of the electorate. Back to the days of “it’s the economy stupid” which was a winner then and a winner now.
    Hope and change has run out of steam when applied to pocketbook issues.

  33. Hi bostonboomer, I remember you from the old days at the other place!

    The thing is – it cannot happen, so it is just pandering.

    Just like “bringing change to Washington politcics” cannot happen.

    So it breaks what another kossack refuggee, fabian, calls “the cult of issues and substance” image.

    I just saw a poll though, regardless of what I think, its almost 50/50 people like/dislike the idea, so maybe it won’t hurt her as badly as I worry, as a sucker for clever policy wonks like Gore and her.

  34. Katiebird: this is the clearest exposition of Senator Clinton’s gas tax relief, how it relates to her overall energy independence, and the pervasive and proven tendency for people to disparately denigrate women ‘s and men’s ideas and work.

  35. Pat, yeah, talking about it is great.

    Like how she totally hammered O’Reilly on how the good old days were funded by those good old days 90% and 70% top tax rates!

    And instead of trying to pretend to not own 4 suits like Obama does, she said, yeah, right: I am rich (now!) just like you – O’Reilly and I believe we should be taxing us!

    He was left without a leg to stand on!!

  36. Ok, so I went off script a little in my last few calls to NC and talked about the gas tax relief. The elitists can yammer all they want, but people are suffering out there. And every last one is thrilled Hill is talking about giving them a break this summer. Twenty dollars relief is twenty dollars to their food budget.

    Women in NC love Hillary. They are thanking me for calling them. Last woman said, “oh honey, we need her. We really do. I’m on my way out the door right now to vote for her.”

    Please help make as many calls as you can to NC.

  37. I’m not as convinced as Dotcommodity that the gas tax holiday is impossible to do. And even if it is, where’s the harm? Do you really think that people will vote for HRC on that issue alone? No, it just helps them feel more comfortable when they draw the curtain in the voting booth. BO is imploding and HRC is rising, let’s hope that she continues to shine.

  38. {{{ufa}}} shivers down my spine

    I can’t call ’till I get off work. But, maybe it won’t be too late to get some after dinner voters.

    Do you think a caller from out of state could help?

  39. katiebird: YES, it will help. I am not in state and the postive response is overwhelming. The polls are open until 7:30p ET there.

    Just got off the phone with a Charlotte-area woman who said she had already voted for Hill today. She said “I have been a backer of both Clintons since the early 90’s when I was living in NY. We need her to clean up this MESS.” She couldn’t stop saying great things about Hill and Bill. Said she remembered how great those eight years were under the first Clinton’s presidency. We were both practically in tears.

    Your spirits will be lifted when you make those calls.

  40. ufa,

    So glad to hear the reaction! Its true: we do NEED her!!!!

    And it is true that her suggestion DOES accurately represent her progressive Common Good policy, unlike YOYO-wannabe Obama and YOYO McCain.

    You go! (Wish I had a phone near the computer!)

  41. myiq, you totally zapped my narrative: Why do Obama and his supporters love big oil companies more than me?

    McCain’s proposal was probably going to go to the House for a vote (and believe me, Democrats, including Pelosi would have voted for it in a heartbeat). Hillary cut that off with her proposal. Not rocket science. But it was also a very strong signal. Shared responsibility! Doesn’t matter if you are a worker or a corporation. We all have to pitch in.

  42. dot: thank God for free long distance on cell phones. 🙂

  43. From Krugman today:

    “OK, this has gone overboard.
    Hillary Clinton’s proposed gas tax holiday is not, in my view, a good idea. But the furor over what is, when all is said and done, a small and temporary policy proposal is entirely disproportionate. What’s going on?
    Part of it, clearly, is the fact that many people in the media really, really want Obama to win and Clinton to lose — read Kurt Andersen — and have seized on the gas tax as their latest proof that she is ee-ee-vil. “

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/gas-tax-hysterics/

    GGM: Because you’re a racist, like all Hillary supporters. You’re probably old too. SASQ

  44. Did we all agree that we don’t trust Zogby polling? I just checked the HuffPo site and Advantage Polling is showing him with only a 4 point lead in NC as of May 6th poll! And they show her with a 5 point lead in IN! I am getting stressed all over again with the suspense. Need to go was den windows to relieve the tension.

  45. Zogby’s bro is a super for BO. I wouldn’t trust much of anything coming from Zogby.

  46. dotcommodity,

    I know nothing of Anna Nicole, much less her “beautiful breasts” which so seem to have distracted the writer of the article to which you refer us. (I too am a lecturer at a university, for whatever that’s worth.) The fact remains that world oil prices are set (and manipulated) in the spot market; and this operation is supported in no small way by the cartelized media.

    The main thing about ‘China’s being unable to sustain her development’ is the WTO-floating exchange rate system we are under the heel of, and FDR’s Bretton Woods and other methods were intended to abolish.

    There are no limits to growth, save those set by those operating under Malthusian axioms.

    This is not the time or place to debate peak oil. Suffice to say there’s plenty about 900 miles off the LA coast in the Gulf. Elsewhere as well.

    As for the internal combustion engine, I ride a bike and don’t own one.

    Glad we agree that Obama is just being used to bump Hillary, though.

    (Replying to dotcommodity at May 6th, 11:27 am)

  47. Pat,

    Zogby has been wrong about every primary. If Zogby says something, assume the opposite. Every other poll has Hillary leading in Indiana by 8-10, and close to Obama in NC. Read what BTD says about polls throughout the day. He is great! Try to relax and it will be over soon. And we will be celebrating at our cocktail party tonight.

    Ann (also in MA) Hi Pat!

  48. myiq:

    Racist? Moi? According to the OFB, who isn’t?

    Is 29 the new 65? I’m totally there. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one in my age demo who longs for discussion of the “lock box”. (Seriously, I had that on Facebook and i got tons of inquiries about what the “lock box” was. WTF?)

  49. Somebody please stop Bob Somerby!

    What he’s doing to Richard Cohen and Gail Collins is truly the equivalent of seal clubbing. He has been using them as example to show how Hillary gets vilified for a “sin” she committed and the same time Obama gets overlooked or even praised for the same “transgression”. Today’s edition is called:

    The basic facts on the flag bill were clear. Somehow, Poor Richard missed them

    Here’s just the intro:

    Oops! It’s not like Richard Cohen hasn’t issued embarrassing corrections in years past. He issued one of the all-time great corrections near the end of Campaign 2000, after he spent an entire column savaging Candidate Lieberman—for a statement made by Candidate Bush! Now, that’s what we call an awkward “correction” (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/5/04). But a similar groaner graced his column back on February 12 (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/5/08). Ouch! Once again, this is embarrassing. This is dead-dog dumb:

    COHEN (2/12/08): My Feb. 5 column was critical of Hillary Clinton for supporting a bill to make flag burning illegal. I have since learned from a reader that Barack Obama also supported that bill.

    Simply put, you can’t get dumber. In that February 5 column, Cohen had savaged Clinton for supporting that flag-burning bill; he said it showed that she couldn’t match Obama’s character. But Obama had supported the flag bill too! Cohen had done it again.

    Cohen corrected—but this gang never learns. Since Gail Collins made pretty much the same presentation in last Saturday’s column, let’s recall what actually happened when it came to that flag-burning vote.

    Let’s remember where he left off yesterday:

    That’s right, dumb-ass! Clinton supported the flag-burning bill. And Obama supported it too!

    But then, more than half the senate’s Democrats supported that bill, in June 2006. It was brought to the floor by Dick Durbin, Obama’s biggest senate supporter. Everyone understands the politics of these bills–everyone but Cohen and Collins, that is. Because they’re two of the world’s biggest androids, they keep singing the same tired songs.

    Shrill! Just shrill!

  50. The poll was done by Advantage Polling. Zogby’s was all over the place but I have to admit I never heard of Advantage. Gary just posted again. Is he a treasure or what? You guys are very lucky you are not around me in person today. Talk about a cat on a hot tin roof! Going to take a walk over to my neighbor’s for a cup of tea. She is as wound up as I am.

  51. I really like Krugman and I pretty much agree with what he said. I never called it a bad plan; I called it an impotent plan.

    Interesting quote here from one of the authors of the 2006 study.

    Economists are “as close to unanimous as you can get” in viewing the proposal as a “horrible idea,” said Joseph J. Doyle Jr., a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who has studied gas tax “holidays.”

    Dotcommidity, where are you getting your info on Obama’s/Clinton’s policy stances with regards to biofuels? I got this from their websites

    HRC – “with 60 billion gallons of home-grown biofuels available for cars and trucks by 2030”

    BO – “will increase that to at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030”

    I believe in this instance cellulosic/home-grown are simply synonyms for the same thing. Personally I am in favor electric cars to remove moving parts (eliminating most of the maintenance needs). While electric cars look more promising I think it is fair to say that both technologies could use some improvement. Right now a try everything approach seems prudent.

    The reason the gas tax holiday idea rubs me the wrong way is because it is distracting from more important issues. The second reason it bothers me is because it really seems to be based off of the idea that tax cuts can fix anything. Are there better ways to give people $30 (~ Doyle estimates a .10-.15 cent reduction per gallon)? Probably.

    I just don’t see it, how is the suggestion that for a motorist who travels 1,500 miles a month saving ~$11 dollars analogous to Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake”? I guess I could claim that time spent discussing this is an opportunity lost to discuss something else but cable news would probably just find something equally dumb to rant about.

    I’ve never read any suggestions that this is HRC’s long term plan. I’d be curious to know more about how she is going to crack down on speculators. It sounds like a pretty good idea; I am not sure how it is going to get done though.

    Bringing up BO’s support of the 2000 bill also seems a bit silly. Comparing the two is really comparing apples to oranges. 2 states against the backdrop of falling crude prices vs. entire country against the backdrop of rising oil prices. It is not inherently good or bad; it is a silly thing to captivate our collection attention at this juncture. Let me be clear, I am not saying this about HRC; I am saying this about the debate. Ohio, last night made the point that HRC’s stance may be politically useful in the fall. I think that is the strongest justification of HRC’s current stance.

  52. Gary at 1.43 PM, wow! you shocked me with your colorfull response ! So I went back and read the Ghawah is dead article at energybulletin again, (hadn’t read it in 6 months, (just bookmarked)), – he just compares how the death of the worlds biggest oil field was going unsung compared with…

    yeah, I do agree there’s more to the high prices than only the end of the oil age, but prices for oil will never be low again.

    Even though we are switching to Canadian tar sands oil, it uses 3 barrels of water to scrape 1 barrel of oil from literally the bottom of the barrel, and is 3 times worse for carbon emissions than non tar sands oil, and it is much more expensive to scrape up.

    If it was not running out, oil companies would be investng in drilling which is cheaper. They are not. Even BP has let its Prudhoe Bay pipes operation rust and break in the melting permafrost (Alaskan Climate Change: temperatures locally up higher than globally) because that spot is drained dry…

    We truly are coming to the end of the age of oil, but it will take 40 years to finish and plus theres other bumps in the market caused by financial shenanigans.

  53. Ryan, one of the issues is winning the election, so I see Sen. Clinton’s gas-tax holiday/windfall profits as a good political maneuver designed to pull the rug right out from under the GOP re: taxes.

    I, too, would like more discussion of the energy policies and analysis—RD, can we talk energy/environment if we guilt dotcomm and Gary McG into leading the discussion? Okay, not guilt—gently lean upon them with bribes of accolades and undying gratitude.

    I was re-reading some of Grist yesterday when I had to go outside and unload our shiny new solar thermal hot water heating panels (closed-loop system) for our new loadbearing strawbale house. Our hydronics guy and I were discussing new pump motor technology and how 22% of electrical energy is spent running pumps.

    This new technology would lower the amount of energy used 2/3. The pump for our system isn’t this new kind, but when we have to replace it, we’ll be replacing it with one of the new ones.

    But dayum, this stuff is not cheap. I have a whole riff on how the trend we noticed in “green” building is about grinding down financially people who actually do the work so you can afford to pay consultants who make you feel good about your choices. Crazy.

    Why am I talking about this now? Because 1) we just got the new stuff and I’m kinda excited about it, 2) the primary returns are killing me, and 3) it’s too early for lemondrops.

  54. Ryan at 2.41:

    its not the 60 billion by 2030, which is ONE OF the wedges proposed by Socolow/Pacala – and is in many energy bills trying to get past flatearthers in congress.

    Its that he talks of little else in his energy plan. Other than nuke power and Clean coal. When you look for where the $150 billion actually goes, you just see whole paragraphs like this, devoted to ethanol this and ethanol that:
    [IMG]http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q236/dotcommodity/4.jpg[/IMG]

    The RPS doesn’t cost money, and its the same as congress has tried to pass.
    [IMG]http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q236/dotcommodity/9.jpg[/IMG]
    She lays out where every billion goes and where it comes from like this, and it is evenly spread among all the solutions like this
    [IMG]http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q236/dotcommodity/c1-2.jpg[/IMG]
    that he doesn’t mention.

  55. “unload our shiny new solar thermal hot water heating panels (closed-loop system) for our new loadbearing strawbale house. ”

    Clinton plans to make the Production Tax Credit permanent.
    That includes a 30% subsidy for your solar hotwater system. (and solar panels and heatpumps etc)

    …and it keeps windfarms going up.

    Obama gives it only a 5 year extension WHICH IS LESS THAN IN CONGRESS NOW!!!!! We are currently pushing for a 10 year PTC!

    Thats why I think he is a puppet.

  56. ufa,

    Like idiots my hubby and I let our cellphones expire to help keep our kid in college…tightening every luxury…now I wish we’d let the landphone expire instead…

    You’ll just have to call some extra for me!

  57. dotcomm, is it retroactive to this year? That 30% will go into the PV intertie system we’d like to have in 5 years. (That’s 30% of $8,500 total if anyone wants to know).

    This is an extremely efficient system and we’ll use it for both our hydronic (in-floor) heating and domestic hot water (DHW) in combination with an on-demand electric.

  58. Ohio – you’ll have to ask her to make it retroactive!
    😉

  59. dotcomm, okay—I’ve got her on speeddial.

    It really isn’t that big of a deal—the money is, but we’ve already committed to this. ROI doesn’t just mean money, not in our house.

  60. I hear ya,

    the ROI is a bit bigger than that!


  61. shocked: MALAYSIA MAKE NEW RULES FOR CHRISTIANS!!

    EVERY CHRISTIANS MUST SAY “ALLAH” RATHER THAN “GOD” & DONT SAY “TRINITY” ANYMORE..
    This is because English language not suitable anymore because the original Bible is in Arabic.

    The full story is here: ckasih.blogspot.com

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