«

»

Aug 18

Tom Friedman: “Eight Strikes and You’re Out”

In the August 12 NYTimes, Tom Friedman points out that while John McCain is out there talking big about America’s energy crisis, he has failed to vote eight times on a Senate Bill that would extend tax credits that support renewable energy.

Both the wind and solar industries depend on these credits — which expire in December — to scale their businesses and become competitive with coal, oil and natural gas. Unlike offshore drilling, these credits could have an immediate impact on America’s energy profile.

Senator McCain did not show up for the crucial vote on July 30, and the renewable energy bill was defeated for the eighth time. In fact, John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year — which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.

Friedman doesn’t let Barack off the hook for his recent failure to vote:

Barack Obama did not vote on July 30 either — which is equally inexcusable in my book — but he did vote on three previous occasions in favor of the solar and wind credits.

Friedman’s closing words capture my frustration with the huge gulf between reality and campaign rhetoric:

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.

Read the full column here: Eight Strikes and You’re Out