Wednesday, April 27, 2005

"W" As In Waning? 

On the heels of polls showing lack of popular support for Bush's Social Security plans and the Repugs attempted murder of the Filibuster, comes this CNN Poll question, "Do you like President Bush's energy initiatives?" Well, apparently...

Not. Granted, it's an unscientific, self-selected poll (and not immune to tampering, if you know which cookies to eat), but the results are still stunningly impressive. Hm. Open more (polluting) refineries, create more (terrorist bait) nyook-yu-leer™ plants? The public ain't buying it.

It's a no-brainer when it comes to the energy thing -- government has got to provide major incentives to business and industry to come up with alternatives. You know how I'd do it? Establish an award -- ten million, a hundred million, whatever. It goes to the first company to produce and deliver en masse to consumers a practical, inexpensive (under $20K) alternative/renewable fuel vehicle that meets the following criteria:And, the rest of the incentive to business, something that I'm sure the tax-cut crazy administration would love: the company to first meet the requirements neither pays nor files corporate taxes for a period of ten years, and its current employees and officers (as of the date they're declared the winner) neither have to file nor pay personal income taxes for a period of five years. It's that simple; wave the wand, and suddenly a major corporate expense and headache goes away for a while. Offer that treat to the employees, and you can bet they'll work their butts off toward the goal as well.

We've already seen what the X Prize has accomplished in terms of moving toward the reality of commercial space travel -- and that award was a paltry $10,000,000.

Oh yeah -- the other catch in the award. It isn't limited to automakers. Any company to meet the criteria wins. So, that means if Chevron wants to take up the challenge, they can. That means if Joe Blow and his cousin want to try it in their garage, they can. The point is, there's got to be a real incentive for America to overcome the intertia that keeps us in our gas-powered cars, keeps us dependent on foreign oil. We've seen the downside to it -- pollution, destruction of pristine wilderness, disease caused by various by-products (lead, MTBE), etc. And, of course, we've seen the disgraceful spectacle of a certain world leader acting like a pussy-whipped frat boy on prom night...

Which is a crying shame. Well, not, because it makes W look ridiculous. But then again, so do his energy policies.

Yo, Republicans -- want to end our dependence on foreign oil and give a kickass tax break to a major corporation? Consider the plan above, then do something about it. I give the idea to the world free of charge -- although I'd appreciate a little kickback from the winning company some day. Hint hint.

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