Obama today unveiled his new energy plan. While reversing himself on “limited new offshore drilling” and tapping the nation’s emergency oil stockpile, he also has called for a policy that provides $1,000 energy rebates and invests in renewable energy. A move that is sure to recieve both cheers and jeers.
In a speech in Michigan, Obama also endorsed long-term work on hybrid cars and renewable energy sources. In his speech Obama stated, “Breaking our oil addiction is one of the greatest challenges our generation will ever face, It will take nothing less than a complete transformation of our economy,”
Obama has called for the release of 70 million barrels of oil from the emergency oil stockpile, and has stated that releasing oil for the stockpile has, in the past, lowered gas prices within two weeks.
The reserve contains 707 million barrels of oil and was last tapped in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. The reserve is capable of releasing approximately 4 million barrels of oil per day, but the question is if the injection of the oil will have an effect on world oil prices. General rules of supply and demand would suggest that it would, but with the inclusion of oil “speculators”, it’s unclear how much of an effect there would be.
Obama went on to chastise McCain, “Like George Bush and Dick Cheney before him, he sees more drilling as the answer to all of our energy problems, and like them, he’s found a receptive audience in the very same oil companies that have blocked our progress for so long. In fact, he raised more than one million dollars from big oil just last month.”
The fact that no major news outlet has reported with any enthusiasm that John McCain raised $1 Million, just after reversing himself about offshore drilling is testament to McCain’s good luck with journalists and undercuts his accusations that Obama has been getting preferential treatment.
Monday the Obama campaign released a television ad criticizing McCain’s energy policies. The ad claims, ”After one president in the pocket of big oil we can’t afford another.”, referring to Bush’s oil industry ties.
Sen. McCain has shot back at the National Label Co. in Lafayette Hill, Pa. “We’re not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires.” This was a critique of part of Obama’s energy plan that calls for citizens to fully inflate their tires to improve gas mileage in their vehicles.
Sen. Obama said his “single overarching goal” was to end U.S. reliance on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 years. He has put the price tag to tax payers at $150 billion.
It may seem that Sen. Obama has flip-flopped on the issue of offshore drilling and releasing oil from the emergency stockpile, but as he has stated, his goal is to reach a bi-partisan agreement in order to get relief to consumers quickly. He isn’t changing his mind to get $1 Million in contributions from oil companies like his opponent did. He is changing his position in order to reach a compromise with Republicans. An effort that takes courage in an election year and one that should be applauded not attacked.