Whether or not we can thank the BP Oil Spill, congressional leaders at the Capitol introduced bipartisan bills last month intended to cut U.S. dependence on oil. Within the next 20 years, the goal is to electrify half of the cars on the road in this country, significantly reducing our foreign oil demands.
The “Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010,” is intended to spark a race between 5-15 regions to develop and showcase the best ideas for a rapid transition from oil to electricity in vehicles, using funding from the Department of Energy.
In this race, everyone will be a winner.
We win because when we reduce our foreign oil demands, we increase homeland security.
We win because the push to “drill, baby drill,” …. and “spill, baby, spill,” is significantly reduced.
We win because tons of carbon emissions are cut each year – even with coal-based electricity. Factor in the strides being made to increase solar and wind power, and even our electricity is getting cleaner and greener.
We win because green jobs and economic development opportunities are created with this important technology. Its worth noting that the overall economy will be helped when we can cut huge foreign oil payments.
Consider these startling facts:
- Americans consume 20 million barrels of oil each day
- Oil fuels 97% of our transportation needs
- 60% of our oil is imported from foreign countries
- One billion (that’s with a “b”) dollars a day is spent on foreign oil
- With oil as a world commodity, we know that some of the billions spent end up in the pockets of people/governments that threaten our national security
- We spend more buying imported oil than in stimulus spending
As noted in an Op-Ed piece in the Seattle Times this week:
The oil bills focus on electrification of vehicles, which is the right place to start. As David Sandalow at the Department of Energy has said: “To reduce oil dependence, nothing would do more good more quickly than making cars that could connect to the electric grid.”
Many incorrectly believe that oil is used to generate much of our electric power. But after the Arab oil embargo, we put the power grid on a crash oil diet. Power generated from oil went from 25 percent to 1 percent. We now must make a similar transition from oil to electricity in vehicles.
Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act will not harm the economy, as some lawmakers have expressed concern. Quite the opposite, in fact. By cutting U.S. dependence on oil, we increase security and cut greenhouse gas emissions, all at the cost of a mere two weeks of purchasing foreign oil.
Its high time for the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act. Just ask anyone living in the Gulf Coast region, and I’m sure they’ll readily agree….