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Gore/Alliance for Climate Protection: All-In for Plug-Ins

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  • Felix Kramer
    We saw convincing evidence this weekend that experts and advocates for immediate action to cut greenhouse gases have reached a tipping point on plug-in cars.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2008
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      We saw convincing evidence this weekend that
      experts and advocates for immediate action to cut
      greenhouse gases have reached a tipping point on
      plug-in cars. They now recognize them as a
      critical element of their strategies and
      platforms. They've progressed from talking
      generally about a range of ways to get "cleaner
      cars someday" to seeing electrification of
      transportation as the most achievable near-term
      approach. They recognize plug-ins both as the
      primary future direction for transportation and
      as an enabler to clean the power grid. (This
      doesn't mean they're forgetting about finding
      ways to drive less, improve driving efficiency,
      or use liquid fuels with lower CO2 content.)

      An incoming administration developing its
      environmental strategy and hearing an auto
      industry asking for a rescue means we're no
      longer talking about theoretical or long-term
      plans. We'll be posting our overall perspective
      on post-election strategies, but we didn't want
      to delay sending out this weekend's news. We
      summarize the key developments and follow with full statements:


      * THE ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION has just
      launched a new campaign to show how its goals are
      essential and achievable. The organization Al
      Gore founded (and supported with his Nobel Prize
      funds) is getting specific about how we can
      "Repower America with 100% clean electricity
      within 10 years." The GRAPHIC on each page at
      http://www.repoweramerica.org shows a new
      equation: Energy Efficiency + Renewable
      Generation + Unified National Smart Grid = 100%
      Clean Electricity and Clean Plug-in Cars."
      Digging into the details, we find a THREE-POINT
      PROGRAM: #1. Energy Efficiency and #2. Renewable
      Generation. Then we see #3.Unified National Smart
      Grid, explained as "Modernize transmission
      infrastructure so that clean electricity
      generated anywhere in America can power homes and
      businesses across the nation. National
      electricity 'interstates' that move power quickly
      and cheaply to where it needs to be; local smart
      grids that buy and sell power from households and
      support clean plug-in cars. Now at the group's
      website is the first of two new 30-SECOND
      POST-ELECTION VIDEOS: "Now What" features images
      of an electric vehicle and a sign, "Electric Vehicle Parking Only".


      * AL GORE'S TWO HIGH-IMPACT OP-EDS: In the
      SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES, "THE CLIMATE FOR CHANGE"
      takes up most of a page. Gore presents a
      five-point program. Here's #3: "We should help
      America's automobile industry (not only the Big
      Three but the innovative new startup companies as
      well) to convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that
      can run on the renewable electricity that will be
      available as the rest of this plan matures. In
      combination with the unified grid, a nationwide
      fleet of plug-in hybrids would also help to solve
      the problem of electricity storage. Think about
      it: with this sort of grid, cars could be charged
      during off-peak energy-use hours; during peak
      hours, when fewer cars are on the road, they
      could contribute their electricity back into the
      national grid." And THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION,
      THE WALL STREET JOURNAL gave Gore and his
      business partner, David Blood, a platform at "WE
      NEED SUSTAINABLE CAPITALISM:NATURE DOES NOT DO
      BAILOUTS" to say, "by challenging America to
      generate 100% carbon-free electricity within 10
      years -- with the building of a 21st century
      Unified National Smart Grid, and the
      electrification of our automobile fleet -- we can
      encourage investment in our economy, secure
      domestic energy supplies, and create millions of jobs across the country."


      * GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT, member of Senator
      Obama's transition economic advisory board,
      weighed in on priorities. A long-time supporter
      of plug-in cars and of Google.org's RechargeIT
      project, he singles out plug-in cars as part of
      the solution for the grid. He said in the
      Saturday NY Times, "The strongest position I have
      taken from an economic point, with Senator Obama,
      now President-elect Obama, has been to try to
      solve all of our problems at once. And the
      easiest way to do that, at least in domestic
      policy, is by a stimulus program that rewards
      renewable energy and over time attempts to
      replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. The
      Google calculations, which we announced about a
      month ago, indicate that over a 22-year period,
      you can save a trillion dollars by investing in
      these technologies, including plug-in hybrids,
      and thereby reduce our reliance on oil."
      [http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/15x31uzlqeo5n/1# is
      the See Clean Energy 2030 plan plus links to blog
      announcements and to Schmidt's hour-long discussion of the plan.]


      BACKGROUND: MAKING THE CASE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
      ADVOCATES CalCars and other plug-in advocates
      have worked for many years to get those concerned
      about climate change to feature plug-in cars
      centrally rather than as a list of options. One
      way has been to show them a PHEVs. And we and
      others have met frequently with their
      organizations. (See the pages linked from
      http://www.calcars.org/photos.html to get a sense
      of that effort, including a time in 2006 when we
      gave Gore a ride.) One of the early supporters
      was leading climatologist James Hansen of NASA.
      In 2006 he said we had 10 years to begin a
      massive transformation away from fossil fuels.
      For this reason, he concluded in 2006, "The
      plug-in hybrid approach, as being pursued by
      CalCars, seems to be our best bet for controlling
      vehicle CO2 emissions in the near-term. Vehicle
      emissions are the greatest challenge that we must
      overcome to stabilize climate." http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/282.html


      TAKE TIME TO READ THE FULL STATEMENTS AND
      DOCUMENTS BELOW: Al Gore in The NY Times and Wall
      Street Journal, Eric Schmidt in The NY Times,
      information about James Hansen and 350.org, and
      the press release and website of Repower America.


      "THE CLIMATE FOR CHANGE" BY AL GORE IN THE NEW
      YORK TIMES Sunday November 9, 2008 Op-Ed
      Contributor http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/opinion/09gore.html

      Al Gore, the vice president from 1993 to 2001,
      was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in
      2007. He founded the Alliance for Climate
      Protection and, as a businessman, invests in alternative energy companies.

      THE inspiring and transformative choice by the
      American people to elect Barack Obama as our 44th
      president lays the foundation for another fateful
      choice that he -- and we -- must make this
      January to begin an emergency rescue of human
      civilization from the imminent and rapidly
      growing threat posed by the climate crisis.

      The electrifying redemption of America's
      revolutionary declaration that all human beings
      are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of
      United States leadership in a world that
      desperately needs to protect its primary
      endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet.

      The world authority on the climate crisis, the
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after
      20 years of detailed study and four unanimous
      reports, now says that the evidence is
      "unequivocal." To those who are still tempted to
      dismiss the increasingly urgent alarms from
      scientists around the world, ignore the melting
      of the north polar ice cap and all of the other
      apocalyptic warnings from the planet itself, and
      who roll their eyes at the very mention of this
      existential threat to the future of the human
      species, please wake up. Our children and
      grandchildren need you to hear and recognize the
      truth of our situation, before it is too late.

      Here is the good news: the bold steps that are
      needed to solve the climate crisis are exactly
      the same steps that ought to be taken in order to
      solve the economic crisis and the energy security crisis.

      Economists across the spectrum -- including
      Martin Feldstein and Lawrence Summers -- agree
      that large and rapid investments in a
      jobs-intensive infrastructure initiative is the
      best way to revive our economy in a quick and
      sustainable way. Many also agree that our economy
      will fall behind if we continue spending hundreds
      of billions of dollars on foreign oil every year.
      Moreover, national security experts in both
      parties agree that we face a dangerous strategic
      vulnerability if the world suddenly loses access to Middle Eastern oil.

      As Abraham Lincoln said during America's darkest
      hour, "The occasion is piled high with
      difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.
      As our case is new, so we must think anew, and
      act anew." In our present case, thinking anew
      requires discarding an outdated and fatally
      flawed definition of the problem we face.

      Thirty-five years ago this past week, President
      Richard Nixon created Project Independence, which
      set a national goal that, within seven years, the
      United States would develop "the potential to
      meet our own energy needs without depending on
      any foreign energy sources." His statement came
      three weeks after the Arab oil embargo had sent
      prices skyrocketing and woke America to the
      dangers of dependence on foreign oil. And -- not
      coincidentally -- it came only three years after
      United States domestic oil production had peaked.

      At the time, the United States imported less than
      a third of its oil from foreign countries. Yet
      today, after all six of the presidents succeeding
      Nixon repeated some version of his goal, our
      dependence has doubled from one-third to nearly
      two-thirds -- and many feel that global oil production is at or near its peak.

      Some still see this as a problem of domestic
      production. If we could only increase oil and
      coal production at home, they argue, then we
      wouldn't have to rely on imports from the Middle
      East. Some have come up with even dirtier and
      more expensive new ways to extract the same old
      fuels, like coal liquids, oil shale, tar sands and "clean coal" technology.

      But in every case, the resources in question are
      much too expensive or polluting, or, in the case
      of "clean coal," too imaginary to make a
      difference in protecting either our national
      security or the global climate. Indeed, those who
      spend hundreds of millions promoting "clean coal"
      technology consistently omit the fact that there
      is little investment and not a single large-scale
      demonstration project in the United States for
      capturing and safely burying all of this
      pollution. If the coal industry can make good on
      this promise, then I'm all for it. But until that
      day comes, we simply cannot any longer base the
      strategy for human survival on a cynical and self-interested illusion.

      Here's what we can do -- now: we can make an
      immediate and large strategic investment to put
      people to work replacing 19th-century energy
      technologies that depend on dangerous and
      expensive carbon-based fuels with 21st-century
      technologies that use fuel that is free forever:
      the sun, the wind and the natural heat of the earth.

      What follows is a five-part plan to repower
      America with a commitment to producing 100
      percent of our electricity from carbon-free
      sources within 10 years. It is a plan that would
      simultaneously move us toward solutions to the
      climate crisis and the economic crisis -- and
      create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced.

      First, the new president and the new Congress
      should offer large-scale investment in incentives
      for the construction of concentrated solar
      thermal plants in the Southwestern deserts, wind
      farms in the corridor stretching from Texas to
      the Dakotas and advanced plants in geothermal hot
      spots that could produce large amounts of electricity.

      Second, we should begin the planning and
      construction of a unified national smart grid for
      the transport of renewable electricity from the
      rural places where it is mostly generated to the
      cities where it is mostly used. New high-voltage,
      low-loss underground lines can be designed with
      "smart" features that provide consumers with
      sophisticated information and easy-to-use tools
      for conserving electricity, eliminating
      inefficiency and reducing their energy bills. The
      cost of this modern grid -- $400 billion over 10
      years -- pales in comparison with the annual loss
      to American business of $120 billion due to the
      cascading failures that are endemic to our
      current balkanized and antiquated electricity lines.

      Third, we should help America's automobile
      industry (not only the Big Three but the
      innovative new startup companies as well) to
      convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run
      on the renewable electricity that will be
      available as the rest of this plan matures. In
      combination with the unified grid, a nationwide
      fleet of plug-in hybrids would also help to solve
      the problem of electricity storage. Think about
      it: with this sort of grid, cars could be charged
      during off-peak energy-use hours; during peak
      hours, when fewer cars are on the road, they
      could contribute their electricity back into the national grid.

      Fourth, we should embark on a nationwide effort
      to retrofit buildings with better insulation and
      energy-efficient windows and lighting.
      Approximately 40 percent of carbon dioxide
      emissions in the United States come from
      buildings -- and stopping that pollution saves
      money for homeowners and businesses. This
      initiative should be coupled with the proposal in
      Congress to help Americans who are burdened by
      mortgages that exceed the value of their homes.

      Fifth, the United States should lead the way by
      putting a price on carbon here at home, and by
      leading the world's efforts to replace the Kyoto
      treaty next year in Copenhagen with a more
      effective treaty that caps global carbon dioxide
      emissions and encourages nations to invest
      together in efficient ways to reduce global
      warming pollution quickly, including by sharply reducing deforestation.

      Of course, the best way -- indeed the only way --
      to secure a global agreement to safeguard our
      future is by re-establishing the United States as
      the country with the moral and political
      authority to lead the world toward a solution.

      Looking ahead, I have great hope that we will
      have the courage to embrace the changes necessary
      to save our economy, our planet and ultimately ourselves.

      In an earlier transformative era in American
      history, President John F. Kennedy challenged our
      nation to land a man on the moon within 10 years.
      Eight years and two months later, Neil Armstrong
      set foot on the lunar surface. The average age of
      the systems engineers cheering on Apollo 11 from
      the Houston control room that day was 26, which
      means that their average age when President
      Kennedy announced the challenge was 18.

      This year similarly saw the rise of young
      Americans, whose enthusiasm electrified Barack
      Obama's campaign. There is little doubt that this
      same group of energized youth will play an
      essential role in this project to secure our
      national future, once again turning seemingly
      impossible goals into inspiring success.


      WE NEED SUSTAINABLE CAPITALISM: NATURE DOES NOT
      DO BAILOUTS" BY AL GORE AND DAVID BLOOD in THE
      WALL STREET JOURNAL, November 5, 2008
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122584367114799137.html

      Mr. Gore, chairman of Generation Investment
      Management, is a former vice president of the
      United States. Mr. Blood is managing partner of
      Generation Investment Management.

      When greeting old friends after a period of
      absence, Ralph Waldo Emerson used to ask: "What
      has become clear to you since we last met?"

      What is clear to us and many others is that
      market capitalism has arrived at a critical
      juncture. Even beyond the bailouts and recent
      volatility, the challenges of the climate crisis,
      water scarcity, income disparity, extreme poverty
      and disease must command our urgent attention.

      The financial crisis has reinforced our view that
      sustainable development will be the primary
      driver of economic and industrial change over the
      next 25 years. As a result, old patterns and
      assumptions are now being re-examined in an
      effort to find new ways to use the strengths of
      capitalism to address this reality. Indeed, at
      the Harvard Business School Centennial Global
      Business Summit held earlier this month, the
      future of market capitalism was one of the principal themes discussed.

      We founded Generation Investment Management in
      2004 to develop a new philosophy of investment
      management and business more broadly. Our
      approach is based on the long-term, and on the
      explicit recognition that sustainability issues
      are central to business and should be
      incorporated in the analysis of business and management quality.

      Nearly five years on, our conviction on the
      importance of sustainability in delivering
      long-term performance has increased. Indeed, the
      past year, and certainly the past two months, has
      reinforced our view on sustainability. While
      certainly not a complete list, the causes of the
      current financial crisis include: short-termism
      (including but not limited to increased
      leverage), poor governance and regulation,
      misaligned compensation and incentive systems,
      lack of transparency, and in some firms, poor
      leadership and a dysfunctional business culture.

      Forty years ago, Robert F. Kennedy reminded
      Americans that the Dow Jones Industrial Average
      and Gross National Product measure neither our
      national spirit nor our national achievement.
      Both metrics fail to consider the integrity of
      our environment, the health of our families and
      the quality of our education. As he put it, "the
      Gross National Product measures neither our wit
      nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our
      learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion
      to country. It measures everything, in short,
      except that which makes life worthwhile."

      The Keynesian system of "national accounts,"
      which still serves as the backbone for
      determining today's gross domestic product, is
      incomplete in its assessment of value.
      Principally established in the 1930s, this system
      is precise in its ability to account for capital
      goods, but dangerously imprecise in its ability
      to account for natural and human resources.

      Business -- and by extension the capital markets
      -- need to change. We are too focused on the
      short term: quarterly earnings, instant opinion
      polls, rampant consumerism and living beyond our
      means. As we have often said, the market is long
      on short and short on long. Short-termism results
      in poor investment and asset allocation
      decisions, with disastrous effects on our
      economy. As Abraham Lincoln said at the time of
      America's greatest danger, "We must disenthrall
      ourselves, and then we will save our country."

      At this moment, we are faced with the convergence
      of three interrelated crises: economic recession,
      energy insecurity and the overarching climate
      crisis. Solving any one of these challenges requires addressing all three.

      For example, by challenging America to generate
      100% carbon-free electricity within 10 years --
      with the building of a 21st century Unified
      National Smart Grid, and the electrification of
      our automobile fleet -- we can encourage
      investment in our economy, secure domestic energy
      supplies, and create millions of jobs across the country.

      We also need to internalize externalities --
      starting with a price on carbon. The longer we
      delay the internalization of this obviously
      material cost, the greater risk the economy faces
      from investing in high carbon content,
      "sub-prime" assets. Such investments ignore the
      reality of the climate crisis and its
      consequences for business. And as Jonathan Lash,
      president of the World Resources Institute
      recently said: "Nature does not do bailouts."

      Sustainability and long-term value creation are
      closely linked. Business and markets cannot
      operate in isolation from society or the environment.

      Today, the sustainability challenges the planet
      faces are extraordinary and completely
      unprecedented. Business and the capital markets
      are best positioned to address these issues. And
      there are clearly higher expectations for
      businesses, and more serious consequences for
      running afoul of the boundaries of corporate
      responsibility. We need to return to first
      principles. We need a more long-term and
      responsible form of capitalism. We must develop sustainable capitalism.


      GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT IN "GOOGLE AT 10:
      SEARCHING ITS OWN SOUL," NYTimes November 10
      Saturday Interview, on the occasion of Google's
      10th anniversary,
      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/technology/companies/08interview.html

      INTERVIEWER MIGUE HELFT'S INTRODUCTION: Mr.
      Schmidt, 53, spoke earlier this week from the
      company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters
      about his plans for managing Google in a
      downturn, the unraveling of an advertising
      partnership with Yahoo and his recent public
      endorsement of Barack Obama. Mr. Schmidt is also
      a member of Senator Obama's transition economic advisory board.

      Q. You publicly endorsed Barack Obama for
      president saying, among other things, that you
      liked his economic plan. Are there other ideas or
      proposals that you think could help America's and Silicon Valley's economy?

      A. The strongest position I have taken from an
      economic point, with Senator Obama, now
      President-elect Obama, has been to try to solve
      all of our problems at once. And the easiest way
      to do that, at least in domestic policy, is by a
      stimulus program that rewards renewable energy
      and over time attempts to replace fossil fuels
      with renewable energy. The Google calculations,
      which we announced about a month ago, indicate
      that over a 22-year period, you can save a
      trillion dollars by investing in these
      technologies, including plug-in hybrids, and
      thereby reduce our reliance on oil.


      UNDERSTANING 350 PARTS PER MILLION: 350.org is a
      new organization co-founded by Bill McKibben.
      It's I part the successor to "StepItUp," the 2007
      campaign for global warming awareness events. The
      name universally in every language conveys the
      need to stabilize and reduce CO2 emissions to 350
      parts per million. Read the FAQ "Understanding
      350" at http://350.org/understanding-350, and see
      the link to DR. JAMES HANSEN ON 350 PPM:
      http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.1126 There he says, "If
      humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to
      that on which civilization developed and to which
      life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence
      and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will
      need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at
      most 350 ppmĀ…If the present overshoot of this
      target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility
      of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects."


      ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION videos at
      http://www.youtube.com/user/WeCanSolveIt and the
      permalink for "What Next" is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrPXUxD0Lco

      REPOWER AMERICA PRESS RELEASE: 'Now What?'
      'Repower America' Plan Answers Call for Bold
      Answers to Address America's Growing Economic,
      Security and Environmental Crises

      MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov 06, 2008 As the nation
      winds down from an historic election, many
      Americans are asking the question: Now What?
      Today, the "We" Campaign responded to that
      question with a comprehensive solution to the
      three core challenges facing our country: our
      economy, national security and the climate crisis.

      In July, former Vice President and Nobel Laureate
      Al Gore issued a challenge to Repower America
      with 100% clean electricity within ten years.
      Building on that challenge, the "We" Campaign is
      launching a major advertising and grassroots
      effort to support the new President-Elect and
      other leaders as they seek to fulfill the
      election's mandate for change and enact bold
      policies to revitalize our economy and help solve the climate crisis.

      "There has never been a better time than right
      now to Repower America," said Cathy Zoi, CEO of
      the Alliance for Climate Protection, the
      nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that manages
      the 1.8 million-member "We" Campaign. "Now is not
      the time for small steps or a narrow focus. The
      American people are calling for bold change, and
      Repower America is the big solution to get our
      country back on track quickly. Quickly
      transitioning to clean energy will kick-start our
      economy, generate millions of new jobs and
      provide the foundation for long term economic growth."

      Starting on November 6, a series of new
      advertisements will run on television, in print
      and online. The first ad poses the question, "Now
      What?" The answer: "Our nation just made history.
      We have an historic opportunity to boost our
      economy and Repower America with 100% clean
      electricity within 10 years. It will create new
      American jobs, end our addiction to dirty coal
      and foreign oil and solve the climate crisis."
      The ad concludes, "Big problems need big solutions. History is watching."

      On Sunday, a second television ad entitled
      "Common Thread" will begin airing, pointing to
      America's continued harmful dependence on
      carbon-based fuels as the common thread running
      through our economic, national security and
      climate crises. If we pull that thread and end
      our carbon dependence, the ad states, we have the
      ability to solve these problems by Repowering America.

      The plan to Repower America outlines immediate
      investments in three areas: energy efficiency,
      renewable generation and transmission:

      * Energy Efficiency: A national upgrade to
      eliminate waste, save money, and improve comfort.
      Make every bit of energy we produce work harder for us.

      * Renewable Generation: Accelerate the ramp-up of
      clean, renewable electricity sources through
      policies that support increased private and
      public investment in technologies that work, like wind, solar, and geothermal.

      * Unified National Smart Grid: Modernize
      transmission infrastructure so that clean
      electricity generated anywhere in America can
      power homes and businesses across the nation.
      National electricity 'interstates' that move
      power quickly and cheaply to where it needs to
      be; local smart grids that buy and sell power
      from households and support clean plug-in cars.

      "We have the tools in hand today to make the plan
      to Repower America a reality," Zoi said. "But
      transforming our economy will require bold
      leadership and resolve. We need our new
      administration to embrace the Repower America
      goal and usher in a new era of American
      excellence, in which our nation leads the world
      in clean energy technology." To view the ads,
      visit http://repoweramerica.org/raads. For more
      information on the plan to Repower America, visit www.repoweramerica.org.

      About the "We" Campaign: Unprecedented in scale
      for a public policy issue, the Alliance for
      Climate Protection's "We" Campaign draws from the
      best practices of successful commercial, social
      marketing and political campaigns. The We
      Campaign combines advertising, online organizing
      and partnerships with a diverse and growing group
      of grassroots organizations, to educate the
      American public on the urgent need to solve the
      climate crisis and activate them to demand real
      solutions from elected officials - in part
      through repowering America with 100 percent of
      its electricity from clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.


      READ THE ANALYSIS OF HOW TO GET TO A CLEAN GRID
      IN 10 YEARS at
      http://www.repoweramerica.org/elements/analysis/
      . AND SEE A RANGE OF COMMENTS from
      President-elect Obama, Senator McCain, and many
      others at http://www.repoweramerica.org/content/what-experts-are-saying/

      REPOWER AMERICA'S PAGE ON CLEAN PLUG-IN CARS
      http://www.repoweramerica.org/elements/clean-cars

      The Problem: US passenger vehicles (cars and
      trucks) consume about 390 million gallons of
      gasoline per day and contribute 20% of our global
      warming pollution. The gasoline for these cars is
      almost entirely refined from petroleum, nearly
      60% of which is imported. And with a record year
      of price volatility ranging from $2/gal to more
      than $4.50/gal in some parts of the country,
      fueling these cars has created severe hardship and ongoing anxiety.

      The Solution: Commercialize clean, affordable
      cars that 'fuel' by plugging in to a unified
      national smart grid carrying clean energy. With
      the development of a unified national smart grid
      that transmits carbon-free electricity,
      transition to a cleaner, more energy-efficient
      fleet of plug-in passenger vehicles. Help speed
      the transition by supporting American companies
      (big and small) that are pursuing plug-in cars
      and advanced vehicle and battery technologies.

      The Benefits: Clean plug-in passenger vehicles
      will reduce dependence on foreign oil, provide
      transportation for as little as $1 per equivalent
      gallon, create price certainty with renewable
      energy sources that are abundant and free, and
      help solve the climate crisis. A plug-in fleet
      will also contribute to energy storage on the
      grid. And the transition will revitalize the American auto industry.

      How We Get There

      As the rest of the Repower America plan matures,
      begin the transition to plug-in vehicles for the
      nation's passenger car fleet. A plug-in vehicle
      draws electricity from the grid to charge its
      batteries. Full battery electric vehicles use
      only the batteries for power while plug-in hybrid
      vehicles use both a fuel like gasoline, as well
      as grid-charged batteries, for power. For either
      option, cars that charge from a clean electricity
      system will be cleaner too. Plug-in cars could
      also have fuel costs as low as $1 per equivalent
      gallon of gasoline if they drive only on electricity

      Plug-in cars can also act as battery storage for
      the grid. This means owners can sell power back
      to the grid from their charged batteries when the
      electricity is most valuable and the price is the
      highest. It also helps the grid operate more
      smoothly - with only 3% of the car fleet plugging
      in to the grid at optimal times, wind power could
      support up to 50% of the US electricity mix.

      It is unclear how long the transition will be to
      a plug-in passenger fleet or what operational
      strategy the vehicles will eventually settle on
      (there is ongoing research, development, and
      demonstration for full electric cars, plug-in
      hybrid cars with gasoline, and plug-in hybrids
      with diesel). The auto industry, however, is
      forecasting retail vehicle availability in the
      next several years. Support to the auto industry
      to accelerate production could begin immediately
      and would help secure jobs for skilled American
      autoworkers. And the grid infrastructure and
      renewable generation investments that will enable
      these clean cars can commence immediately as well.

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      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      http://www.calcars.org
      http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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