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Followup Speech: Drive Star Can Cut Oil Use in Half by 2020

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  • Felix Kramer
    We ve received very positive responses to our June 13 President s 2nd Message: We Can Cut Oil Use in Half by 2020, where we predicted what the President
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2010
      We've received very positive responses to our
      June 13 "President's 2nd Message: We Can Cut Oil
      Use in Half by 2020," where we predicted what the
      President might say on June 15 and proposed how
      he could follow that up. That posting was
      published at Climate Progress and reprinted at
      GreenCarCongress.com, EV World.com and
      PlugInCars.com. As part of our efforts to
      distribute it to print media and broadcast media,
      we've now produced the much shorter version found
      below. We're also distributing this broadly in
      advance of our quick visit to Washington, DC next
      Mon-Tues, June 28-29, as we continue to enlist
      allies. If you haven't done so already, please
      forward this to your networks. (The shorter
      version necessarily omits some of the detail from
      the first, so you can also point people to the
      longer version at http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/1101.html .) Thank you!

      (Shortly after it goes out on email, this posting
      will also be viewable at
      http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html -- there
      you can add CalCars-News to your RSS feed.)

      President Obama's Followup Speech: Drive Star Can Cut Oil Use in Half by 2020

      Today I announce Drive Star. It's a plan to cut
      our oil use in half by 2020. If we can match the
      efforts of our citizens and our industries after
      Pearl Harbor, in a decade, we'll have gotten a
      great deal: many new jobs, and safer, healthier, and better lives.

      As long as we remain addicted to oil, we remain
      at risk for another oil catastrophe, on land or
      on sea. In the U.S. and around the world, no
      matter how careful we all are, deep- and
      shallow-water wells, giant tankers, aging
      pipelines and sprawling refineries may fail --
      and remain in the cross-hairs of terrorists -- as
      long as they operate. The only way to guarantee
      our nation's safety -- the most realistic
      solution -- is to reduce national and global
      demand for petroleum. That's conservative:
      protecting everything we value from change we can't control.

      Since our cars and trucks use almost two-thirds
      of the oil we buy, the quickest way to do that is
      to free transportation from its grip.
      Fortunately, the answer is under the hoods of the
      250 million vehicles we drive today. Using
      existing technology, we can convert many into
      plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

      We've about to enact "Home Star" and "Building
      Star" – and put people to work on "Cash for
      Caulkers" retrofits to make buildings more
      comfortable and cut owners' fuel costs. With
      bipartisan support, we can add "Drive Star."

      Our 100 million trucks, vans, and buses now gulp
      down one third of the oil we use. About half stay
      on the road a surprisingly long time: 15 to 35
      years. That's long enough to merit a makeover.
      Retrofitting these gas guzzlers will pay off, for
      their owners, their communities, and our nation.
      We already upgrade our computers. We can upgrade our vehicles, too.

      The U.S. can lead a new, profitable, global
      business. Pioneering companies can already turn
      gas- and diesel-powered vehicles into
      all-electrics or plug-in hybrids, depending on
      how they're built and the range their drivers
      need. As batteries get cheaper and smaller, and
      motors get light enough to fit inside wheels,
      we'll be able to upgrade smaller cars. We won't
      need new power plants; we have enough off-peak
      electricity to recharge as many retrofits as we
      can build. As more electricity comes from
      lower-carbon fuel sources, our cars will
      magically get cleaner as they get older!

      Mass conversions will cost under $10-$15,000.
      That's still a lot for old car owners to pay up
      front. But retrofitters can partner with energy
      service companies to finance these costs, backed
      by federal loan guarantees. Since an electric
      mile is up to five times cheaper than a petroleum
      mile, retrofits will cost less to drive right
      away, benefitting public, military, and private
      fleets, and individual drivers.

      We'll add targeted incentives to jump-start "Cash
      for Conversions", a successor to our popular
      $4,500 "Cash for Clunkers". Now, new plug-in car
      buyers get up to $7,500 in tax credits. We'll
      match that to retrofit the first five million
      gas-guzzlers that displace an equivalent amount
      of oil and can last 10 or more years. As
      high-volume production lowers the price, we can
      taper down the incentive over a second five million.

      Every day, we hand over a billion dollars to
      foreign oil suppliers. With Drive Star, by loan
      guarantees and grants of less than we pay now for
      three months of foreign oil, we'll catalyze quick
      retrofits of over 50 million vehicles. When we do
      the math, let's remember that defending our
      nation is never cheap. If terrorists had poisoned
      40% of our wetlands and 25% of our fisheries, we
      wouldn't ask, "How much will it cost to fight
      back?" We'd dispatch tens of thousands of soldiers and spend whatever it took.

      By summer 2011, we'll be ready to create a
      powerful new U.S. conversion industry. Tens of
      thousands of Americans will have important, good
      jobs fixing vehicles in commercial garages and
      boarded-up auto plants. For the first time,
      carmakers and dealers will get a new revenue
      stream from upgrading vehicles they've already sold.

      We Americans love to race. Since Charles
      Lindbergh won $25,000 for his first transatlantic
      flight, we've seen again and again how competition sparks innovation.

      Let's start "Drive Star" with a $100 million
      challenge: Design a way to retrofit a popular
      vehicle. Make it affordable, safe, eligible for
      warranty and high volume installation. Deliver
      test vehicles in six months. Judges will come
      from the Departments of Energy and
      Transportation, the EPA, and groups like the
      Society of Automotive Engineers, the X Prize
      Foundation, Cleantech Open and the Specialty
      Equipment Manufacturers Association.

      Early next year, we'll convene a kickoff summit
      in Michigan for conversion companies, car and
      component makers, lenders, fleet owners, and
      drivers to start a national rollout of conversion locations.

      Drive Star is America's chance to lead the world
      in a new direction. U.S. companies will export
      and license our solutions and work with
      suppliers, manufacturers and installers to fix
      vehicles everywhere. Because oil is a global fuel
      and its accidents affect us all, our solution must be, too.

      Every generation is called on to rise to a
      challenge. Ours is beating our addiction to oil.
      With Drive Star, we have the motive, the means,
      and the resources to cut our oil use in half in ten years! Together, we can.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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