• Nov 17th 2008 at 6:58PM
  • 44
President-Elect Barack Obama thinks we have an oil addiction and he wants to do something about it. That something is developing a plan for energy independence. While that might have seemed easier to discuss when oil was at $147 a barrel, Obama thinks it's even more important to talk about now, with oil hovering around $60. "It may be a little harder politically, but it's more important," Obama told 60 Minutes in his first post-election interview. Obama explained that our addiction to oil causes a mental transition from "shock to trance." As oil and gas prices go up, it creates "a flurry of activity." When the prices go back down, however, people seemingly forget, and "we act like it's not important. And, as a consequence, we never make any progress." He considers it an addiction and knows it needs to be broken. Our next top executive thinks now is the time to break it.

Along with energy independence, Obama also addressed the auto industry bailout, and GM's situation in particular. Acknowledging that a complete collapse would be "a disaster in this kind of environment," but he's not in favor of handing the industry a blank check. He feels that discussions with the Detroit Three should be focused on figuring out what a sustainable U.S. auto industry will look like so that the bridge loans the government is offering lead to a definable goal rather than being open-ended. Unlike some critics, Obama doesn't think the country would be better off if General Motors was allowed to go into bankruptcy. Unlike the situation with the airlines where they could restructure and reorganize and still operate during that process, GM could be cut off completely if it isn't helped out, potentially preventing it from continuing on.

You can read the transcript of the complete interview and watch the video here.

[Source: CBS News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ron Paul should have been President. He isn't bought and paid for like Obama and McCain. Anyone who voted for either didn't do any research on what either of them proposed to do.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, if I voted (I should have but the early polls had Obama in a landslide), I would not have voted for him. But he is right for sure on oil addiction.

      P.S. If Colin Powell ran for President, I would've voted

      P.S.S If you are p***** of about what I said, go away and go back to living in your little world.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What does Colin Powell have to do with anything??

        Was that your attempt to not sound racist for not voting Obama? Roflmaoooo

        ..relax dude, u supported Obama by not showing up for McCain.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wait, you didn't vote because your candidate (Not Obama, so I'm assuming McCain) wasn't in the lead?
        Thanks for being worthless.
        • 6 Years Ago
        did i call anybody a racist? lol. my point was that not voting Obama DOESN'T make you racist; so you don't have to pull some other black politician out ur a** to compensate.

        And Colin Powell supports Obama.
        • 6 Years Ago

        If you don't vote ... don't complain.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're old enough to vote?!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow. Thanks for making feel like s***. I guess I didn't sound regretful enough about not voting OR you guy are tools.

        How was I complaining? Nowhere was I complaining. I said Obama was ahead of the polls early. I came up with a lame excuse a more than a month ago so I still should've voted. And then there's the biggest f*** of all, k.w.a.:

        "What does Colin Powell have to do with anything??

        Was that your attempt to not sound racist for not voting Obama? Roflmaoooo

        ..relax dude, u supported Obama by not showing up for McCain."

        Powell is a great man and saw Republicans going all neocon a mile away. He is a moderate Republican and I agree with most of his beliefs about what should be done with this country and what really went wrong. How dare you call me a racist, k.w.a. Regardless if you're black or white, I'll would enjoy kicking your a$$ to the moon.

        Thank You,
        Aaron W.

        By the way, I didn't vote for McCain because Palin didn't impress me at all and McCain would've had to turn his back on being a maverick (yeah, I said it) like back in the late 90's and start going neocon....and it's my right to complain and rarely do I complain because I am fortunate that I get to go school and be paid for it (G.I. Bill).

      • 6 Years Ago
      The thing is CORN-based biofuels is much less efficient (provides less energy than other biofuels - such as sugar based biofuels).

      US Sugar, large agribusinesses, coporate farms all lobbied hard for corn-based ethanol (which is why we have corn-based and not sugar-based).

      Both, however, may very well be supplanted by biofuels made from cellulose or algae.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We buy oil from people who hate us because it's the cheapest energy we can get.

      I bought gas yesterday a few miles South of San Francisco where everything is costly, and gas was $2.369 per gallon--just a bit over half the cost 5 months ago. If the economy were stronger, GM's trucks and SUVs would be selling in droves with gasoline as cheap as it is now.

      If the government bails out GM with a requirement that GM build hybrid and other economy cars, and if gasoline remains cheap, the bailout will fail unless gasoline is taxed enough to raise its market price to a point at which people voluntarily buy eco-cars to save money on fuel. Cheap gas = bigger and faster cars here in the U.S.

      Handing money to GM is like paying for a few additional months of life support for a moribund company. For GM to succeed, it must be completely torn apart and rebuilt by new management (and new directors).

      All of GM's constraining legacy issues must be invalidated so redundant brands, dealers, retiree benefits, the "Jobs Bank", and other impediments are killed.

      Then a smaller and unencumbered GM--hopefully non-union--can compete with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and others that have been eating GM's lunch for years. There's really no other way.

      The problem is that the government--especially an Obama government--will throw money at GM to preserve union jobs. So, don't be surprised that whatever bailout there might be will give short-lived relief, then will be followed by requests for still more money until even union-funded Democrats say "no" and GM finally goes bankrupt.

      Preserving the current GM is like trying to bring back the dodo birds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One major point I haven't seen any TV commentator manage to figure out yet while slamming GM is that they (and Ford & Chrysler) spent a lot of the past decade or so cranking out gas guzzling trucks & SUV's - not only because oil was cheap, but BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE WANTED TO BUY! They simply built the products that people demanded. If they had spent all their money developing the best small fuel-efficient cars in the world, they would have gone bankrupt long before now because people simply would not have BOUGHT them. A few weeks ago when gas was over $4.00/gal. everybody was clamoring for fuel-efficient cars, but now that gas is cheap once again (not that it couldn't go back to $4 TOMORROW) people are ALREADY relaxing their attitudes. Obama is absolutely right... it's more important than ever to break this oil addiction once and for all right NOW. But it's going to take more than the auto makers producing the right kinds of vehicles, it's going to take the American public BUYING them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Very well said Chase, where would GM be if they were the ones that would have developed the Prius? using the money from the SUVs ...isnt it a shame that VW/Audi' DSG was developed by an american company ...

        And talking about prius, who was asking for a prius when it came out? nobody.... i gues toyta could have kept making more and more SUVs and trucks right...
        • 6 Years Ago
        -- I like that thought.

        Also, one thing that Americans don't understand is that they have it much much better off than the rest of the world. That's great and all, but it happens to have the side effect that we aren't used to having to compete to get what we want. Most Americans just kind of float through life -- getting carried along by the current, and not really going out of their way to do anything other than what is necessary. In most other regions -- Europe and Japan even -- living is much more difficult. Everything from food, to gas, to cars, to furniture is on the order of 30-80% more expensive -- no joke. Jobs are harder to get. People just don't have all of their desires laid out in front of them in life like Americans do. Thus, people are more motivated, and work harder.

        America's continued economic dominance comes from its relative self sufficiency in terms of natural resources, its financial dominance, and above all, its technology/talent. People are lazier, but America makes more really really talented people than anywhere else, so it works out.

        There is an important economic paradigm called Clark's sector model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Clark%27s_Sector_Model.png). It shows how the market for different kinds of labor changes while a nation develops. Mining for iron ore is a primary activity. Manufacturing cars is a secondary activity. Designing cars is a tertiary activity. America is finding out that jobs that require little education are becoming more rare. That's normal according to this model.

        What America really needs to focus on in the very long term is optimizing the education system, and organizing more and more specialized educational programs. America needs to stop focusing on secondary activities like automotive manufacturing, and instead get more and more of the workforce doing things like design, engineering, science, and research.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We have a huge need for oil, for sure.

      We need to develop all possible resources HERE in the US and reduce the amount of money sent overseas to middle east countries that support terrorists, directly or indirectly.

      For as much as people blame the Republicans for supporting big oil, the radical environmentalists have had the Democrats in their pocket and that's part of the problem too. Both parties need focus less on PAC's and work together to get the oil and coal resources developed in the short term (5-10 years) while more nuclear, wind, and solar programs can come on-line in the future (20+ years).

      • 6 Years Ago
      Posts aren't showing up. Is there a problem with this website?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If somebody could invent a car that would run on the hot air produced by many of you commenters, they would become very rich.
      • 6 Years Ago
      He's right. And far more realistic than Neil Young.

      And aaron...since you didnt vote, if you ever bitch, just preemptively stfu.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I do hope the bailout will be more than a blank check. The Big 3 need to clearly establish their restructuring plan (and it better be drastic) before the government hands over any money. And I suppose it will be up to the government to determine if the plan is "adequate" for for a check to be written. Blah, what a mess.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I like the part about energy independence. I also agree with Pickens, that we shouldn't be sending the money to the Middle East. And as a great side benefit, the trade deficit is reduced. Now all we need is a few jobs added on, here. Whoever can do all of the above has my support.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pickens is a insincere, self-serving ass who's grand plan for energy independence is to replace one unsustainable model with another. The only difference is that one scheme has us sending money to the Middle East, while the other has us sending money to Pickens. We will never be truly independent (that is, not beholden to a small cartel, be it foreign or domestic) until we adopt something other than internal combustion as our primary motive power.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Pickens supports wind generation. How is that not sustainable? I think we'll have plenty of wind until the sun goes supernova.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lesser of two evils? Again, the two main points: 1. Money stays here, reducing the trade deficit, and maybe producing a few jobs, something no one could argue with in these troubled times. 2. Money stops going to volatile region of the world, that's called long term security.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is refreshing to see a guy who just paid off his student loans a few years ago become leader of the free world. I think he's pretty much in touch with "normal" America, where shelling out an extra $30 or $40 a week does have an impact on what you budget for that month.

      IMO, let the big three go bankrupt and rebuild. Don't bail them out before that happens. They have an impossible, unsustainable business model.
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