Pernick: Democrats should grab hold of the green energy mandate

Everyone interested in American politics is reading tea leaves these days trying to figure out what changes the Democrats will bring to Washington in January. In the green car legislation part of the spectrum, we've noted that incoming House leader Nancy Pelosi may fight against tax breaks for Big Oil, Rep. John Dingell's opposition to raising CAFE standards, and presidential runner Tom Vilsack's support for doubling those standards. There's lots of food for thought out there.
Over at Renewable Energy Access, Clean Edge co-founder Ron Pernick is jumping in the puddle and has written a good column on how the Democrats should respond to the new clean-energy mandate. Their inspiration, he writes, could come from the Republican governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. California has passed a lot of green energy initiatives since the Governator was in the political doldrums last year, and that helped Schwarzenegger win reelection two weeks ago. AutoblogGreen readers will remember Schwarzenegger's coming to the Tesla Roadster unveiling in July, just one of many pro-green energy appearances.

Pernick puts perhaps a little too much reliance on the political parties' ability to enact change. I like that he suggests Democrats can solidify their gains by taking voter disapproval with the current state of affairs and turn it into approval for green energy policies. It's clear there are dozens of ways to supports green energy (cleaner cars make up a large part of that potential). It's also true, as Pernick writes, that energy independence will help move us from the "state of unrelenting fear" we've been in since September 11, 2001 to "a more pragmatic, optimistic, 'can do' era." But any politicians who push for green energy will naturally be behind the curve. Their help is vital, but it's individuals and creative companies - and now voters - who will lead the way. Let's hope the leaders follow.

[Source: Renewable Energy Access]

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