Here's a tip for Terry Tamminen: retire the joke already. You know, the one about Arnold Schwarzenegger and whoever just introduced you as a speaker, how they were pumping iron together back in the day? We heard it about Ed Begley at the 2006 Alt Car Expo and then again at AFVI in 2007. When Tamminen told it again at this year's Alt Car Expo (listen to the audio clip below), I started to worry that he might not have anything new to say at all. But, while Tamminen is still a strong supporter of hydrogen, he didn't promote it quite as much as he has in the past. Indeed, he said that, "I think we should be talking to the about the alternatives that this expo exemplifies."
Tamminen's speech at AltCar 2008 was called "Advice for the Next President," and the 30-minute talk was a mixture of a rallying call for the green vehicle fans in the audience and specific advice for a President Obama or McCain.

Details after the jump.

Tamminen, a cabinet secretary and chief policy advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger, and author who blogs at Eco-Compass, said that the artificially low price of gasoline doesn't help America. Instead, he said, we need to turn to renewables. Taking a cue from a recent presidential broo-haha (is that how you spell it?) he sad, "The fundamentals of our green economy are sound, take it from me."

Tamminen's advice to the next president included:

  • Renewables - We should use hydrogen (generated by solar and wind power) in our cars. Tamminen claimed that there is enough water (and, therefore, hydrogen) to power the entire U.S. transportation fleet in a day's sewage water from the Santa Monica Hyperion sewage treatment plant. It wouldn't make sense to make all of the hydrogen in one location, but he wanted to point out that the hydrogen is readily available (how to easily make it ready for cars, Tamminen didn't illustrate).
  • Efficiencies - This one is pretty self-explanatory, we just need to use less by having more efficient gadgets and vehicles while also making conscious choices.
  • Markets - We need to either stop subsidizing dirty energy or start giving more money to the cleaner, greener energy startups. Oil and coal subsidies are a terrible idea, he said, and expressed his support for a cap and trade market. He spoke about a recent 10-state agreement on just such a system.
  • Energy democracy - Fossil fuels won't be around forever and the sooner we move away from them the better. Relying on cleaner energy also means we'll have less wars (both hot and cold ones) and therefore get an increase in democracy.

Perhaps the most inspiring moment in the speech was when Tamminen said that, "every American needs to know what you [the AltCar crowd] know ... that the most patriotic thing they can do is drive a more efficient vehicle or a bicycle." Who knew green was the new red, white and blue?

Listen here (33min):

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