Thomas Friedman wrote a great piece in today's New York Times on what's at stake in terms of energy in the presidential election.
John McCain prided himself on being the greenest Republican in Washington; however, his "drill drill drill" rhetoric and selection of running mate Sarah Palin contradicts his crafted image. Freedman quotes Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, who states:
“Back in June, the Republican Party had a round-up. One of the unbranded cattle — a wizened old maverick name John McCain — finally got roped. Then they branded him with a big ‘Lazy O’ — George Bush’s brand, where the O stands for oil. No more maverick.
“One of McCain’s last independent policies putting him at odds with Bush was his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, yet he has now picked a running mate who has opposed holding big oil accountable and been dismissive of alternative energy while focusing her work on more oil drilling in a wildlife refuge and off of our coasts. While the northern edge of her state literally falls into the rising Arctic Ocean, Sarah Palin says, ‘The jury is still out on global warming.’ She’s the one hanging the jury — and John McCain is going to let her.”
Friedman goes on to point out that the energy technology (ET, as he calls it) will surpass information technology (IT) as the most important and profitable industry in the world. We must remember, he argues, that the country that comes to dominate it will reap the substantial benefits. That means investment in and a commitment to new technology.
As Friedman writes: "The country that spawns the most E.T. companies will enjoy more economic power, strategic advantage and rising standards of living. We need to make sure that is America. Big oil and OPEC want to make sure it is not."