Sunday, May 11, 2008

Obama tours Oregon

Article in the local paper today talks about his two-day tour of Oregon. Interestingly, it looks as though this primary race will last till the very end - and my state will actually have some relevance. Obama, as usual, had some very intelligent things to say about the current fuel and energy issue we have (I'd call it a crisis, but that implies that it is a temporary phenomenon).

"We can't all be driving Chevy Suburbans at eight miles per gallon," Obama said. "That's no slight against Chevys," he quickly added, "because I want us to drive American-made cars" -- but they need to be built to get better gas mileage.

He said the Arizona senator opposed a windfall profit tax on oil companies, and he called McCain's proposal for a summerlong break from federal gas taxes "a stunt."

"This is a bad idea. I don't care how it polls," he said.

"We've been talking about high prices at the pump and our dependence on foreign oil since the gas lines of the 1970s," Obama said. "We've been talking about our environmental problems for even longer. And yet here we are, all these decades later -- and the only thing that's changed is that we're even more dependent on foreign oil."

This is pretty amazing that he can take the logical, tempered view like this - it is such a stark change from the other candidates approach in politicizing these these very real issues (not to mention Bush's "head in the sand" policies) that are not simply going to go away by claiming to give away tax-free gas. As if that would solve anything anyways.

In other news, mass transit usage is up, largely because of gas prices.

“In almost every transit system I talk to, we’re seeing very high rates of growth the last few months,” said William W. Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association.

“It’s very clear that a significant portion of the increase in transit use is directly caused by people who are looking for alternatives to paying $3.50 a gallon for gas.”

Anything to help break the cycle of addiction to the automobile.

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