I’ve stumbled across a Dick Morris column titled The Arnold Revolution that, as Flavor Flav would say, makes Jeff seem “even more righter.”
We haven’t heard much about it on the east coast, but Ahhhhnuld appears to be taking on the California donks, big oil, and the teachers’ unions – these are three of the biggest boogeymen in the state – nay – the union – and it looks like the Gov aims to stomp a mudhole in all three.
He’s doing it by providing aggressive state leadership to open the way for hydrogen fuel cell cars. While President Bush speaks of the advent of these vehicles in the indefinite future, Gov. Schwarzenegger is bringing them to the here and now by converting gas stations along California’s interstate highways to provide hydrogen fuel as well as gasoline.
With financing projected to come one-third each from federal, state, and private sources, California will offer hydrogen fuel every few miles in urban areas and at least every 20 miles along the highway system by 2010. Eventually, he and the leaders of Washington, Oregon, Baja California and British Columbia will work together to create a “hydrogen highway” that will run from B.C. (British Columbia) to B.C. (Baja, California).
The Schwarzenegger plan calls for state-subsidized production of hydrogen and for tax incentives for those who purchase hydrogen cars.
Replacing gasoline engines with hydrogen-fuel cells would eliminate two-thirds of America’s need for oil Ã¢â‚¬â€ a demand that we could meet entirely with domestically produced oil.
While I’m generally not a conspiracy theorist, I do believe that finding a replacement for oil has been at the very least intentionally slowed by the powers-that-be (and possibly even the Stonecutters™) because of the oily nature of our economy. The entire backbone of our economy is based on diesel fuel for trucking, the gasoline-powered automobile industry, the airlines, the entire transportation and supply chain grid – even gradually moving to new forms of energy would have a drastic impact on many sectors of the national economy. The fact that we’re so dependent on foreign oil is our economic Achilles heel and it’s nice to see the Gov taking steps to remedy the problem – at least in his state.
Don’t get me wrong – I fully support drilling in the ANWR Alaskan wasteland. Supporting the development of new energy sources and drilling to find new sources of domestic oil are not mutually exclusive. Thanks to our (for the time being, at least) free market economy, the U.S. is the world’s innovation leader and you cannot tell me that our best minds can’t handle the task of finding new energy sources to alleviate eventual oil shortages. We can’t afford to let necessity become the mother of invention on this one.
The Gov has also firmly placed his boot in the ass of California Donks who have long had free reign in gerrymandering districts and swaying local districts in their favor.
The cynical political deals that underscored the post-2000 Census reapportionment made the incumbents of both parties invulnerable and limited the number of swing seats to a mere five percent of the House of Representatives. Gov. Arnold will change all that in California.
This is the kind of action that should be taken nationwide – if only other Governors had the stones to follow suit.
Perhaps most importantly, the Gov is taking a dump on the state’s teachers’ unions.
Too bad that so-called education reformers like Hillary Clinton dropped merit-based promotion (which she once supported in Arkansas but dropped when she came to New York, with its virulent teachers union).
The NEA, the federal Department of Education and the state teachers’ unions are the biggest road blocks to a quality public education system in this country. If Ahhhhnuld can bust the California teachers’ unions, he will have done California the biggest favor of all.
I think I’m starting to become an Aaaaahhhhhnnnnuuuulllld fan after all.