I wasn't exactly expecting a home run on energy from a Republican, but McCain isn't exactly impressing me or anyone else here, which is why he's already lagging in the polls. I will say that we shouldn't get all get infected with micropollarrhea, where we shit our pants each time a new polls is released between now and November, but McCain's lack of imagination on his policies might mean that the shine is wearing off this particular turd.
Strategy number one: force auto companies to produce cars that run on flex fuel. Currently a number of automakers already offer flex fuel vehicles, and making it so a car can run on either ethanol or gas doesn't really lessen our dependence on oil appreciably. McCain can't even tell us how much switching would reduce our consumption, which is what really needs to happen to reduce oil prices.
Strategy number two: The Clean Car Challenge. Sounds so fucking awesome. What this really means is that he is willing to offer a $5000 tax credit for people that buy a zero emissions vehicle. Again, not lessening our oil consumption. Plus, greenhouse gases from transportation as a whole, which doesn't reflect the sole contribution of passenger cars, only accounts for 14% of greenhouse gas emissions at this point. The impact, despite the completely kick ass name, would be minimal.
Strategy three: The big prize. McCain must not have ever studied economics in his life. He is willing to offer a $300 million prize to the company that can develop a battery for an electric car. You don't get the prize until after you build the battery, but this type of thing shows what a complete idiot McCain really is. You don't need to offer a $300 million prize to support this type of innovation because the company that is able to do this would make $300 million in the first 5 seconds of announcing that they had this technology. While $300 million sounds like a lot of money to you and me, it's nothing to the folks who are working on this problem. Although it might be nice for them to have money to fight opposition from big oil on electric cars, but they can't get the prize until after they invent the battery. Too bad.
These policies are only a taste of what McCain has in store for us. What next? Foreign policy plans for domestic issues? Universal healthcare for pets? I can't wait!