Alternative fuels and electric vehicles (EVs) and were mentioned in all three of the Presidential Debates and very briefly during the Vice Presidential Debate. That is really something for EVs.
For the longest time EVs were hobbyist’s projects in garages, and it was not until recently that EVs became widely available to consumers and not just focused on the EV enthusiast. When Presidential Candidates are repeatedly mentioning EVs and specific models it is clear that EVs have hit the mainstream.
Granted, the mentioning of the EVs at the Debate was not flattering. Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney slammed the Obama Administration during all three Debates for wasteful spending on failed alternative energy programs or “loser companies”; and Obama did not really defend it.
While it is true that there have been some failed energy companies that had received federal funding, many more have been successful and are still in operations.
As is the way in during election season, the pros of the rival candidate’s time in office are swept under the rug. Romney repeatedly used bankrupt alternative energy company Solyndra and troubled EV manufacturer Fisker as examples of bad investments made with federal funds by Obama during a time of economic “tumult” in the U.S. This is a message that has been repeated constantly during Romney’s campaign.
However, at the end of the third and final debate on October 22nd Romney put a new spin on his criticism of the Obama Administration’s interaction with EVs:
“These are the government investing in companies, investing in Solyndra. This is a company. This isn’t basic research. I — I want to invest in research. Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tanks — great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not. That’s the wrong way to go.” – Mitt Romney Presidential Debate, October 22 2012
To be precise, America is not invested in any of the “loser companies” posted on Mitt’s dart board of talking points. The U.S. does not own Fisker in an investment sense like the U.S. does GM. These companies just took federally backed cash to get things up and running at their company.
Terminology aside, what Romney is saying here is that he is not anti-alternative fuels and anti EVs or even anti research; Romney is highlighting that he is anti-bad investments in companies during hard economic times. Now this does not mean that Romney will be as equally pro EV has Obama has been. But this is a fine example of how the Romney campaign has been playing both sides of hot button political issues rather than sticking to a message and promoting a plan if in office.
See you at the polls in less than two weeks…
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison