The $84 billion New Energy Reform Act would fund an effort - which its backers liken to the Apollo moon landing program - to transform the nation's cars and trucks, with a goal of having 85 percent of new vehicles on the road run on nonpetroleum-based fuels within 20 years.
To pay for their proposal, lawmakers would raise the major oil companies' taxes by excluding them from tax credits that apply to other manufacturers.
In other words, the compromise put forward by Obama would in fact move us forward on sustainable energy while raising taxes on the oil companies. Since opening up new areas to oil companies is more about financial manipulation of oil leases than actually drilling, this is calling the oil company's bluff. I still have reservations, but it's now on McCain to respond. Does he actually support a compromise, as he said, or does he support his earlier position opposing the Energy bill earlier this year? The right consistently says they want to develop all forms of energy, but when push comes to shove, they always gut incentives to develop alternative energy sources while protecting subsidies to oil and coal. This compromise exploits the wedge between their rhetoric and their substance. By contrast, the FISA deal was just a capitulation, including everything the right wanted and very little else.
Two, while on FISA, there was real organizing work going on to oppose the bill, on drilling there isn't. The environmental groups are basically silent and uninterested in this one, and at no point in the primary did Obama stake out his opposition to drilling as evidence that he deserved votes in the primary. He did discuss global warming, but a genuine compromise on drilling plus alternative energy might actually be a good start in dealing with climate change.
So now, Obama has offered a compromise to McCain - a comprehensive energy bill with drilling, removing oil company subsidies, and funding alternative energy development. And what will McCain say? Will he stand with the oil companies to keep them well subsidized with tax credits they don't deserve? That's the question Obama is hoping to put on the table.
... If pop culture is any guide, Obama's compromise has legs, but he's not understood as the one offering it.