Here's an email I got right after the election: "Liaocheng Dongying Hengtong Metal Manufacturing Co. Ltd here. Glad to hear that you are on the market for automatic chicken cage." Actually, I hadn't thought of operating a factory farm broiler operation, though I might have just said "what the hell" if Romney got elected. There's money in it, and I'd be one of those small businessmen he champions.
From the point of view of a green auto and energy writer, the election results are positive. Like it or not, the nascent electric car business needs incentives to survive. Romney not only disastrously opposed the auto bailout (it might have cost him the election), but he also continuously stuck it to Obama about tax breaks for green energy.
This is from the first debate, "And — and in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives… These businesses, many of them have gone out of business — I think about half of them — of the ones that have been invested in have gone out of business."
Green energy didn't get $90 billion, or even half of it. And "half" of them have not gone out of business. C'mon, Mitt, there were 28 funded projects involving 23 companies, and only four have either been sold or went out of business.
Romney also said that the Chevy Volt was an "idea whose time has not come," and he would no doubt tried to kill both the $7,500 federal tax credit and the fuel economy deal between the federal government, state of California and automakers.
But enough about Mitt. He's ancient history now. What will Obama do? I'm hoping that, free of re-election pressures, he'll be true to his instincts and continue to champion clean cars and green energy as an alternative to the total fossil fuel dependence contained in the Romney/Ryan plan.
What should he do? Make a major push to enact his legislation turbocharging the credit to $10,000 and make it a direct subsidy at the time of purchase. That makes sense, and it's a big incentive. This is not some crazy Democratic idea, anyway, the credit was enacted when Bush was in office. Bush also presided over the awarding of $25 billion for advanced vehicle manufacturing, and loved fuel-cell cars.
What Obama has to do is use all his vaunted powers of persuasion to rebuild bipartisan support for green cars. Americans are united in wanting to end foreign oil dependency, and this is probably the best way to do it.