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Monday, November 15, 2004

The Manhattan Project 

Atrios's guest-poster Hecate proposes a Manhattan Project, but for oil independence:
Of course, what we really need, and won't get with this administration, is a Manhattan project to get this country off of oil. It would improve our foreign relations, our environment, and our economy. Properly done, a Manhattan project would create jobs and new technologies that would allow us to stop polluting and still maintain our economy.
I need to think about this for a while, but it could be a damn good idea. He also makes the obvious point that entrenched oil industry figures in both this administration and Congress make this a moot point for the next 4 (and likely more) years.

But this might be the kind of massive policy proposal that could be something for Democrats to run on for the next few election cycles. Think the New Deal for oil independence. Not only is it a good idea practically, but it taps into the history of the Democratic party in a way that supporting gay rights (though admirable) does not.

And if my libertarian friends have a problem with this (gee, I wonder who I'm talking about), I'd like to hear them. This seems like one of the things that only the federal government could accomplish. Assuming any resulting technology is not made a government monopoly, however, I don't see how this would inappropriately increase government power at the federal level (though it would, of course, increase spending).

Criticisms?

UPDATE: And if the Dems decide to grow balls and play rough (which I think they must), this also opens up some great dirty politics and fear-mongering opportunities. Just send the whole country to read this.

Or if they're feeling charitable, there are other, less alarmist sources for information on peak oil. Oh...my bad, that's scary and alarmist, too. ;)

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