- The economy - job creation and replacement
- Energy Independence - reducing our need on foreign sources and fossil fuels
- Transitioning to renewable and clean energy - addressing the issues of climate change/global warming and increasing pollution.
I see a way to do this that involves creating jobs in the manufacturing and services sectors. Start by giving tax incentives to companies that create jobs designing and building cheap and affordable solar and wind power products for homes and small business. Help a new industry to be born. This would be an investment in our future. With the proper leadership and investment strategy this technology path could be the next technology boom.
Encourage development by creating a series of X-Prize type programs for development similar to our "race to the moon" programs to encourage innovation and invention. Just look around you and you cannot see something in your room or life that is not a direct result of the space program; Velcro, wireless communications or computers might ring a bell?
Design a model of business practices that encourages inventors and manufacturers to share patents and ideas in new clean energy while guaranteeing that they get financial compensation for their ideas and labor. This will allow for a greater, regionalized manufacturing resulting in less transportation and more affordable devices.
Make a federal law that requires all utility companies to buy back excess energy produced by solar, wind power or from any other clean energy source. Give the American public a chance to earn money generating power instead of becoming energy poor.
Provide a tax credit to homeowners and business owners that give them back 90% of their investment for having their own solar or wind power. You will also need to design a tax credit plan for proper maintenance of such equipment. This will greatly increase the demand for devices, increasing demand for manufacturing and increase demand for highly skilled labor to produce the devices and support devices during their lifetime of use. All of this will generate a windfall in taxable income from multiple sectors across the United States for as long as people need energy. There will also have to be a support structure in place to train people to work with and support such devices and services.
Give tax incentives to individuals and business that buy Hybrid vehicles and extra incentives for people to upgrade their vehicles to plug-in hybrid or expand battery capacity and don't allow car manufacturers to void warranties for an individual making such improvements to the vehicle as long as they use a certified service provider. Such improvements are for the greater good so a warranty for non-related parts should not be voided. This could help spur a cottage industry of hybrid upgrade specialist and create jobs supplying such innovators. It would also be wise to create a financial incentive with auto manufacturers motivate them to review such innovations and reward them and the inventors for incorporating changes that bring "significant improvement" to reducing emissions.
Try to imagine an America where a large percentage of the citizens drive Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicles that they charged on power they generated at home. Can you imagine the impact that only 10% of America could make by doing that? Just imagine 20% or 50% - that is something we can all do given the right incentive and the right leadership.
All of these efforts will create jobs, generate income and help to clean up the environment. With the added bonus of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reduce funding to terrorist organizations every time someone buys a gallon of gas.
Essentially, President Elect Obama, you have a chance to address three major issues facing this nation right now by addressing one major policy - Localized Clean Renewable Energy.