Thursday, February 16, 2006

Les Roberts Calls for alternative energy Apollo mission

During his announcement speech in Cortland, Les Roberts proposed that America summon its energies not to war, but to a new energy initiative that would preserve what prosperity we have, and provoke new growth, through concerted innovation with the goal of energy independence through the development of new sustainable energy technologies.

Roberts said,

"Half a century ago, John Kennedy challenged the country to put a man on the Moon within ten years. As a result, energy and money was infused into public schools. Research was initiated at universities, and wonderful economic ripple effects went through society. I think, today, our need to wean ourselves of foreign oil is far greater than our need was 40 years ago to put a man on the Moon. If we had an Apollo-like initiative to promote research into alternative energy sources, to implement energy resources that are out there and promote energy conservation in our homes, we would create a lot of jobs here in the 24th District.

We've got some big advantages here. Wind generation of electricity has already proven itself to be cost effective here, locally. Because of our dramatic temperature changes between the seasons, geothermal and hydrothermal have a lot of potential here. Also, we have five times more universities in the 24th District than is the norm in this country. We're exceedingly endowed with universities, and if research activities and activities for young people who have just finished their degrees existed, we would benefit disproportionately. On some visceral level, all of us understand the lack of a coherent energy policy we have right now, every time we fill up our cars with gas or pay our monthly heating bills."

This proposal is a smart combination of local issues and national priorities. In spite of the weirdly warm winter we're having, we all are having to cope with the economic impact of dramatically increased costs for heating our homes and businesses. Winter energy costs are a dramatic threat to the economic integrity of the 24th District. Yet, we also have a disproportionate number of colleges and universities in our district, and can benefit from investment in scientific research programs.

Sherwood Boehlert has grown increasingly weak as an advocate for science spending over the last few years, and Roberts, as a scientist, is hitting Boehlert hard in the one place where Boehlert appeals to some Democrats.

For more information about his campaign for Congress, visit the Les Roberts web site.


Anonymous said...

Talk to a memeber of this district about alternative energy apollo mission who has to work two jobs to support their family and is not able to afford health insurance and see how far you get. This is why I will not be voting for Les Roberts.

24 Independent said...

Pardon, but what have the other Democratic candidates proposed for bringing investment and jobs into the area?

They haven't even made any proposals. You have no point of comparison between the Democratic candidates.

As for Sherwood Boehlert, his latest idea for invigorating our local economy is to support Family Dollar stores. Yes, dollar stores.

So, please, stick to the substance.

Think about it for a second. If a person has to work two jobs and can't afford health insurance, it's because the 24th District has a lot of low quality jobs.

Jobs in energy research and development are not low quality jobs that pay minimum wage with no health insurance. They're jobs that pay well because they require high skills. These jobs will keep people who attend our many colleges and universities in the area, and the additional income and investment will ripple throughout the local economy.

Furthermore, if we can reduce the cost of energy, everyone here will benefit - including minimum wage workers who see half their money go toward paying utilities.

So, if someone has two jobs to support their family and is not able to afford health insurance right now, they ought to support this Apollo Mission for alternative energy.

As a matter of fact, just yesterday I DID talk to a resident of the 24th District who is exactly as you describe: Two jobs, and completely inadequate health insurance that he can barely afford.

I've known this guy for years. He saw the value of the Apollo Energy Independence Initiative, and he said that he appreciated Les Roberts for suggesting it.

Anonymous said...

24 democrat - you are going to have a tough row to hoe talking issues in the primary campaign as the first post here points out. The supporters of various candidates will come in and post disparaging comments about the other candidates.

What your post points out is that Robert's campaign is the only one talking about issues in any depth at this point. The rest of the Democrats are still working on basic filings, startup fundraising and initial website setup along with making a foray here and there for a little publicity.

Why the uneven starts? Time. Starting in January or only still contemplating in February, is very, very late. And time in the context of how much personal time the candidates have to put into the campaign. If one of the candidates has a full time campaign and the others are doing it part-time, that's almost an impossible advantage.

Roberts has an advantage on national policy issues because of his work experience. The voters in a democratic primary are going to be much more interested in policy than the general public. The other candidates will be more dependent on experts developing position papers for them to bring them up to speed (if they even know that has to happen) on the variety of national issues that will come up in a Congressional campaign.

I don't know if Roberts is the right democratic candidate and given the heavily republican makeup of the district, only a Boehlert retirement will provide an opening for any democrat anyway. Running for Congress is not some stepped up version of a local office campaign.

As the only real source of discussion about this 24th district race, many of us will be following your website intently. Thanks for the effort!