Sen. John McCain brought some good ideas to the South Coast during his June 23 and 24 visit.
At the top of the list, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee proposed a $300 million prize for the development of a battery with sufficient capacity and power to “leapfrog’’ those that now fuel plug-in hybrids or electric cars. We have seen prizes launch the private sector into the space race and create new way to celebrate science and technology.
Another good idea is McCain’s “Clean Car Challenge’’ which would provide a $5,000 tax credit for buyers of zero-emissions cars to encourage their development. For less clean vehicles, credits would be offered on a scale that gives higher credits for lower emissions.
Energy costs are moving to the top of issues voters say they want addressed in the campaign between McCain and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as gasoline approaches $5 a gallon on the South Coast.
McCain also proposed some ideas – such as offshore oil drilling and more nuclear power plants – which are anathema on the South Coast. But he is doing some serious thinking about the nation’s energy woes and his $300 million prize is worth serious consideration.