The web is now chockablock with "Open Letters to President-Elect Obama" where the world feels compelled to climb on our collective soapbox in the hope that he, like Santa, will read each letter and put something nice in the Christmas sack.
But this post isn't addressed directly to Obama... it is for you, netizens. It is a plea to help push the idea of Amory Lovins for Energy Czar in an Obama administration (an idea that has been pushed by Chris McGowan and others).
In our current situation -- a listing auto industry, tanking economy and soaring energy prices -- I can think of no more important position than Energy Secretary, and no better place to affect change.
The auto industry is asking for a huge bailout. Many jobs will likely depend on the outcome. But the big three automakers have dug their own, deep hole by building vehicles that are inefficient and that fewer and fewer people are willing to buy. They have also resisted attempts to increase fuel efficiency standards and they haven't seriously invested in LEV/ZEV research such as Toyota or Honda have.
So clearly, we are at an inflection point. A targeted bailout with requirements to invest in building LEV/ZEVs is an opportunity to affect our auto industry, our energy future, our economy and the environment with a single stroke. It is also an opportunity for an Obama administration to demonstrate leadership and boldness.
But who to lead such an effort? The names that have been floated around the 'net thus far -- Schwarzenegger, Sibelius etc. -- are not the names of people with the vision or background to enact such a game-changing gesture.
But Amory Lovins is such a peson. He's a scientist, entrepeneur, environmentalist, MacArthur Fellowship recipient and inventor of the hypercar, a 100 mpg design prototype. He's an expert in energy efficiency and author of 29 books including "Winning the Energy Endgame". He received a Time Magazine "Hero of the Planet" award in 2007 and has advised the pentagon and over a dozen countries on energy and security issues.
Drafting Lovins for Energy Czar and striking a forward-looking bailout deal with the big three would be game-changing moves by the Obama adminstration. It would signal to Detroit and the world that we in the United States are serious about energy efficiency and transportation, and that we're willing to compete to build the cars and infrastructure for the future. Cars that US workers would build. Cars that we could once again export to the world.
What do you think? Do you agree? If so, how to draw attention to the idea of Lovins as Energy Secretary, netroots-style?