Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) is continuing his blogging for TCJewFolk (and getting some interesting reader comments) concluding his Day Three report as follows :
Ended the evening having dinner with Israelis from different walks of life, including someone who works for Better Place, the electric car company founded in 2008. They’ve teamed up with Renault to create a car with a switch-out battery. Israel has a goal to break its reliance on oil for transport by 2020 and believes that goal is achievable even sooner. These cars are up and running in Israel and I checked one out tonight. They’re also building networks all across Denmark and Australia and are testing it in California and Hawaii. Stay tuned …
Mr. Paulsen seems to be intrigued by Better Place … and yet, it’s surprising that Congressman Paulsen is so uninformed.
If Mr. Paulsen had read Minnesota-native Tom Friedman’s July 27, 2008 column about “Shai Agassi, the Jewish Henry Ford now obsessed with making Israel the world’s leader in electric cars.”
Here are the highlights :
Agassi, age 40, is an Israeli software whiz kid who rose to the senior ranks of the German software giant SAP. He gave it all up in 2007 to help make Israel a model of how an entire country can get off gasoline and onto electric cars. He figured no country has a bigger interest in diminishing the value of Middle Eastern oil than Israel. On a visit to Israel in May, I took a spin in a parking lot on the Tel Aviv beachfront in Agassi’s prototype electric car, while his sister watched out for the cops because it is not yet licensed for Israeli roads.
Agassi’s plan, backed by Israel’s government, is to create a complete electric car “system” that will work much like a mobile-phone service “system,” only customers sign up for so many monthly miles, instead of minutes. Every subscriber will get a car, a battery and access to a national network of recharging outlets all across Israel — as well as garages that will swap your dead battery for a fresh one whenever needed.
His company, Better Place, and its impressive team would run the smart grid that charges the cars and is also contracting for enough new solar energy from Israeli companies — 2 gigawatts over 10 years — to power the whole fleet. “Israel will have the world’s first virtual oilfield in the Negev Desert,” said Agassi.
Now, Tom Friedman is just exposing to the world what Congress already knew … after all on June 26, 2008 The Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming held a hearing where Mr. Agassi was a witness.
Congress should know about Better Place …. And the approach that the Government of Israel is taking … Israel Corp. owns more than 35% of Better Place … Israel Corp. was founded in 1968 by the Government of the State of Israel.
Better Place has also obtained tens of millions of dollars from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) … and Morgan Stanley received $10 billion in TARP funds which has been repaid.
Obviously, moving to electric cars means more electricity. While Mr. Paulsen did not mention it, but Tuesday Israel moved forward on wind farms:
An Israeli green energy firm that has focused primarily on photovoltaic installations is now shifting gears and adding wind farms … The company, called Enlight Renewable Energy spokesman said “One of the interesting changes in the way the electricity market is going to be built in the future of Israel is that we are shifting from very centralized production in the power plants… to very distributed production that will be done by multiple green partners.”
YES, Mr. Paulsen should have learned a lot on his trip … of course, he could have gone to San Francisco which has a goal of becoming the America’s Electric Car Capital in cooperation with Better Place.
Of course, that’s better than visiting the city of Guangzhou … where in April, Better Place battery switch station and demonstration center in China was announced.
Funny thing is that we hear President Obama talking about America’s expanding battery manufacturing presences while the State of Michigan is redefining itself as the Smart Coast … yet the message from Republicans is trumpeted by John Kline (R-MN-02) attacking the FreedomCAR program while Americans are asking Will Private Companies Add Jobs Here or Overseas ?
Mr. Paulsen is too smart a person, and politician, not to realize that America is falling behind. Mr. Paulsen has been a strong voice on nuclear power … joining the Tim Walz (D-MN-01) to advance the debate … it’s time that Mr. Paulsen step out of the shadows … become a statesman … and help Minnesota become a Better Place. Maybe a quick trip to visit the Automotive program at Minnesota State University – Mankato would be a good start.
President Obama is doing his part … just this month he has made two announcements :
8/9/2011 – Obama Administration Announces First Fuel Economy Standards for Medium and Heavy Trucks President Obama today announced first-of-their-kind fuel efficiency standards for trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles, saying the new rules will save American businesses who operate and own these commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program
8/1/2011 – President Announces 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard President Obama announced an agreement with 12 major auto makers to pursue the next phase in the administration’s national vehicle program, increasing fuel economy to 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025
When will the Republicans realize that America is losing the Future ? They have no problem with funding Israel’s Iron Dome program, and providing other aid, while ignoring America’s future.