The thoughts of General Wesley Clark of the U.S Military came out as powerful words at the Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit this week. As Clark said, "The nation must muster the same economic might that brought about the explosion in personal computing, the Internet and cellular phones, and apply it to electric vehicle technology to help wean the U.S. from its dependence on foreign oil."
As a former supreme allied commander for NATO forces, Clark has noted that the past few wars including the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq both saw this nation go to war in part to secure U.S. access to oil. The dependency on foreign oil led the U.S. in to secure vital resources.
Weening the U.S. off of foreign oil is critical to our national security. As Clark said, "It's absolutely dead center of the bull's eye of national security. It's a tragedy. It doesn't have to be that way, but it is."
12 million barrels of imported oil per day go to fueling nearly 240 million vehicles nationwide. The country pays out between $300 and $500 billion annually to purchase foreign oil. Clark noted, "All that could be money better spent invested here to create jobs and stimulate the economy. We need the next big thing for America. It could be in electric vehicle technology."
As others noted at the conference, electric vehicles could help lessen our dependence on foreign oil, but in no way could it eliminate our dependence. A handful of EVs would have virtually no impact on our dependence, a meaningful impact would only be seen if there is widespread adoption of EV technology.
But as Gen. Clark asserted, if this nation puts its economic power into the industry it will have a profound impact. As past successes within others industries has shown, government support can encourage and drive an industry, thus creating significant growth.
Source: Detroit News