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interview > white > white 9

White 9 (1:53)
Topic(s): Alt Vehicles / Auto Industry / Foreign Oil
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Part of the problem that the car, the big, certainly the U.S. car companies have, and I think maybe the Japanese car companies have the same desire, is that at the end of the day if they could get somebody else to pay for this, they'd love that. I think the U.S. companies are a little more open about saying, you know, to our, you know, United States government and I think to governments overseas and elsewhere, "If you want this stuff, if it's a priority for you to have plug-in hybrids or you want fuel cell cars in your government fleets, stuff costs money. Help us."

I think, I mean, there's kind of a desire that I think is occasionally actually voiced that if this is so important to the political leadership of this country, you know, the United States, or any other country, if it's so important, then why aren't we essentially doing a Manhattan Project, you know, to use the U.S. metaphor. But you know, big, kind of space shot Manhattan Project approach to this. And it's a good question. I mean, that's not happening.

And the oil industry certainly isn't going to pay for, you know, its own demise. So that's not going to happen. And nobody, at least not in this country, I mean, again, it's a different situation in Europe, nobody in this country, in the United States, has wanted to say to the, to the average customer, "Look, you know what, three bucks a gallon, you're complaining about that? What you should be paying is six. And we ought to be taking two of that six and putting it against, you know, massive federal subsidies to kind of moving to a different kind of automotive technology."

Or I suppose if you want to be really radical about it, you'd say, "You know what, you know, every time you burn a gallon of gas, you're going to, you're going to pay for the share of the defense budget that's related to protecting the Persian Gulf." Some people I think have actually seriously discussed that. But do you see anybody proposing that in a serious way? No.

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