Detroit's looking for a bailout. China just announced a massive stimulus package, including big investments in transportation and energy. What’s a president-elect to do? Barack Obama would be best served by making good on his promise to create an alternative energy economy, writes Joe Klein in Time. Thankfully, the head of Obama’s transition team runs a think tank-with a proposal for just that.
Obama’s great task is to sell this stuff, to “make public poetry out of wires and fiberglass insulation,” writes Klein. The tank’s plan:
- Bail out automakers only on the condition that they improve fuel efficiency and hybrid technology.
- Fund green upgrades to public buildings, and provide tax benefits for private ones, reviving the construction industry.
- Install a “smart” electrical grid that would efficiently distribute energy across population centers.
- Invest in mass transit.