One U.S. Senator says we spend that much every year importing petroleum from our friends in Saudi, Nigeria, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Venezuela. I use the term "friend" advisedly. They are in fact pushers for the American addiction former President George W. Bush called out so pointedly.
So what could we do with $400 billion if we started putting that money somewhere else? 20,000 all-electric cars in a single year at $50,000 each. 40,000 vehicles if we simply gave a $25,000 rebate to each new car buyer who went electric. The current stimulus plan puts about $20 billion into rail transit, 5% of our annual oil bill.
America's largest urban solar power plant will cost $60-million. Let's say we build a lot of those for an average of $75 million each. For the $400-billion we could build over 5300 urban solar power plants. If we concentrated them in the southwestern cities like Las Vegas, San Diego and Phoenix where air conditioning is a serious juice drainer, think of the savings. And it could help recharge the electric cars. So maybe we push electric cars and build, say, 2000 urban solar power plants? Hah, dream on.
For 400-billion we could probably even build a nuclear power plant or two if anybody would agree to site them in their state.
None of this pie-in-the-sky greening would help the stock price of Exxon and Chevron, let alone their executive bonuses. That's one huge drawback. And to beggar the Saudi royal family, for shame!
Could any of us live to see the day when the solar lobby has half the clout of the oil lobby?