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Key California Leader Terry Tamminen Endorses PHEVs
Aug 25, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Terry Tamminen has been widely seen as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's top environmental advisor. A key mover for hydrogen fuel cell cars, he has rbeen paying increasing attention to plug-in hybrids. Below are excerpts from his stirring speech at the August 2, 2006 launch of Plug-In Bay Area. (PIBA is the local complement to the national Plug-In Partners).

Last week, media reported that Tamminen has left the position as Special Assistant to the Governor on the Environment to volunteer on the Governor's re-election campaign, consult in the clean water industry and promote his forthcoming book, "Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction." Of course, he remains a key player in California energy/transportation/environment circles.

Introducing Tamminen was the event's Master of Ceremonies, Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.:

Our last speaker really needs no introduction, but I'm going to give him one anyway... Terry Tamminen is the Senior Advisor on Energy and the Environment to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Terry's vision has really helped California's recent environmental policy, including the setting of targets for California global warming and pollution-reduction program. Terry also serves as a member of the Governor's Cabinet and has served as Secretary for California's Environmental Protection Agency, or CalEPA. It is an honor and a privilege to introduce Terry Tamminen.

Just a couple of very quick remarks... you know, the Governor applauds you, and is very, very pleased to see this kind of progress -- it's ingenuity, it's California ingenuity...

The Governor is a big proponent of hydrogen and the Hydrogen Highway, but that is many years off. We understand that's not going to replace our gasoline vehicles in the short term. And we've got to deal with the question that the hydrogen comes from clean and renewable resources. But until we get all that right, we need these kinds of solutions....

The other night I was at a meeting with the Governor and some supporters, and somebody said, 'Governor, what can you do, or what is the state doing to try to get cars [to be] hybrids -- more hybrids, and to try to get more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road?' And he talked about that a little bit and he said, 'but I've got to tell you, that's not the answer. The answer is to get rid of oil.' He stood as a candidate for Governor -- again, roughly three years ago -- on the coast of Santa Barbara, and he pointed to the oil rigs behind him and he said, "Those must go. Those are killing us." And he pointed to the hydrogen car that was in front of us, and he said, "That's our future." But I know if he was standing here today, he would say this is our IMMEDIATE future. This is the future that we need now -- in the next days and weeks and months -- even as we work toward a zero-oil society. And that's really where he wants to go, and that's where we have to go....

Whether we are talking about air-quality and the people that are literally dying from the air we are breathing, whether we're talking about the future of a planet with perhaps 500ppm of CO2 or even greater concentrations, and what that will mean to our planet. No matter what we're talking about, it all comes back down to one thing: it's going to be up to us -- not just to change our own personal behavior and to buy those first plug-in electric hybrids when the come off the assembly line, or from wherever we can buy them now -- whoever's making them in their backyard shops.

It's going to be up to every one of us to become an evangelist and tell our friends and our neighbors and our co-workers and our elected officials that we want this and we want it now. And to do the kinds of things we heard from the representative of Austin. Let's go ahead and voluntarily sign up: Give me that form today, and I'll sign up. Let's make sure that every one of us as we walk out of here does likewise, so we can tell Detroit, and Japan, and Germany, and the other car-makers that this is what we want and we will support this. And that we're done with oil and that we've got to have these technologies so that we in fact will leave a better planet to our children than the one we inherited.

But that's the real point: this will take a little bit of effort, it will take a little bit of sacrifice, it might cost a few bucks more to buy that car, although we might save a lot more from the fuel. It might be a little bit inconvenient. And we're all willing to make those sacrifices....

So I'm hear today to thank all of you for your support and your interest, and those of you who put on this forum today, and who are going to take us to a cleaner, brighter future -- thanks in part to these plug-in electric hybrids. And I want to make sure every single one of us goes out of here today with the commitment, not just in our own hearts and minds, to support this technology as it emerges, but to get at least one friend to do likewise, or one colleague at work, or one other person to do likewise. Because if we do that, then we will succeed, and if this is the day that we understand President Kennedy's admonition, and if this is the day we act upon it, and if this is the day that we teach it to others, then this is the day that we solve every environmental problem we have and the day when we bequeath to our children the most important legacy of them all.

Thanks to all of you for what you're doing... thank you.

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