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Get Your PHEV Books: Freeman Inslee Vaitheeswaran Carson Sandalow
Oct 2, 2007 (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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Wow -- four new books highlighting PHEVs! As the electoral season warms up, books add considerable legitimacy and become important attention-getters for policymakers.

They're also great gifts! Find the books that will deepen your understanding -- and pick out ones to show your family, friends and colleagues why you're so excited about PHEVs.

We've put all the PHEV-related books at­books.html -- in one place to make it easy for you, and incidentally to give us a small bit of "affiliate revenue." (So put the books URL in your email signature, blogs, etc.) So far we've seen only a few orders, but now that more books are available, we hope you'll order them through our links.

Of course, Sherry Boschert's book is all about PHEVs, and others have appeared over the past two years -- but here are the new ones. The first two are now in stock in bookstores, two more will join them shortly. Our general format below is the title/author info, publisher's description and our additional comments. And since we learned in elementary school to cover "who/what/when/where and why I liked this book," we end with a one-liner recommendation.

**** FREEDOM FROM OIL: How the Next President Can End the United States' Oil Addiction by David Sandalow David Sandalow is an Energy and Environment Scholar at the Brookings Institution. He has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science; Senior Director for Environmental Affairs, National Security Council; and Associate Director for the Global Environment, White House Council on Environmental Quality.

"I plan to deliver an address from the Oval Office one month from today. The topic will be oil dependence." With these opening words, Freedom from Oil takes the reader to the highest levels of government, as Cabinet members and White House aides debate how to break our addiction to oil. In a fast-moving narrative, David Sandalow shows how to solve this problem while offering a unique window into the White House at work. A White House veteran, Sandalow explores what would happen if the next President made breaking the United States' addiction to oil a top priority. In crisp and clear prose, Sandalow explains the size of the challenge and then offers a powerful message of hope. "This issue unites Americans," he writes. "Game-changing technologies are at hand." Plug-in cars, biofuels and measures to improve traffic are all part of the solution. (The back cover includes praise from Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Senator Richard Lugar, General Wesley Clark, James Woolsey and Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council.)

The book is an unusual combination of policy analysis and journalism. It includes profiles/interviews with Plug In America's Chelsea Sexton and Tesla's Martin Eberhard. You'll find a 14-page Memo to the President from the Secretary of Transportation entirely on PHEVs! Its Presidential Plan to End Oil Dependence starts with a Clean Vehicle Executive Order, priming the pump by

  • offering to buy 30,000 PHEVs at an $8,000 premium
  • committing after their delivery that half the vehicles purchased by the federal government will be PHEVs. That's a much stronger version of Pres. Bush's Order, which has had no impact. It goes further with:
    • legislation to retool US auto factories and assume some auto industry health costs
    • consumer tax credits of $8,000 for the first million PHEVs and $4,000 for the second million.
    • replacing CAFE standards with Fuel Reduction and Energy Efficiency (FREEdom) standards
    • a Federal Battery Guarantee Corporation to help manufacturers provide 10-year battery warranties for the first million cars The book ends with a Presidential speech calling for "new ways of doing business that create jobs, cut pollution and make us stronger," and "proposing a grand bargain with American automakers. If you invest in advanced technologies, we'll invest in you."

    OUR ONE-LINER: "What could be better than this complete and practical roadmap for the next President on plug-in hybrids and everything else we need to achieve Freedom from Oil?"

    ****ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future by Vijay Vaitheeswaran and Iain Carson Vijay Vaitheeswaran, an MIT-trained engineer and global energy and environment correspondent for The Economist, wrote a comprehensive article on PHEVs for the magazine in June 2006­calcars-news/­435.html Ian Carson is Industry Editor at the Economist. We recently posted about Vijay's appearance on CBS­calcars-news/­850.html and we describe his Portfolio Magazine article, "Big Green Machines: Handicapping Toyota, G.M., Volkswagen, and the new clean upstarts in the race to the future" at­calcars-news/­856.html

    "We are living in the midst of a Great Awakening. People are seeking environmentally-sound alternatives to gas guzzlers. Detroit's reign is over. Oil companies, despite their billion-dollar profits, could be on the brink of extinction if they don't adapt. And citizens, all too aware that these industries have lobbied politicians into gridlock over energy policy, are mobilizing to support leaders who advocate new policies." In the book, they say "Enthusiasts love plug-in technology because it would dramatically reduce oil use (which is why the national-security types are interested) and also curb greenhouse-gas emissions (which is why the environmentalists are interested). If it came to pass, it would radically restructure America's energy economics by shifting demand from the corner gasoline station to the power station. And who knows, it might even shift the global balance of another sort of power -- the political variety." The authors go on to a "call to arms" that includes a gas tax, elimination of current subsidies, efficiency regulations and additional public investment and citizen action. This book just went into the top 1,000 at Amazon and is short-listed for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year, to be announced Oct 25 -- see the other five at­cms/­s/­2/­f606e484-6a8d-11dc-9410-0000779fd2ac.html

    OUR ONE-LINER: "ZOOM's very readable narrative takes the reader from an analysis of why the petroleum age is ending to a picture of all the entrepreneurs, environmentalists and engineers who are bringing future cars to market now -- spurred in part by an unprecedented grassroots movement for plug-in hybrids."

    **** APOLLO'S FIRE: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy by Rep. Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks Jay Inslee is a Representative in the United States House of Representatives, representing the First District of the State of Washington, in the Seattle area. He is a recognized leader in Congress on energy issues and is the prime sponsor of the New Apollo Energy Act and was recently named by Nancy Pelosi to the new House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Bracken Hendricks is a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress and former executive director of the Apollo Alliance, an organization of environmental organizations, businesses, and labor organizations dedicated to building a new energy future for America.

    In 1961, President John F. Kennedy ignited America's Apollo Project and sparked a revolution in space exploration. Today the New Apollo Energy Project is poised to revolutionize the production of energy and thereby save our planet. The nation that built the world's most powerful rockets, its most advanced computers, and its most sophisticated life support systems is ready to create the world's most powerful solar energy systems, its most advanced wind energy turbines, and its most sophisticated hybrid cars. This will result in nothing less than a second American Revolution. Who are the dreamers in California who believe they can use mirrors and liquid metal to wring more electricity from a ray of sunshine than anyone else on earth can? Who are the innovators who have built a contraption that can turn the energy of a simple wave off the Oregon coast into burnt toast in Idaho? Who are the scientists in Massachusetts who have invented a battery that now runs your hand drill and will soon run your car? Readers will meet them all in this book. They will learn how the new energy economy will grow, the research that is required, and the legislation that must be passed to make the vision a reality. This is a thoughtful, optimistic book, based on sound facts. No one before has tied together the concepts of economic growth and greenhouse gas reductions with such concrete examples. No one has previously told the real stories of the people who are right now on the front lines of the energy revolution. The co-authors, one a U.S. Congressman who is the primary sponsor of the New Apollo Energy Act, and the other the founder of the Apollo Alliance, have joined their experience, expertise, and passion for a clean energy future to lay out the path to stop global warming and gain energy independence.

    The book includes some colorful stories of Rep. Inslee's talks with Pres. Bush and Vice-Pres. Cheney. The book's section on PHEVs starts in Ron Gremban's garage in Corte Madera and goes from there around the Bay Area, to Austin Texas for Plug-In Partners, to a closed Ford plant in St. Paul, MN to the LA Auto Show and Detroit for the Chevy Volt. In describing the obstacles facing hydrogen fuel cell cars, the authors say, "Battery technology will develop faster than fuel cells." [An obvious point we've never seen better stated.] "In the horse race between fuel cells and plug-ins, we are putting our two dollars on plug-ins to win by several lengths." Bill Clinton's forward to the book says in relation to global warming, "Apollo's Fire is anything but a doomsday account. Rather, it is hopeful and exciting, engaging the reader as it recounts America's history of leadership and ingenuity." Inslee brings to the book all his experience in the House of Representative and his involvement in Washington State's projects involving PHEVs. He is is the co-chair of Hillary Clinton's Energy & Environment Task Force, so we're hoping his words will percolate through to the candidate's policy priorities (she saw our cars in Washington, DC and has talked about it in speeches).

    OUR ONE-LINER: "Apollo's Fire's real life stories and optimistic strategies can unify our nation through innovation and public investment to reach prosperity in a sustainable world."

    **** WINNING OUR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE by S. David Freeman S. David Freeman, the energy guru known as the "Green Cowboy," shows how we have the renewable energy we need to wean ourselves from the Three Poisons: foreign oil, dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power. He calls for replacing today's cars with plug-in hybrid vehicles. Helped create US Environmental Protection Agency, former board chair of Tennesse Valley Authority Board, head of NY Power Authority, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

    OUR COMMENTS: David Freeman is a unique and precious resource. See our lengthy excerpts at­calcars-news/­827.html

    OUR ONE-LINER: David Freeman's Winning our Energy Indepence brings four decades of experience to a fearless direct call to abandon the "three poisons of coal, nuclear and oil," and an inspiring vision of how to replace them with renewable energy sources powering plug-in cars.

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