When Paul Scott, a licensed Nissan Leaf salesman, decided to spend some of his retirement savings on a Democratic Party fundraiser in Santa Monica he was promised 2 to 3 minutes of the President's time. While a long-term advocate of the electric vehicle and co-founder of a non-profit making company in the shape of Plug In America, Paul Scott is frail of health and nowhere near as wealthy as those he was planning to rub shoulders. However, the vocal advocate of the EV market has seen his check for $32,400 returned and his name has been scrubbed from the list of attendees.
Is President Obama running scared of the EV industry?
Even just the merest of glimpses at an array of news websites will give you the impression that the EV market is dying a death and the oil industry is here to save the world, despite the fact that the U.S. government has been pouring "billions of dollars" into this new technology. True, the U.S. government has been offering incentives to companies and motorists to join the EV revolution but these figures are incomparable to the alleged $700 billion spent on oil each year and the $80 billion per annum cost of protecting the U.S. government’s supply of oil.
These are figures from the mouth of Paul Scott, and while he has been very vocal in his pursuit of a higher take-up of electric vehicles in America, it seems that President Obama is not prepared to listen. It may be the fact that recent comments from the Plug In America co-founder have hit a nerve and perhaps he was concerned about any "problem questions".
Was this not the perfect chance to promote the EV industry?
Politicians and spin doctors will have you believe that the decision to withdraw the offer for Paul Scott to attend the up-and-coming fundraiser was not personal. They will have you believe it has nothing to do with the electric vehicle market and Paul Scott's comments over the last few days about the "pay for access" culture which is prevalent across, not only the U.S. government, but also other governments around the world. The truth is that while the U.S. government is currently paying relative lip service to the EV industry, it is still dependent upon oil companies and the reality is that it will take a major shift in policy for this to change in the short term.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "In theory the introduction of electric vehicles will improve the quality of air in the major cities, towns, villages and countryside which could have a knock-on effect on health care spending. It is well known that air pollution has played a major role in the ever increasing number of sufferers of medical conditions such as asthma, etc. Therefore, in theory, an improvement in air quality via the introduction of electric vehicles could lead to a significant saving in health care spending."
Paul Scott is one of many EV enthusiasts across America that have been driving low emission vehicles for in excess of 10 years and indeed he estimates he has saved $16,000 on running costs over that period. While Paul Scott takes in the latest solar electric technology to refuel his vehicle, the reality for many people is that until this week we were all under the impression this was not possible. We have been told on numerous occasions that the solar power industry has stalled, that renewable energy will be possible in the future, but our dependence upon oil remains.
Oil companies funding political parties
While it would be unfair to single out oil companies, and related operations, as major funding partners for political parties across America, the fact is that when looking at the EV industry this is a pertinent point. Rumours suggest that President Obama received around $884,000 from oil and gas companies during his 2008 presidential campaign, which begs the question does he have a conflict of interest?
It is perhaps ironic that the president predicted there would be 1 million plug-in vehicles in the U.S. by 2015, while slipping an alleged $884,000 into his party coffers from oil and gas companies. His continued support of the EV industry may be headline news but does this really stand up to his continued support of the oil and gas sector. These are questions that many Americans now starting to ask and indeed if Paul Scott is correct in his review of the electric vehicle market, and there is no reason to suggest otherwise, why is the industry not mainstream?
There is the potential to create an enormous industry centred round renewable energy, electric vehicles and emission free transport. There is the long-term potential to build enormous tax income streams from the renewable energy industry, both directly and indirectly, which would help to reduce the ongoing dependence on the oil and gas sector. Against this background it is difficult to see why enthusiast such as Paul Scott appear to have been singled out and indeed why President Obama, if he is such a supporter of the EV industry, did not take the opportunity at the forthcoming fundraising event to make this headline news?
The fact that Paul Scott, a high profile and very strong EV enthusiast, has chosen to go public with his sudden rejection from the forthcoming Democratic Party election event in Santa Monica has certainly ruffled many feathers. The U.S. government is now under pressure to explain its position with regard to electric vehicles, as well as the ongoing dependence upon oil and gas, both financially and from an energy point of view.
No doubt over the next few days we will see spin and counter spin talking down Paul Scott, making excuses for the return of his check and his place at the forthcoming event, but the truth remains. This was the perfect opportunity to highlight and promote the EV industry and for some reason, some mysterious reason, the U.S. president has chosen not to do so. Perhaps we can compare this to the mysterious disappearance of the EV1 at such an opportune moment in the development of the electric vehicle market?