TO THE EDITOR:
In the second presidential debate"" Tom Brokaw asked Sen. (John) McCain one of the most important questions of the election. He asked whether we should fund a ""Manhattan-like project"" or fund ""100""000 garages across America."" McCain chose the former"" saying that ""once it gets into productive stages" we ought to obviously" turn it over to the private sector.""
What is not obvious to McCain is that the American economy's growth comes from private innovation and entrepreneurship.
We only needed the Manhattan Project because we needed to fulfill one goal — the creation of the atomic bomb — and we needed it done covertly. We cannot pursue energy in the same way. We will need dozens of solutions" including wind generators solar receptors" tidal converters and many more that we have yet to think of. We cannot restrain the inventive potential of the American people by ignoring them.
Our nation's entrepreneurs are already developing the solutions we need. Dozens of private startups like Nanosolar and Aurora Biofuels are bringing alternative energy technology to market. Cleantech companies received $2.6 billion in venture capital funding in 2007.
Government's role is encouraging this innovation and weakening our dependence on foreign oil. Sen. (Barack) Obama understands this and plans to invest $150 billion over 10 years to ""catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future."" He will create 5 million green jobs in the U.S. and cap our harmful emissions.
We must not squander this opportunity. Sen. Obama has the plan.