Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Palliative Power of the Green Energy Photo Op

As the old saying goes, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going..." Exactly "where" the tough go is another story. In California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's case, we're starting to sense a pattern.

Whenever the Gov. is having a bad week, you can pretty much count on him showing up at a renewable energy photo op. Last week, while his ballot propositions were going down in flames in California, he scampered off to Washington to bask in the Presidential glow of a White House renewable energy event.

This week, amidst darn-near-impossible state budget negotiations, the media is blasting Arnold for his proposed program cuts. Add to this mix the just announced decision to allow the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban to stand, which has resulted in protests up and down the state, and the Governor is having yet another bad week.

So where did he turn up yesterday? At a hydrogen refueling station in L.A. to mug for the cameras and cheer on the 1,700 mile "Hydrogen Road Tour," a publicity stunt featuring a caravan of hydrogen-fueled cars driving from San Diego to Vancouver.

Boasting about recently doubling the size of his own eco-friendly vehicle fleet with the purchase of a Honda FCX Clarity, Arnold seemed to be enjoying his breif respite from the real world of Sacramento politics.

The Hydrogen Road Tour features 11 fuel cell cars that the public can test drive at any of the 28 stops along the tour. Fuel cell vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, save for water vapor, but detractors gripe about their cost, about difficulty in storing the fuel and about the potential for emissions generated during the fuel production process.

Whatever your position on fuel cells, at least they give the Governor an outlet for his frustrations...