Mitt Romney decided to drag Tesla Motors into the last debate.

“We’re going to have to have a president, however, that doesn’t think that somehow the government investing in – in car companies like Tesla and – and Fisker, making electric battery cars – this is not research, Mr. President,” Romney said. “These are the government investing in companies, investing in Solyndra. This is a company. This isn’t basic research. I – I want to invest in research. Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tanks — great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not. That’s the wrong way to go.”

I was irked. Yeah, I do own stock in Tesla, but that’s not why Romney’s comments peeved me. I felt that he was trying to turn Tesla into a political football, and that’s not helpful at all.

Tesla is an excellent investment for the US government. If it succeeds, it will accomplish at least three things:

  • It will help the US reduce its dependence on foreign oil, with all the attendant wars and military actions. Wouldn’t it be great to stop funding Middle Eastern oil-producers?
  • It will transition us into the coming post-oil age. We haven’t heard much about peak oil recently, but one thing’s for sure: we’re not getting more of it. We need to use this time now to develop other kinds of engines. Electric cars are a great choice. I’m getting a Model S just as soon as they can build one for me and ship it to Australia, and it will run on electricity generated from the 20 solar panels on top of my house.
  • It will create jobs. I think they said something about jobs in the last few debates.

Tesla will be an excellent return on investment.