As Americans spend $41 million in foreign oil an hour and are left broke at the pump, what plan does Obama have to solve this problem?
Oil is destined to be a heated issue in this upcoming presidential election and Barack Obama’s opposition to the gas tax “holiday” has already been a hot topic. Obama has made it clear that national energy policy needs to be taken in a new direction.
“We send a billion dollars to foreign nations every single day and we are melting the polar ice caps in the bargain,” said Obama. “That has to change.”
Here are some of the key elements of Obama’s energy plan:
Fuel Economy Standards
Doubling fuel economy standards within the next 18 years is a priority to Obama. Research in engines and advanced lightweight materials will help meet this goal. He also wants to assist auto makers in increasing fuel economy standards through loan guarantees and tax credits for domestic auto manufacturers.
“We are going to raise fuel efficiency standards on cars because that is the only way that we can actually lower gas prices over the long-term and I know you need that,” said Obama.
Next Generation Biofuels
Obama’s goal is to have two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol in use by 2013. He plans to use tax incentives, government contracts and cash prizes to help this industry mature and specifically wants to encourage farmer-owned refineries. He would like renewable fuel standards to increase, such that 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels are in the fuel supply by 2030.
A National Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a mechanism that Obama plans to use that requires fuel suppliers to decrease carbon emissions from fuels by 10% by 2020 and he specifically wants to encourage non-petroleum fuels to reach this target.
“The only way we are going to seriously reduce the price of gas is if we actually start investing in alternative fuels and we raise fuel standards on cars,” said Obama.
By 2025, Obama would like 25% of U.S. electricity to be generated from clean, renewable sources including wind, solar and geothermal with a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Obama calls for $150 billion to be invested over 10 years in clean energy and infrastructure to support it. Investment in a national digital electric grid would allow greater amounts of renewable energy to be utilized and make plug-in hybrids more environmentally sound.
“For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time,” said Obama.
Sarah Lozanova is passionate about the new green economy and is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Energy International Quarterly, ThinkGreen.com, Triple Pundit, Green Business Quarterly, Renewable Energy World, and Green Business Quarterly. Her experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative.
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Image credit: Radiospike Photography at Flickr under a Creative Commons license
Lower Image Credit: Compliments of Solar Service Inc.
Sarah Lozanova is passionate about the new green economy and renewable energy. Her experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative. When she can escape the internet vortex, she enjoys playing in the forest, paddling down rivers, or twisting into yoga poses.