Directly from Barack’s website. While Edwards and Obama’s policies are good, so far I think Richardson’s are superior because he recognizes that we all have to stop EMITTING. period!
Barack Obama has proposed bold initiatives to put America on the path to a clean and secure energy future. Obama supports implementation of a bold market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce dependence on foreign oil and nonrenewable, polluting sources of energy. Obama will also dramatically increase federal investment in advanced clean-energy technologies and energy efficiency. The Obama plan to create an energy independent America will cut U.S. oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, take 50 million cars worth of pollution off the road, and save American consumers more than $50 billion at the gas pump.
Addressing Global Climate Change
We need to take steps to stop catastrophic, manmade climate change. If we do not act, the consequences will be devastating for future generations, especially for the poorest global populations. As president, Barack Obama will act decisively and creatively to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Barack Obama supports implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. The cap-and-trade system will include an initial partial auction of pollution credits to raise money to upgrade our energy infrastructure, create hundreds of thousands of new, high-wage jobs, and make America truly energy independent.
Tackling U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil
Raise Fuel Economy Standards
“Today, there are two kinds of car companies – those that mass produce fuel-efficient cars and those that will. The American auto industry can’t afford to be one of those that will anymore. And America can’t afford to follow the world. For the sake of our economy, our security, and our planet, we must lead it.”
Due to congressional gridlock, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have remained frozen for 20 years. As president, Barack Obama will gradually increase CAFE standards while protecting the financial future of domestic automakers. In the Senate, Barack Obama introduced a bold new plan that brought Republicans and Democrats, CAFE supporters and long-time opponents together, and offered what the New York Times editorial page called “real as opposed to hypothetical results.” As president, Barack Obama will:
Increase and Strengthen CAFE Standards. Obama will establish a targeted 4 percent increase each year in CAFE standards – a rate that the National Academy of Sciences has determined is possible without changes in vehicle weight, safety or performance – unless the experts at NHTSA justify a deviation in that rate by proving that the increase is technologically unachievable, cannot maintain overall fleet safety, or is not cost-effective.
Provide Flexibility for Manufacturers. Obama will provide fairness and flexibility to automakers by establishing different standards for different types of cars. Currently manufacturers have to meet broad standards over their whole fleet of cars. Obama’s plan provides further flexibility by giving NHTSA the authority to allow companies to earn credit for improving fuel efficiency beyond the CAFE standard in one type of car, and using those credits to meet goals for other vehicle models.
Achieve Real Results. If the 4 percent per year target is met for 10 years after the continuous provision improvements go into effect, Obama’s plan will save 1.3 million barrels of oil per day and 20 billion gallons of gasoline per year. If gasoline is just $2.50 per gallon, consumers will save over $50 billion per year at the pump by 2020.
Help for Consumers
Under current law, tax credits of up to $3,150 are available for consumers who buy hybrid vehicles — but only if they buy one of the first 60,000 ultra-efficient vehicles produced by a given manufacturer. This irrational rule reduces both consumer incentives to buy efficient vehicles and manufacturer incentives to make them on a massive scale. Toyota reached the 60,000 mark in the summer of 2006. As president, Barack Obama will lift the 60,000-per-manufacturer cap on buyer tax credits to encourage more Americans to buy ultra-efficient vehicles.
Help for Domestic Car Manufacturers
“Healthcare for Hybrids’ stroke of genius is in connecting the dots – decreasing oil consumption is clearly a top national priority but it will not happen without a national investment.”
Director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation
The auto industry must invest in more fuel-efficient cars if it hopes to compete with foreign competition and thrive in the future. With the challenges that U.S. automakers face, the federal government has a role in helping them do it. As President, Barack Obama will help American automakers meet these important goals. He will offer car makers a choice between the following two benefits:
Retiree health care relief. Participating automakers in the Health Care for Hybrids program could receive federal financial assistance to cover 10 percent of their annual legacy health care costs through 2017. Automakers would be required to invest at least 50 percent of these savings into manufacturing advanced, fuel efficient cars in the United States.
Generous tax incentives for retooling parts and assembly plants. Participating automakers could receive generous tax incentives for retooling their assembling plants to produce advanced parts.
Under Obama’s plan, autoworkers will get the health care they have been promised, the auto industry will be back on a competitive footing, and our reliance on foreign oil will be reduced.
National Low Carbon Fuel Standard
“It’s not enough to only build cars that use less oil – we have to start moving away from that dirty, dwindling fossil fuel altogether. . . . it’s time we produced, sold, and used biofuels all across America – it’s time we made them as commonly available as gasoline is now.”
Transportation accounts for 60 percent of U.S. oil consumption, and one-third of U.S. global warming pollution. As president, Obama will implement a plan to transition toward fuels that emit less carbon dioxide. In January 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to establish a low carbon fuel standard for transportation fuels sold in California. Under the California standard, the carbon intensity of California’s passenger vehicle fuels would be reduced by 10 percent by 2020.
Barack Obama will create a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard (NLCFS), which will:
Set a National Standard for Low Carbon Fuels. The lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of the pool of passenger vehicle fuels sold in the U.S. will be reduced by 5 percent in 2015 and 10 percent in 2020.
Let the Market Work. The market, rather than the government, will determine which fuels are used by fuel distributors and blenders to meet the NLCFS. Because biofuels generally have lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, the NLCFS in effect would spur greater production of renewable fuels, such as corn and cellulosic ethanol, and biodiesel made from plant oils such as soybeans.
Real Results: Reduced Emissions. According to one estimate, the NLCFS would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 180 million metric tons in 2020 compared to 2007 levels. This is the equivalent of taking over 30 million cars off the road in 2020. If enacted in conjunction with Obama’s proposal to raise fuel efficiency standards, the NLCFS would reduce emissions by about 530 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2020, the equivalent of taking over 50 million cars off the road.
Real Results: Reduced Gasoline Consumption. By making greater use of home-grown, renewable fuels, the NLCFS could reduce the annual consumption of gasoline derived from foreign oil imports by about 30 billion gallons in 2020.
Expand the Use of E85 and Other Renewable Fuels
While there are more than 167,000 gas stations across America, only about 1,200 offer E85 — a blend of 85 percent clean-burning, domestically grown ethanol and 15 percent petroleum gasoline. Thanks to legislation that Barack Obama championed, gas stations are now eligible for tax credits for installing E85 ethanol refueling pumps. The tax credit covers 30 percent of the costs of switching petroleum pumps to E85. The tax credit will help create the infrastructure to support more flex-fuel vehicles. Obama also sponsored legislation requiring oil companies, that made at least $1 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2006 to invest at least 1 percent of their total reported first quarter 2006 profits into installing E85 pumps. Barack Obama also successfully authorized $40 million to bring a combined flexible fuel vehicle and plug-in hybrid car to the market within five years.
Building a Clean Energy Future
Require 20 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Sources by 2020: Barack Obama will establish a 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that 20 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived by clean, sustainable energy sources. This requirement will spur significant private sector investment in renewable sources of energy and create thousands of new American jobs, especially in rural areas. As an Illinois state senator, Obama cosponsored a measure to create an RPS in Illinois that phased up to 10 percent.
Invest in Advanced Technologies: Obama will increase basic science and research funding for clean energy projects. Obama also will invest proceeds from his cap-and-trade proposal into improving the efficiency of our buildings and consumer products, investing into carbon capture and sequestration technology, and other advanced technologies that make use of our biomass, solar and wind resources.
Engage Disadvantaged Youth in Advanced Energy Job Sector: Barack Obama will create the 5-E (Energy Efficiency, Environmental Education and Employment) Disconnected Youth Service Corps. This program will directly engage disconnected and disadvantaged youth in energy efficiency and environmental service opportunities to strengthen their communities while also providing them with practical skills and experience in important career fields of expected high-growth employment. The program will engage private sector employers and unions to provide apprenticeship opportunities. The program also encourages summer high school students to stay in school, and provides GED help and other wrap-around social services for drop-outs.