Friday, January 18, 2008

PART 6 - Barack Obama's Energy Plan: Make the U.S. a leader in combating climate change around the World

The final part of a 6 part series on Barack Obama's Energy Policy.

To go to the beginning, scroll down to Part 1.

The United States has historically been the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world — accounting for about one-fifth of the global total — but emissions are growing fastest among the
rapidly developing countries.

Just this year, China may have passed the US as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitting nation.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration has failed to engage the developing world just as it has failed to adopt a meaningful policy at home. Making the U.S. a leader in combating climate change will require the United States to get its own house in order; re-engage and re-energize international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas pollution; and most importantly do so with the urgency this brewing crisis demands.

Re-Engage with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): As the world prepares for the post-2012 phase of the UNFCCC, the United States must regain its leadership role in multiple forums to negotiate effective climate agreements. This requires re-engagement with the diplomatic efforts under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change . The UNFCCC process is the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem and an Obama administration will work constructively within it.

  • Create New Forum of Largest Greenhouse Gas Emitters: President Bush recently invited world leaders of the 15 largest emitters of greenhouse gases to a two-day conference, yet he failed to show up with any binding domestic commitments or funding for international efforts to combat climate change. Not surprisingly, these world leaders criticized the U.S. commitment to climate change and we missed an opportunity to join other countries with a serious plan to tackle this challenge.
  1. Barack Obama will take seriously the U.S.’s leadership role in combating climate change. Obama will signal to the world the U.S. commitment to climate change leadership by implementing an aggressive domestic cap-and-trade program coupled with increased investments in clean energy development and deployment.
  2. Obama will build on our domestic commitments by creating a negotiating process that involves a smaller number of countries than the nearly 200 countries in the current Kyoto system.
  • Obama will create a Global Energy Forum – based on the G8+5, which included all G-8 members plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – of the world’s largest emitters to focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues.
  1. Maintaining a standing international body focused on these issues will give a forum for all of the major emitters – past, present and future – to discuss efforts to combat climate change. In addition, it will give the U.S. and its allies regular opportunities to exert maximum pressure on China and India to do their part and make real commitments of their own.
  2. Obama believes it is important to make clear that the current Bush voluntary approach allows the biggest emitters to escape all international pressure to be a “responsible stakeholder” in the global environment. This Global Energy Forum will complement – and ultimately merge with – the much larger negotiation process underway at the UN to develop a post-Kyoto framework. On a technical level, it will also allow facilitate technology transfer, joint international research, and, importantly, the numerous large-scale international demonstration projects that must be embarked upon immediately in order to make these technologies economically appealing alternatives.
  • Transfer American Technology to the Developing World to Fight Climate Change: As nations around the world come together to combat global warming, the market for low-carbon energy products will grow significantly.
  1. Obama will create a Technology Transfer program within the Department of Energy dedicated to exporting climate-friendly technologies, including green buildings, clean coal and advanced automobiles, to developing countries to help them combat climate change.
  2. Obama will allow U.S. emitters subject to the cap-and-trade mandates to offset some of their emissions by investing in low carbon energy projects in the developing world. This will help ensure that emissions in both the U.S. and the developing world are reduced.

  • Cooperate with Oil Importers to Reduce Demand. As new large oil importers come on the market, the United States is at the mercy of an ever more volatile oil market. Obama believes we should use existing organizations, like NATO, to make energy security a shared global goal. We should take steps to engage the largest new consumers, China and India, including by inviting them to join the International Energy Agency. Though they are not OECD countries, a formalized relationship – where we work together on common analysis and emergency response mechanisms – for them with the International Energy Agency (IEA) is imperative. China has completed the first stage of its strategic petroleum reserves and it is in our interest to see them complete that process so that they no longer can freeload on the strategic reserves of IEA members in times of tight oil markets, as was the case after Hurricane Katrina.

  • Ensure the United States Works with Developing Countries on Climate Change. The world’s poorest countries are already suffering the impact of climate change through drought, famine and water scarcity, even though they are not responsible for the greenhouse gas pollution causing the climate to change. The Obama Administration will permit international offsets under the carbon cap to promote the transfer of low carbon energy to developing countries. An Obama administration will also ensure that U.S. foreign assistance is wisely invested in projects designed to help developing countries adapt to a changing climate.
  • Confront Deforestation and Promote Carbon Sequestration: A comprehensive strategy to combat global warming must address tropical deforestation which accounts for approximately 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. As forests are cut down, burned and converted to other uses, carbon stored in wood, leaves, and soils are released into the atmosphere.
  1. Reducing rates of tropical deforestation will not only slow greenhouse gas emissions but will also protect the livelihoods of local people and the abundance of biodiversity inextricably linked to those forests. By offering incentives to maintain forests and manage them sustainably, the United States can play a leadership role in dealing with climate change.
  2. In addition we must develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands, or undertake farming practices that
  3. capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Encouraging these efforts will also provide improve water quality and restore natural areas for wildlife and recreation.
---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

PART 5 - Barack Obama's Energy Plan: Strengthen Our Oil Securuty and Energy Independence

This is the 5th part of a 6 part series. To review the beginning part of this series, please scroll down to Part 1 and work your way up. Thanks! S

Not since the 1970s has America’s national security been so threatened by its energy insecurity, and, as we have learned the hard way over the past seven years, achieving energy security in the 21st century requires far more than simply expending our economic and political resources to keep oil flowing steadily out of unstable and even hostile countries and regions.

Rather, energy security requires stemming the flow of money to oil rich regimes that are hostile to America and its allies; it requires combating climate change and preparing for its impacts both at home and abroad; it requires making international energy markets work for us and not against us; it requires standing up to the oil companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying and political contributions; it requires that we address nuclear safety, waste, and proliferation challenges around the world; and more.

Obama will halt this dangerous trend, and take the necessary steps to achieving energy independence. Obama will make it a top priority of his climate change and energy independence agenda to reduce oil consumption by at least 35%, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030. This will more than offset the equivalent of oil we are expected to import from OPEC nations in 2030.

To meet this goal, the Obama plan will establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard, deploy advanced biofuels, repeal tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and implement the following policies:
  • Increase Fuel Economy Standards: Obama has developed an innovative approach to double fuel economy standards within 18 years while protecting the financial future of domestic automakers. His plan, which will save nearly a half trillion gallons of gasoline and 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases by 2028, will establish concrete targets for annual CAFE increases while giving industry the flexibility to meet those targets. Obama’s innovative approach broke through a 20 year deadlock in Congress and is the basis for bipartisan legislation that passed the Senate this year.
  1. Provide Support for Domestic Automakers: Obama’s plan to raise fuel efficiency standards will also provide retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that the new fuel-efficient cars can be built in the U.S. rather than overseas.
  2. This measure will strengthen the U.S. manufacturing sector and help ensure that American workers will build the high-demand cars of the future.
  • Invest in Developing Advanced Vehicles: As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama has led efforts to jumpstart federal investment in advanced vehicles, including combined plug-in hybrid/flexible fuel vehicles, which have the capability of getting well over 250 miles per gallon of gasoline.
  1. As president, Obama will continue this leadership by investing in advanced vehicle technology that utilizes advanced lightweight materials and new engines. The increased federal funding will leverage private sector funds to bring plug-in hybrids and other advanced vehicles to American consumers.
  2. Obama will also expand consumer tax incentives by lifting the 60,000-per-manufacturer cap on buyer tax credits to allow more Americans to buy ultra-efficient vehicles.
  • Build Biofuel Distribution Infrastructure: As the percent of biofuels in gasoline increases over 10 percent, conventional fueling equipment will need to be replaced with pumps and tanks capable of handling higher biofuel blends. Barack Obama has been one of the strongest proponents in Congress for increasing the national supply of home-grown American ethanol and biodiesel.
  1. Obama is the only Democratic presidential candidate to cosponsor and actively campaign to establish the nation’s first federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which is now law.
  2. Obama also led the successful effort to make gas stations eligible for a tax credit to cover 30 percent of the costs of installing E85 ethanol refueling pumps. Obama will build on those efforts to improve the production, supply and distribution of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel.
  • Mandate All New Vehicles are Flexible Fuel Vehicles: Barack Obama believes that all new vehicles sold in the U.S. should be flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which means they can run on biofuel blends like E85. Obama will work with Congress and auto companies to ensure that all new vehicles have FFV capability by the end of his first term in office.
  • Increase Renewable Fuel Standard: As a leader in the effort to establish the nation’s first Renewable Fuel Standard, Obama understands firsthand the importance of continuing to increase the supply of biofuels in our national fuel supply.
  1. Obama believes it is imperative that Congress adopt the Senate-passed proposal to increase the RFS to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
  2. As president, Obama will seek to surpass these targets and establish a requirement to produce at least 60 billion gallons of biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel, by 2030.
  • Build More Livable and Sustainable Communities: Over the longer term, we know that the amount of fuel we will use is directly related to our land use decisions and development patterns, much of which have been organized around the principle of cheap gasoline. Barack Obama believes that we must move beyond our simple fixation of investing so many of our transportation dollars in serving drivers and that we must make more investments that make it easier for us to walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives.
  1. Reform Federal Transportation Funding: As president, Barack Obama will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account.
  2. Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks, and he will also re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Building more livable and sustainable communities will not only reduce the amount of time individuals spent commuting, but will also have significant benefits to air quality, public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Require States to Plan for Energy Conservation: Current law simply asks governors and their state Departments of Transportation to “consider” energy conservation as a condition of receiving federal transportation dollars. As president, Obama will require governors and local leaders in our metropolitan areas to make “energy conservation” a required part of their planning for the expenditure of federal transportation funds.
  4. Level Employer Incentives for Driving and Public Transit: The federal tax code rewards driving to work by allowing employers to provide parking benefits of $205 per month tax free to their employees. The tax code provides employers with commuting benefits for transit, carpooling or vanpooling capped at $105 per month. This gives drivers a nearly 2:1 advantage over transit users. Obama will reform the tax code to make benefits for driving and public transit or ridesharing equal.
---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

PART 4 - Barack Obama's Energy Plan: Energy Efficiency

The following is part of a 6-part series examining Senator Obama's proposed energy plan that he would implement as President.

To get a full overview, I suggest you scroll down to Part 1 and work your way up. Thanks for reading!

Improving energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest most cost-effective method to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it results in significant savings for our government, economy and consumers.

For example, since DuPont implemented an energy efficiency program in 1990, it has cut its energy bills by $3 billion, reduced pollution by 72 percent and increased production activities by over 30 percent.

Barack Obama will set a bold national goal of reducing the energy intensity of our economy 50% by 2030.
  • Make the Federal Government the Leader in Saving Electricity: As the nation’s largest consumer of electricity, Barack Obama believes that the federal government should take the lead in reducing its energy consumption. Obama will:
  1. Make Federal Buildings More Efficient: Obama will ensure that all new federal buildings are zero-emissions by 2025, and to help reach that goal, he will ensure that all new federal buildings are 40 percent more efficient within the next five years. Obama will also place retrofitting existing federal buildings at a top priority, and seek to improve their efficiency by 25 percent within 5 years.
  2. Overhaul Federal Efficiency Codes: The current Department of Energy has missed 34 deadlines for setting updated appliance efficiency standards, which has cost American consumers millions of dollars in unrealized energy savings. Obama will overhaul this process for appliances and provide more resources to his Department of Energy so it implements regular updates for efficiency standards. He will also work with Congress to ensure that it continues to play a key role in improving our national efficiency codes.
  • Use Innovative Measures to Dramatically Improve Efficiency of Buildings: Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions in the United States today and carbon emissions from buildings are expected to grow faster than emissions from other major parts of our economy. It is expected that 15 million new buildings will be constructed between today and 2015. Barack Obama believes that we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to make our new and existing buildings more efficient consumers of electricity.
  • Set Building Efficiency Goals: Barack Obama will establish a goal of making all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030. He’ll also establish a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade to help us meet the 2030 goal.
  • Establish a Grant Program for Early Adopters: Obama will create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps in implementing new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency, and provide a federal match for those states with leading-edge public benefits funds that support energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings.
  • Flip Incentives to Energy Utilities: Obama will work to “flip” incentives to state and local utilities by ensuring companies get increased profits for improving energy efficiency, rather than higher energy consumption. Currently, utilities make profits when consumers purchase more energy, and when consumers purchase energy at peak times when energy prices are higher because of greater demands on the system. This decoupling of profits from increased energy usage will incentivize utilities to partner with consumers and the federal government to reduce monthly energy bills for families and businesses. Obama will provide early adopter grants and other financial assistance from the federal government to states that implement this energy efficient policy.
  • Expand Federal Efficiency Grants: Obama will also expand federal grant programs to help states and localities build more efficient public buildings, including libraries, schools and police stations that adopt aggressive green building provisions like those provided by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Obama will also partner with the private sector to ensure that more companies and building contractors are aware of the short-term and long-term benefits of building “green.”
  • Phase out Traditional Inefficient Light Bulbs: For over 125 years, Americans have used the same incandescent light bulb technology, which consumes much more energy for the same results as newer lighting technologies. Barack Obama supports the effort led by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) to update federal lighting efficiency standards to ensure that new lighting technologies are phased into the marketplace. As president, Obama will implement legislation that phases out traditional incandescent light bulbs by 2014. This measure alone will save American consumers $6 billion per year on monthly electricity bills and will save 88 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year. By 2030, this change will result in greenhouse gas reductions of nearly 28 million tons of carbon.
  • Invest in a Digital Smart Grid: Like other pieces of infrastructure, such as roads and bridges our energy grid is outdated and inefficient, resulting in $50-100 billion dollar losses to the U.S. economy each year. The 2003 East Coast blackout alone resulted in a $10 billion economic loss. Like President Eisenhower did with the interstate highway system, Barack Obama will pursue a major investment in our national utility grid to enable a tremendous increase in renewable generation and accommodate 21st century energy requirements, such as reliability, smart metering, and distributed storage. Obama will invest federal money to leverage additional state and private sector funds to help create a digitally connected power grid. Creating a smart grid will also help insulate against terrorism concerns because our grid today is virtually unprotected from terrorists. Installing a smart grid will help consumers produce electricity at home through solar panels or wind turbines, and be able to sell electricity back through the grid for other consumers, and help consumers reduce their energy use during peak hours when electricity is more expensive.
Obama will direct federal resources to the most vulnerable and congested areas and rural areas where significant renewable energy sources are located, as well as work toward national transformation of our energy grid in partnership with states and utilities.

---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

PART 3 - Barack Obama’s Energy Plan: Invest in a Clean Energy Economy and create American jobs

Barack Obama will use some of the revenue generated from the cap-and-trade permit auction to invest in climate-friendly energy development and deployment.

This will transform the economy and create millions of new jobs.

Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid.

A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe.

There are three critical steps in achieving the necessary revolution toward low carbon energy production:
  1. Basic Research;
  2. Technology Demonstration and
  3. Aggressive Commercial Deployment and Clean Market Creation.
Obama has specific plans to enhance each of these critical steps in the technology development process:

(1) Increase Investment in Basic Research and Human Capital.
  • Invest in Basic Research: Obama will double federal science and research funding for clean energy projects including those that make use of our biomass, solar and wind resources. At present, the federal government spends over $3 billion per year on all energy innovation efforts. While this may seems like a significant sum, it is much less than what we spent in the late 1970’s when adjusted for inflation, and is less than the pet food industry invests in its own products. We must do better. Obama will double our nation’s commitment to energy R&D and rely more heavily on the tremendous resources and ability of our national laboratories, universities and land grant colleges which have significant expertise in rural sources of renewable energy.
  • Invest in a Skilled Clean Technologies Workforce: Transitioning to a clean energy economy represents a tremendous opportunity for American workers. Barack Obama will use proceeds from the cap-and-trade auction program to invest in job training and transition programs to help workers and industries adapt to clean technology development and production. Obama will increase funding for federal workforce training programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies training, such as advanced manufacturing and weatherization training, into their efforts to help Americans find and retain stable jobs.
Barack Obama also believes the transition to a clean energy economy holds special promise for
low-income communities and families, which are poised to shoulder a disproportionate share of
the burden of global climate change.

To combat this problem, Obama will create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth. This program will provide youth participants with energy efficiency and environmental service opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings in 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. Participants will not only be able to use their training to find new jobs, but also build skills that will help them move up the career ladder over time.

(2) Invest in Key Technology Development.
  • Develop the Next Generation of Biofuels: Barack Obama will work to ensure that advanced biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol, are developed and incorporated into our national supply as soon as possible. Corn ethanol is the most successful alternative fuel commercially available in the U.S. today, and we should fight the efforts of big oil and big agri-business to undermine this emerging industry. But it represents only a drop in the bucket of our energy demands and making ethanol from corn has some significant limitations. Today we produce about 5 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol per year while we use about 140 billion gallons of gasoline. Even if we are able to double – or even triple – production of ethanol from corn this will still offset only about 10 percent of our gasoline demand. There are also real concerns about bringing set aside lands into corn production as well as concerns about an increase in the use of pesticides, water use and upward pressure on the cost of food for people and livestock alike. These constraints reveal the scope and scale of our energy and environmental challenges. Obama will invest federal resources, including tax incentives, cash prizes and government contracts into developing the most promising technologies with the goal of getting the first two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol into the system by 2013. Obama will also work to improve the national supply of advanced biodiesel. From here the Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Fund will speed the deployment of multiple facilities.
  • Expand Locally-Owned Biofuel Refineries: Less than 10 percent of new ethanol production today is from farmer owned refineries. New ethanol refineries help jumpstart rural economies. For example, it has been estimated that a 40 million gallon ethanol refinery will add up to 120 jobs, expand a local tax base by $70 million per year and boost local household income by $6.7 million annually. The economic development opportunities for advanced cellulosc ethanol technologies hold potential to revitalize rural communities across the country. Barack Obama believes we must ensure that local investment continues to play a significant role as the biofuels industry continues to expand and evolve. Obama will create a number of incentives for local communities to invest in their biofuels refineries, including expanding federal tax credit programs and providing technical advice to rural communities that are in a strong position to open their own refineries. Obama will also provide an additional subsidy per gallon of ethanol produced from new facilities that have a minimum of 25 percent local capital, and he will provide additional loan guarantees for advanced ethanol facilities with local investment.
  • Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology: Coal is our nation’s most abundant energy source and is a critical component of economic development in China, India and other growing economies. Obama believes that the imperative to confront climate change requires that we prevent a new wave of traditional coal facilities in the U.S. and work aggressively to transfer low-carbon coal technologies around the world. In the U.S. Senate, Obama successfully increased funding by $200 million for carbon storage in the fiscal year 2008 budget resolution. As president Obama will significantly increase the resources devoted to the commercialization and deployment of low carbon coal technologies. Implementing these technologies as soon as possible is vital to the transition to a clean energy economy and will help other nations dependent on coal reduce their emissions as well. In addition to addressing new facilities, Obama will work to ensure that existing coal facilities are retrofitted with carbon capture and sequestration technology as soon as it is commercially available. Obama will use whatever policy tools are necessary, including standards that ban new traditional coal facilities, to ensure that we move quickly to commercialize and deploy low carbon coal technology. Obama’s stringent cap on carbon will also make it uneconomic to site traditional coal facilities and discourage the use of existing inefficient coal facilities.
  • Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy: Nuclear power represents more than 70 percent of our non-carbon generated electricity. It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power from the table. However, there is no future for expanded nuclear without first addressing four key issues:
  1. public right-to-know,
  2. security of nuclear fuel and waste,
  3. waste storage,
  4. and proliferation.
Barack Obama introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to establish guidelines for tracking, controlling and accounting for spent fuel at nuclear power plants.

To prevent international nuclear material from falling into terrorist hands abroad, Obama
worked closely with Sen. Dick Lugar (R – IN) to strengthen international efforts to identify and
stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction. As president, Obama will make safeguarding nuclear material both abroad and in the U.S. a top anti-terrorism priority. Obama will also lead federal efforts to look for a safe, long-term disposal solution based on objective, scientific analysis.

In the meantime, Obama will develop requirements to ensure that the waste stored at current reactor sites is contained using the most advanced dry-cask storage technology available. Barack Obama believes that Yucca Mountain is not an option. Our government has spent billions of dollars on Yucca Mountain, and yet there are still significant questions about whether nuclear waste can be safely stored there.

(3) Invest in Key Technology Deployment.
  • Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund: Barack Obama will create a Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development. This Fund will partner with existing investment funds and our National Laboratories to ensure that promising technologies move beyond the lab and are commercialized in the U.S. The risks and associated costs of commercializing a new energy technology often prevent critically important technologies from ever seeing the light of day. The gap between the lab and the marketplace is sometimes referred to as the ‘Valley of Death,’ because many technologies enter but few ever make it out the other side because of the prohibitive costs of building the first commercial-scale facility that processes that energy source. Currently, U.S. venture capital funding is doing an effective job promoting research and development stage, but far too often, technologies invented here in the U.S. such as wind turbines, solar panels, and compact fluorescent bulbs are commercialized overseas and then sold back to American consumers.
  1. The Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund will be modeled on the highly successful Central Intelligence Agency In-Q-Tel program. In-Q-Tel is a non-profit, independently-managed venture capital fund led by seasoned venture capital professionals to develop new intelligence technologies for the CIA. The first five years of In-Q-Tel funding led to 22 new technologies being used in 40 government programs. Coupled with an Obama Administration’s increased investment in renewable energy research and development, this Fund’s efforts to quickly deploy new technologies like cellulosic ethanol, carbon capture and sequestration, and other clean technologies like bio-based plastics will help ensure that the American economy and environment benefit from clean technologies in the next few years, as opposed to the next several decades. Obama will invest $10 billion in this fund for five years, and reinvest profits back into the fund.
  2. Production Tax Credit: Obama will also extend the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for 5 years to encourage the production of renewable energy.
  • Convert our Manufacturing Centers into Clean Technology Leaders: America boasts the highest-skilled manufacturing workforce in the world and advanced manufacturing facilities that have powered economic growth in America for decades. Barack Obama believes that America is at a competitive advantage when it comes to building the high-demand technologies of the future, and he will help nurture America’s success in clean technology manufacturing by establishing a federal investment program to help manufacturing centers modernize and help Americans learn the new skills they may need to produce green products. Along with the increased federal investment in the research, development and deployment of advanced technologies, this investment will help spur sustainable economic growth in communities across the country.
(4) Set Standards to Allow the Market to Invest and Innovate

Obama will also establish new national standards to ensure less carbon intensive energy is used in our energy supply.

He will:
  • Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Barack Obama will establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to speed the introduction of low-carbon non-petroleum fuels. The standard, which Obama introduced in the U.S. Senate with Tom Harkin (D-IA), requires fuels suppliers to reduce the carbon their fuel emits by ten percent by 2020. The Obama plan will help incentivize increased private sector investment in advanced biofuels and has a sustainability provision to ensure that this boom in U.S. biofuels production does not come at the expense of environmental conservation. The standard will reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2020. The LCFS is an important mechanism in ensuring that our efforts to reduce our oil dependence also reduce carbon emissions.
  • Require 25 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Sources by 2025: Barack Obama will establish a 25 percent federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources, like solar, wind and geothermal by 2025. 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. And recently, Illinois signed into law a 25 percent RPS by 2025 measure modeled on Obama’s state senate RPS efforts.
  • Ensure the Federal Government Uses Renewable Sources of Electricity: Currently, there is a federal goal to obtain 7.5 percent of federal government electricity demands from renewable sources by 2013. Barack Obama believes that the federal government, the nation’s largest consumer of energy, must do better. As president, Obama will ensure that at least 30 percent of the federal government’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
This effort will help create a reliable demand for renewable energy production, thereby incentivizing the private sector to increase its investment in renewable energy production.

---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

PART 2 - Barack Obama’s Energy Plan: Implement a 100% Auction Cap & Trade Program

Barack Obama plans to implement a "100% Auction Cap-and-Trade" program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This will reduce Carbon Emissions 80 percent by 2050. Barack Obama is a champion of the national effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Obama supports implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Obama will start reducing emissions immediately in his administration by establishing strong annual reduction targets, and he’ll also implement a mandate of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. In contrast to other approaches like a carbon tax, cap-and-trade programs provide maximum assurances that emissions will decline to desired levels by the targeted dates.

A cap-and-trade program draws on the power of the marketplace to reduce emissions in a cost-effective and flexible manner. Under the program, an overall cap on carbon emissions is established. The emissions allowed under the cap are divided up into individual allowances that represent the permission to emit that amount. Because the emissions cap restricts the amount of pollution allowed, allowances that give a company the ability to pollute take on financial value.

Companies are free to buy and sell allowances in order to continue operating in the most profitable manner available to them. Those that are able to reduce pollution at a low cost can sell their extra allowances to companies facing high costs. Each year the number of allowances will decline to match the required annual reduction targets.
  • 100% Allowance Auction: Without a profit motive or incentive to innovate, corporations do not spend time or money to develop new clean ways of doing business. Obama’s cap-and-trade system will require all pollution credits to be auctioned. A 100% auction ensures that all polluters pay for every ton of emissions they release, rather than giving these emission rights away for free to coal and oil companies.
  • Invest Revenue for a Clean Energy Future: Some of the revenue generated by auctioning allowances will be used to support the development and deployment of clean energy, invest in energy efficiency improvements and address transition costs, including helping American workers affected by this economic transition and helping lower-income Americans afford their energy bills by expanding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, expanding weatherization grants for low-income individuals to make their homes more energy efficient, and establishing a dedicated fund to assist low-income Americans afford higher electricity and energy bills.
---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

PART 1 - Barack Obama’s Energy Plan: Intro & Overview on how to make America a Global Energy Leader

This is the beginning of an ongoing series thoroughly examining, in great detail, Obama's energy plan as President... as naturally, our energy future has a massive bearing on how environmental issues and policies play out.

I'm trying to break up the information from his policy into sub-topics so that it's a little easier to digest. This should make each of us educated resident experts on a solid policy for America's energy future.

Like they say, the devil is in the details... happy reading! S

Our nation is confronted by two major energy challenges – global climate change and our dependence on foreign oil – both of which stem from our current dependence on fossil fuels for energy.

America’s 20-million-barrel-a-day oil habit costs our economy $1.4 billion a day, and nearly $500 billion in 2006 alone. Every single hour we spend $41 million on foreign oil. America’s oil consumption increased by over 20 percent between 1992 and 2005. Our energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased by more than 15 percent between 1993 and 2005.

Global warming is real, is happening now and is the result of human activities. The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. Glaciers are melting faster; the polar ice caps are shrinking; trees are blooming earlier; oceans are becoming more acidic, threatening marine life; people are dying in heat waves; species are migrating, and eventually many will become extinct.

Scientists predict that absent major emission reductions, climate change will worsen famine and drought in some of the poorest places in the world and wreak havoc across the globe. In the U.S., sea-level rise threatens to cause massive economic and ecological damage to our populated coastal areas.

Every president since Richard Nixon has spoken to the nation about how our oil addiction is jeopardizing our national security.

We are funding both sides in the war on terror and supporting some of the most despotic, volatile regimes in the world. We are held hostage to the spot oil market – forced to watch our fortunes rise and fall with the changing price of every barrel. And we are transferring a growing portion of our national wealth to oil-producing regimes, adding to our trade deficit and enriching countries with economic and national security interests adverse to our own. And we know that our oil dependency is jeopardizing our planet as well as releasing toxic pollutants that harm local communities.

Barack Obama believes we have a moral, environmental, economic, and security imperative to address our dependence on foreign oil and tackle climate change in a serious, sustainable manner.

Obama’s comprehensive plan to combat global warming and achieve energy security will:
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level recommended by top scientists to avoid calamitous impacts.
  • Invest $150 billion over the next ten years to develop and deploy climate friendly energy supplies, protect our existing manufacturing base and create millions of new jobs.
  • Dramatically improve energy efficiency to reduce energy intensity of our economy by 50 percent by 2030.
  • Reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels of oil, by 2030
  • Make the U.S. a leader in the global effort to combat climate change by leading a new international global warming partnership.
---Taken from Barack Obama's Energy Plan, located at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Real leadership for a clean energy future

The following is a transcript of a speech from Senator Barack Obama last fall, in which he focused on America's energy future.

While I understand it's a lengthy read (and therefore lengthy post), I find it to offer a compelling case study on the future of clean energy under an Obama Administration.

While this event occurred a few months back, it's anything but outdated... it basically outlines Obama's view of how to address issues surrounding energy needs and the environment in the future... a policy that will help the country move forward in the right direction.

I'll let the distinguished Junior Senator from Illinois take the floor now... S

Portsmouth, NH | October 08, 2007

"Two weeks ago, representatives from some of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases were invited to Washington by the President for a global conference on climate change.

For a brief moment, there was a hope that maybe this conference would be different - that maybe America would finally commit to the steps that nearly every scientist and expert believes we must take; that maybe the planet's only superpower would finally lead the world - or at the very least, follow it - in taking on the planet's greatest threat.

Instead, the world traveled thousands of miles to Washington only to find that Washington is still miles away from the world in its willingness to address one of the most urgent challenges of our generation. Some of the attendees said they were amazed at how isolated the White House view had become. Others dismissed the President's credibility entirely. And another headline noted that when it comes to the global debate on climate change, our country is struggling just to stay relevant.

Struggling just to stay relevant.

That is not the America we know. It is not the America we believe in. We are a nation that has led the world ever since the moment a lowly band of colonists proved that freedom could triumph over tyranny. We are the country that summoned the courage of its people to build an arsenal of democracy that freed a continent and brought peace to a world at war. We are a land of moon shots and miracles of science and technology that have touched the lives of millions across the planet. And when that planet is challenged or when it is threatened, the eyes of the world have always turned to this nation as the "last, best hope of Earth."

That is the America I want to lead as President. I believe that when it comes to the issue that will determine the very future of life on this Earth, we are still Earth's best hope. And when the world arrives at the doorstep of the White House to hear what America has to say about climate change, I will let them know that America is up to the challenge. That America is ready to lead again.

We have not fallen behind on energy due to a lack of ingenuity or initiative from the American people. I have seen too much innovation and possibility in this country to believe that. Right here in New Hampshire, I've filled up at a biodiesel pump at UNH, where this year students and faculty will remove over 200 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. New Hampshire is already reducing its greenhouse gas pollution as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and thanks to the leadership of Senator Martha Fuller Clark and Governor Lynch, you'll get 25% of your energy from renewable sources by 2025. Keene is one of America's greenest cities, and I understand that 164 towns have now passed a resolution demanding that Washington take action on climate change

But Washington hasn't acted; and that is the real reason why America hasn't led.

Washington's failure to lead on energy is the failure of a President who spent most of his time in office denying the very existence of global warming - a President who put more faith in the spin of a science fiction writer than the science facts of real experts. It's the failure of an Administration that developed America's energy policy with a secret task force that opened the door to oil lobbyists and then shut it to every other viewpoint. It's a failure of leadership that has never called on the American people to do anything more than go shopping.

And it's also a failure of our politics that pre-dates the presidency of George W. Bush. We have heard promises about energy independence from every single U.S. President since Richard Nixon - Republicans and Democrats. We've heard proposals to curb our use of fossil fuels in nearly every State of the Union address since the oil embargo of 1973. Back then we imported about a third of our oil. Now we import over half. Back then global warming was just the theory of a few scientists. Now it is a fact that threatens our very existence.

The truth is, our energy problem has become an energy crisis because no matter how well-intentioned the promise - no matter how bold the proposal - they all fall victim to the same Washington politics that has only become more divided and dishonest; more timid and calculating; more beholden to the powerful interests that have the biggest stake in the status quo.

There are some in this race who actually make the argument that the more time you spend immersed in the broken politics of Washington, the more likely you are to change it. I always find this a little amusing. I know that change makes for good campaign rhetoric, but when these same people had the chance to actually make change happen, they didn't lead. When they had the chance to stand up and require automakers to raise their fuel standards, they refused. When they had multiple chances to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in renewable fuels that we can literally grow right here in America, they said no.

Now, I know that some of these policies are difficult politically. They aren't easy. But being President of the United States isn't about doing what's easy. It's about doing what's hard. It's about doing what's right. Leadership isn't about telling people what they want to hear - it's about telling them what they need to hear.

When I arrived in the U.S. Senate, I wanted to do whatever I could to make real progress toward energy independence. I reached across the aisle to pass a law that will give more Americans the chance to fill up their cars with clean biofuels. I passed a law that will fuel the research needed to develop a car that will get 500 miles to the gallon. I even voted for an energy bill that was far from perfect because I was able to ensure that it contained some real investments in renewable sources of energy. And I've fought to eliminate the tax giveaways to oil companies that were slipped into that bill - oil companies that have spent half a billion dollars lobbying Congress in the last ten years while their profits have risen to record highs.

And I did something else. I knew that America hadn't raised the fuel standards for our cars in twenty years. Even though we had the technology on the shelf. Even though Japanese car companies that make more fuel-efficient cars are running circles around our own car companies. Even though we send hundreds of millions of dollars a day to some of the world's most dangerous regimes for their oil.

So I decided to try something new. I reached across the aisle to come up with a plan to raise our fuel standards that won support of lawmakers who had never supported raising fuel standards before. And I didn't just give a speech about it in front of some environmental audience in California. I went to Detroit, I stood in front of a group of automakers, and I told them that when I am President, there will be no more excuses - we will help them retool their factories, but they will have to make cars that use less oil.

Now I have to admit - the room was pretty quiet after that. But I said what I did because I believe America has had enough of politicians who just tell everyone what they want to hear. We have to tell people the truth. And the truth is that we can't afford to let the same old politics stand in the way of our future anymore.

We can't afford the same kind of caution when the future of our security is at stake. We know that the money that America spends on foreign oil is funding both sides of the war on terror; that it pays for everything from the madrassas that plant the seeds of terror in young minds to the Sunni insurgents that attack our troops in Iraq. We know this money corrupts budding democracies and allows dictators from hostile regimes to threaten the international community. It even presents a target for Osama bin Laden, who has told al Qaeda to, "focus your operations on oil, since this will cause [the Americans] to die off on their own."

We can't be afraid to stand up to the oil and auto industry when the future of our economy is at stake. When we let these companies off the hook; when we tell them they don't have to build fuel-efficient cars or transition to renewable fuels, it may boost their short-term profits, but it is killing their long-term chances for survival and threatening too many American jobs. The global market is already moving away from fossil fuels. The question is not if a renewable energy economy will thrive in the future, it's where. And if we want that place to be the United States of America, we can't afford to wait any longer.

Most of all, we cannot afford more of the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake. Global warming is not a someday problem, it is now. In a state like New Hampshire, the ski industry is facing shorter seasons and losing jobs. We are already breaking records with the intensity of our storms, the number of forest fires, the periods of drought. By 2050 famine could force more than 250 million from their homes - famine that will increase the chances of war and strife in many of the world's weakest states. The polar ice caps are now melting faster than science had ever predicted. And if we do nothing, sea levels will rise high enough to swallow large portions of every coastal city and town.

This is not the future I want for my daughters. It's not the future any of us want for our children. And if we act now and we act boldly, it doesn't have to be. But if we wait; if we let campaign promises and State of the Union pledges go unanswered for yet another year; if we let the same broken politics that's held us back for decades win one more time, we will lose another chance to save our planet. And we might not get many more.

I reject that future. I would not be running for President if I didn't believe that this time could be different. Not because I have some perfect solution that every other expert and candidate has somehow missed. Not because I think I can lock myself in the White House with a secret task force and get this done on my own. But because I believe the American people are ready for a President who can unite us around a common purpose again. I believe that we are ready to lead again.

Make no mistake - developing the next generation of energy will be one of the greatest challenges that this generation of Americans will ever face. It will not be easy. It will not come without cost or without sacrifice. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they are either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.

I will set big goals for this country as President - some so large that the technology to reach them does not yet exist. But that has not stopped us before. When President Roosevelt's advisors informed him that his goals for wartime production were impossible to meet, he waved them off and said "believe me, the production people can do it if they really try." And they did. When the scientists and engineers told John F. Kennedy that they had no idea how to put a man on the moon, he told them they would find a way. And we found one.

I believe we will again.

In the speech I gave in Detroit, I laid out the first part of my comprehensive energy plan - a proposal that will require our cars to use less oil and our fuels to use less carbon. It's a proposal that alone removes 50 million cars' worth of pollution from the road and reduces our oil consumption 2.5 million barrels a day by 2020 - the equivalent of all the oil we import from the Persian Gulf today.

Today I want to lay out the second part of my plan - a set of proposals that will allow America to lead the world in combating global climate change. From the moment I take office as President, I will call together scientists and entrepreneurs; heads of industry and labor; Democrats, Republicans and Americans from all walks of life to help develop and deploy the next generation of energy that will allow us to build the next generation's economy.

After all, in meeting the challenges of earlier generations, we didn't just end a costly war or beat the Soviets to the moon - we also unleashed opportunities we had never dreamed of. The GI Bill sent an entire generation of Americans - including my grandfather - to college and then on to the middle-class. Legions of scientists and engineers emerged from our race to space whose discoveries and innovations have forever changed the world.

This same opportunity exists today. That's why my plan isn't just about making dirty energy expensive, it's about making clean energy affordable - a project that will create millions of new jobs and entire new industries right here in America.

The first step in doing this is to phase out a carbon-based economy that's causing our changing climate. As President, I will set a hard cap on all carbon emissions at a level that scientists say is necessary to curb global warming - an 80% reduction by 2050. To ensure this isn't just talk, I will also commit to interim targets toward this goal in 2020, 2030, and 2040. These reductions will start immediately, and we'll continue to follow the recommendations of top scientists to ensure that our targets are strong enough to meet the challenge we face.

In addition to this cap, all polluters will have to pay based on the amount of pollution they release into the sky. The market will set the price, but unlike the other cap-and-trade proposals that have been offered in this race, no business will be allowed to emit any greenhouses gases for free. Businesses don't own the sky, the public does, and if we want them to stop polluting it, we have to put a price on all pollution. It's time to make the cleaner way of doing business the more profitable way of doing business.

There is no doubt that this transition will be costly in the short-term. To make it easier, we will provide assistance to Americans who need help with their energy bills. We'll help families make their homes more energy efficient, and we'll help workers and factories retool their facilities so they can compete and thrive in a clean energy economy. And once we make America more energy efficient and start producing more renewable energy, we will save money and bring energy costs down in the long-run. But we must act now.

Once we make dirty energy expensive, the second step in my plan is to invest $150 billion over the next decade to ensure the development and deployment of clean, affordable energy.

That starts with the next generation of biofuels. We know that corn ethanol has been the most successful alternative fuel we have ever developed. I've been a champion for ethanol. In just two years, the Renewable Fuel Standard I helped pass has sparked an historic expansion of ethanol production. It has helped displace foreign oil and strengthen our rural economy. And we should fight the efforts of big oil and big agri-business to undermine this emerging industry.

But the truth is, corn ethanol is neither the perfect nor the permanent answer to our energy challenge. There are legitimate economic and ecological concerns about an over-reliance on corn-based ethanol. And even if we double or triple its production, it won't replace even a tenth of our demand for gasoline. That's why we must invest in the next generation of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol that can be made from things like switchgrass and woodchips. The struggling paper mills in New Hampsire would be back in business if they could use wood to produce biofuels. We should set a goal to produce the first two billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2013. And we should make sure that more local farms and local refineries have the chance to be a part of this new industry.

We'll also invest in clean energy sources like wind power and solar power, so that by 2025, America can meet a new standard that will require 25% of all our electricity to come from renewable sources.

And we must find a way to stop coal from polluting our atmosphere without pretending that our nation's most abundant energy source will just go away. It won't. It will also require taking steps to ensure that China's coal emissions are curbed as well. Already, some coal pollution from China's dirty plants is making its way to California. That's why we must invest in clean coal technologies that we can use at home and share with the world. Until those technologies are available, I will rely on the carbon cap and whatever tools are necessary to stop new dirty coal plants from being built in America - including a ban on new traditional coal facilities.

We will also explore safer ways to use nuclear power, which right now accounts for more than 70% of our non-carbon generated electricity. We should accelerate research into technologies that will allow for the safe, secure treatment of nuclear waste. As President, I'll continue the work I began in the Senate to ensure that all nuclear material is stored, secured and accounted for - both at home and around the world. There should be no short cuts or regulatory loopholes - period.

Many of these clean energy technologies - from biofuels to solar power to carbon sequestration - are being developed in research labs and facilities all across America at this very moment. The problem is they might never get further than that. U.S. venture capital funding does a great job investing in research and development, but we don't do enough to take the risk out of bringing new discoveries to the wider marketplace. And so we see technologies that are invented here in America - like wind turbines, solar panels, and compact fluorescent bulbs - developed overseas and then sold back to American consumers.

This will change when I am President. I will launch a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund that will provide $10 billion a year for five years to get the most promising clean energy technologies off the ground. This venture capital fund will get new technologies from the lab to the marketplace so that in the next few years, the American economy can benefit from America's innovations.

The third step in my plan to combat climate change is to call on businesses, government, and the American people to make America 50% more energy efficient by 2030. This is by far the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to curb our emissions and save money at the same time. Since DuPont implemented an energy efficiency program in 1990, the company has significantly reduced its pollution and cut its energy bills by $3 billion, and cities like Keene and Portland, Oregon have led in meeting new efficiency standards. There is no reason the rest of America can't do the same.

We will start by dramatically improving the efficiency of our buildings, which currently account for nearly half of all carbon emissions in America today. When I am President, we'll set a goal of making our new buildings 50% more efficient within several years. The federal government will lead by making all of its buildings carbon neutral by 2025. And I will set a national goal of making all new buildings in America carbon neutral by 2030.

We will also start replacing our outdated power grid with a digital smart grid so that we don't lose precious energy and billions of dollars like we did in the 2003 New York City blackout. We'll follow the lead of states like California and change the way utilities make money so that their profits aren't tied to how much energy we use, but how much energy we save. Finally, we know that if every home in America replaced just five incandescent light bulbs with five compact fluorescent bulbs, it would eliminate the need for twenty-one power plants. We'll do one better. I will immediately sign a law that begins to phase out all incandescent light bulbs - a measure that will save American consumers $6 billion a year on their electric bills.

Now, none of these steps will happen overnight. They will take time, they will take sacrifice, and they will take a sustained commitment from the American people. As President, I will lead this commitment. I will not be outlining these goals in my State of the Union and then walk away when they become too difficult. I will report to the American people every year on the State of our Energy Future, and let you know the progress we've made toward an 80% emissions reduction by 2050, toward replacing over a third of our oil consumption by 2030, and toward improving our energy efficiency 50% by 2030. I will also make America's energy security a fundamental tenet of our national security by preparing our military to deal with threats posed by climate change.

And there is one step I will take as soon as possible.

From the moment I take office, I will invite the world back to Washington and let it be known that the United States of America is ready to lead again. That we are ready to rejoin the community of nations in taking on the greatest challenge of this generation.

I will personally reach out to the leaders of the biggest carbon emitting nations in both the developed and developing world and ask them to join America in creating a new Global Energy Forum that will lay the foundation for the next generation of climate protocols. It will complement - and ultimately merge with - the much larger negotiation process underway at the UN to develop a post-Kyoto framework. I will be in constant contact with these leaders to develop concrete, feasible emissions targets that all of us will meet. We will also work to build an alliance of oil-importing nations and work together to reduce our demand, just like the OPEC nations strategize on supply.

And as we develop new forms of clean energy here at home, we will share our technology and our innovations with all the nations of the world. If we can build a clean coal plant in America, China should be able to as well. If we find a way to harness the next generation of biofuels, India will know how to do it too. And as we tackle under-development in impoverished nations, we will use what we know to help them reduce the negative impacts of climate change and build a clean energy future.

Recently, the director of a nonprofit that helps promote clean energy policies in China said that the most frequent question he gets from the Chinese about every policy initiative he suggests is, "If it is so good, why aren't you doing it?" And it's the hardest question to answer. He said, "We can point to good examples that some American states, or cities, or companies are implementing...but we can't point to America."

I believe it's time the world could point to America again. I want the engineer in New Delhi to point to our green buildings as the kind he'd like to design for his country. I want the automaker in Tokyo to point to our cars as the model for all the world. I want the leaders of Europe and Asia; of Africa and South America to point to our diplomacy and our engagement and our ingenuity as the light that led us toward a new energy future in our time.

And most of all, I want our children and our children's children to point to this generation and this moment as the time when America found its way again. As the time when America overcame the division and the politics and the pettiness of an earlier era so that a new generation could come together and take on the most urgent challenge of this era. I am running for President of the United States to lead us toward this new era, and I ask all of you to join me in taking on the challenge that lies ahead. Thank you."

---Barack Obama

Monday, January 7, 2008

A glimpse at Obama and the environment... with a lot more to come...

“Well, I don't believe that climate change is just an issue that's convenient to bring up during a campaign. I believe it's one of the greatest moral challenges of our generation. That's why I've fought successfully in the Senate to increase our investment in renewable fuels. That's why I reached across the aisle to come up with a plan to raise our fuel standards… And I didn't just give a speech about it in front of some environmental audience in California. I went to Detroit, I stood in front of a group of automakers, and I told them that when I am president, there will be no more excuses — we will help them retool their factories, but they will have to make cars that use less oil.”
— Barack Obama, Speech in Des Moines, IA, October 14, 2007