Friday, January 18, 2008

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

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