Paid for by Obama for America

america has always risen to great challenges, and our dependence on oil is one of the greatest we have

ever faced. It’s a threat to our national security, our planet and our economy. For decades, Washington

has failed to solve this problem because of partisanship, the undue influence of special interests, and

politicians who would rather propose gimmicks to get them through an election instead of long‐term

solutions that will get America closer to energy independence.

Our country cannot afford politics as usual –not at a moment when the energy challenge we face is so

great and the consequences of inaction are so dangerous. We must act quickly and we must act boldly to

transform our entire economy –from our cars and our fuels to our factories and our buildings.

Achieving this goal will not be easy. Energy independence will require far more than the same

Washington gimmicks and continued dependence on costly and finite resources. It will require a

sustained and shared effort by our government, our businesses, and the American people. But America

has overcome great challenges before. With clarity of direction and leadership, there is no question that

we possess the insight, resources, courage and the determination to build a new economy that is

powered by clean and secure energy.

Barack Obama has a comprehensive energy plan that provides immediate relief to struggling families. It

also summons the nation to face one of the great challenges of our time: confronting our dependence on

foreign oil, addressing the moral, economic and environmental challenge of global climate change, and

building a clean energy future that benefits all Americans.

Obama’ comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:


Provide short‐term relief to American families facing pain at the pump


Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years

to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.


Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela



Put 1 million Plug‐In Hybrid cars –cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon –on the road by

2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America


Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by



Implement an economy‐wide cap‐and‐trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80

percent by 2050

Paid for by Obama for America



Barack Obama recognizes that skyrocketing energy costs are taking a heavy toll on American families. To

address the squeeze on Americans, Obama is calling for an: emergency energy rebate; an aggressive plan

to crack down on speculators; and a swap of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help provide

immediate relief from soaring energy prices.


Immediately Provide Emergency Energy Rebate.

Barack Obama will require oil companies to

take a reasonable share of their record‐breaking windfall profits and use it to provide direct relief

worth $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a married couple. The relief would be delivered as

quickly as possible to help families cope with the rising price of gasoline, food and other

necessities. The rebates would be fully paid for with five years of a windfall profits tax on record

oil company profits. This relief would be a down payment on Obama’ long‐term plan to provide

middle‐class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief. The Obama energy

rebates will: offset the entire increase in gas prices for a working family over the next four

months; or pay for the entire increase in winter heating bills for a typical family in a cold‐weather

state. In addition, Obama has proposed setting aside a portion of a second round of fiscal stimulus

to ensure sufficient funding for home heating and weatherization assistance as we move into the

fall and winter months


Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation

. Current loopholes in Commodity Futures Trading

Commission regulations have contributed to the skyrocketing price of oil on world

markets. Barack Obama will enact simple legislation to close these loopholes and increase

transparency on the speculative market will help bring oil prices down and prevent traders from

unfairly lining their pockets at the expense of the American people.


Swap Light and Heavy Crude, Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.


United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is there for a purpose: to help Americans in

times of crisis. Barack Obama believes the doubling of oil prices in the past year is a crisis for

millions of Americans and the transfer of wealth to oil producing countries, many of them hostile

to our interests, is a threat to our national security. With the goal of bringing down prices at the

pump, he supports releasing light oil from the SPR now and replacing it later with heavier crude

more suited to our long‐term needs.




Our nation is confronted by two major energy challenges –our dependence on foreign oil and global

climate change – both of which stem from our current dependence on fossil fuels for energy. 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.

Tackle Climate Change

As a result of climate change, the polar ice caps are shrinking causing sea levels to rise; extreme weather

is wreaking havoc across the globe; droughts are becoming more severe, tropical diseases are migrating

north and numerous species are being threatened with extinction.


Implement Cap and Trade Program to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Barack Obama

supports implementation of an economy‐wide cap‐and‐trade system to reduce carbon emissions

by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. This market

mechanism has worked before and will give all American consumers and businesses the

incentives to use their ingenuity to develop economically effective solutions to climate change.

Paid for by Obama for America

Obama’s cap‐and‐trade policy will require all pollution credits to be auctioned. A 100 percent

auction ensures that all industries pay for every ton of emissions they release, rather than giving

these valuable emission rights away to companies on the basis of their past pollution. A small

portion of the receipts generated by auctioning allowances ($15 billion per year) will be used to

support the development of clean energy, invest in energy efficiency improvements, and help

develop the next generation of biofuels and clean energy vehicles –measures that will help the

economy and help meet the emissions reduction targets. All remaining receipts will be used for

rebates and other transition relief to ensure that families and communities are not adversely

impacted by the transition to a new energy, low carbon economy.



Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change.

Barack Obama understands that the only real

solution to climate change requires all major emitting nations to join in the solution. While it is

time for America to lead, developing nations like China and Brazil must not be far behind in

making their own binding commitments. To develop an effective and equitable global program,

Obama will re‐engage with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) –the

main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem. He will also invigorate the

Major Economies (MEM) effort and bring all the major emitting nations together to develop

effective emissions reduction efforts.

Invest in Our Secure Energy Future and Create 5 Million New Jobs

Barack Obama will use a portion of the revenue generated from the cap‐and‐trade permit auction to

make investments that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and accelerate deployment of lowcarbon

technologies. The investments will focus on three critical areas: 1) Basic Research; 2) Technology

Demonstration and 3) Aggressive Commercial Deployment and Clean Market Creation.



Invest In A Clean Energy Economy and Help Create 5 Million New Green Jobs

. Obama will

strategically invest $150 billion over 10 years to accelerate the commercialization of plug‐in

hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, encourage energy

efficiency, invest in low emissions coal plants, advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel

infrastructure, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in

America’s highly‐skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that

American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the green technologies that will

be in high demand throughout the world. All together these investments will help the private

sector create 5 million new green jobs, good jobs that cannot be outsourced.



Create a “Green Vet Initiative”.

The renewable energy economy is exploding in the United States.

In terms of venture capital alone, private investment in the sector topped $2.6 billion dollars in

2007. At the same time, more than 837,000 troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are now

veterans. As president, Barack Obama will ensure that more of our veterans can enter the new

energy economy. He will create a new “Green Vet Initiative” that will have two missions: first it

will offer counseling and job placement to help veterans gain the skills to enter this rapidly

growing field; second, it will work with industry partners to create career pathways and

educational programs.


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

companies and workers should build the high‐demand technologies of the future, and he will help

nurture America’ success in clean technology manufacturing by establishing a federal investment

program to help manufacturing centers modernize and help Americans learn new skills to

Paid for by Obama for America

produce green products. This federal grant program will allocate money to the states to identify

and support local manufacturers with the most compelling plans for modernizing existing or

closed manufacturing facilities to produce new advanced clean technologies. This investment will

help provide the critical up‐front capital needed by small and mid‐size manufacturers to produce

these innovative new technologies. Along with an increased federal investment in the research,

development and deployment of advanced technologies, this $1 billion per year investment will

help spur sustainable economic growth in communities across the country.


Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies.

The Obama plan 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, high‐paying jobs. Obama will also 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. 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.

Make our Cars, Trucks and SUV’s Fuel Efficient

Last year, oil provided more than 96 percent of the energy in our vehicles. It is an economic, national

security and environmental imperative that this near‐total dependence come to an end. To achieve this

goal, Obama will implement a strategy that will –within 10 years ‐ allow us to reduce our consumption of

oil by more than we currently import from the Middle East and Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela combined. In

order to do that, he will:



Increase Fuel Economy Standards

. Obama will increase fuel economy standards 4 percent per

each year while protecting the financial future of domestic automakers. The plan, which will save

nearly a half trillion gallons of gasoline and 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, will

establish concrete targets for annual fuel efficiency increases while giving industry the flexibility

to meet those targets.



Invest in Developing Advanced Vehicles and Put 1 Million Plugin

Electric Vehicles on the Road

by 2015.


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 can get over

150 miles per gallon of gas As president, Obama will continue this leadership by investing in

advanced vehicle technology with a specific focus on R&D in advanced battery technology. The

increased federal funding will leverage private sector funds and support our domestic automakers

to bring plug‐in hybrids and other advanced vehicles to American consumers. Obama will also

provide a $7,000 tax credit for the purchase of advanced technology vehicles as well as conversion

tax credits. And to help create a market and show government leadership in purchasing highly

efficient cars, an Obama administration will commit to:




Within one year of becoming President, the entire White House fleet will be converted to

plug‐ins as security permits; and




Half of all cars purchased by the federal government will be plug‐in hybrids or all‐electric

by 2012



Partner with Domestic Automakers.

Obama will also provide $4 billion 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. by American workers rather than overseas. This measure will

Paid for by Obama for America

strengthen the U.S. manufacturing sector and help ensure that American workers will build the

high‐demand cars of the future.



Mandate All New Vehicles are Flexible Fuel Vehicles

. Sustainably‐produced biofuels can create

jobs, protect the environment and help end oil addiction –but only if Americans drive cars that

will take such fuels. Obama will work with Congress and auto companies to ensure that all new

vehicles have FFV capability –the capability by the end of his first term in office.



Develop the Next Generation of Sustainable Biofuels and Infrastructure

. Advances in biofuels,

including cellulosic ethanol, biobutenol and other new technologies that produce synthetic

petroleum from sustainable feedstocks offer tremendous potential to break our addiction to oil.

Barack Obama will work to ensure that these clean alternative fuels are developed and

incorporated into our national supply as soon as possible. He will require at least 60 billion gallons

of advanced biofuels by 2030. Obama will invest federal resources, including tax incentives and

government contracts into developing the most promising technologies and building the

infrastructure to support them.



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 requires fuels suppliers in 2010 to begin to reduce the carbon of their fuel by 5 percent

within 5 years and 10 percent within 10 years. The Obama plan will incentivize increased private

sector investment in advanced low‐carbon fuels and has a sustainability provision to ensure that

increased biofuels production does not come at the expense of environmental conservation. The

LCFS is an important mechanism in ensuring that our efforts to reduce our oil dependence also

reduce carbon emissions.

Promote the Supply of Domestic Energy

With 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves, the U.S. cannot drill our way to energy security. But U.S. oil and

gas production plays an important role in our domestic economy and remains critical to prevent global

energy prices from climbing even higher. There are several key opportunities to support increased U.S.

production of oil and gas that do not require opening up currently protected areas.


A “Use it or Lose It” Approach to Existing Leases

. Oil companies have access to 68 million acres

of land, over 40 million offshore, which they are not drilling on. Drilling in open areas could

significantly increase domestic oil and gas production. Obama will require oil companies to

diligently develop these leases or turn them over so that another company can develop them.


Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas

. An Obama

administration will set up a process for early identification of any infrastructure

obstacles/shortages or possible federal permitting process delays to drilling in:



Bakken Shale in Montana and North Dakota which could have as much as 4 billion

recoverable barrels of oil according to the U.S. Geological Survey.



Unconventional natural gas supplies in the Barnett Shale formation in Texas and the

Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas.



National Petroleum Reserve‐Alaska (NPR‐A) which comprises 23.5 million acres of federal

land set aside by President Harding to secure the nation’s petroleum reserves for national

security purposes.

Paid for by Obama for America


Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.

As president, Obama will work

with the Canadian government, state of Alaska, oil and gas producers, and other stakeholders to

facilitate construction of the pipeline. While this pipeline was proposed in 1976, and Congress

authorized up to $18 billion in loan guarantees for this project in 2004, there has been no progress

in building this critical energy infrastructure under the Bush Administration. The planned

pipeline would have a daily capacity of 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or almost 7 percent of

current U.S. consumption. Not only is this pipeline critical to our energy security, it will create

thousands of new jobs.


Getting More from our Existing Oil Fields.

Nationally, experts believe that up to 85 billion barrels

of technically recoverable oil remains stranded in existing fields. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)

using carbon dioxide offers an immediate‐ to medium‐term opportunity to produce more oil from

existing fields. And in the EOR process, large quantities of CO2 can be sequestered underground,

reducing global warming pollution. Under an Obama Administration, we will pass a carbon capand‐

trade‐bill, which will incentivize emitters to send their CO2 to old oil fields for EOR, thereby

providing economic benefits while also stimulating additional domestic oil and gas production. To

speed that process, we will map all stationary CO2 sources and develop a database to help

industry calculate the most cost‐effective oil field destination for each source’s CO2.

Diversify Our Energy Sources

There are no silver bullet solutions to our energy crises. Our economy, security and environment will be

best served through a sustained effort to diversify our energy sources. Barack Obama will:


Require 10 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Sources by 2012

. Barack Obama will

establish a 10 percent federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that 10 percent of

electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources, like solar, wind

and geothermal by 2012. Many states are already well on their way to achieving statewide goals

and it’s time for the federal government to provide leadership for the entire country to support

these new industries. This national requirement will spur significant private sector investment in

renewable sources of energy and create thousands of new American jobs, especially in rural areas.

And Obama will also extend the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for 5 years to encourage the

production of renewable energy.


Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.

Carbon capture and storage technologies hold

enormous potential to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as we power our economy with

domestically produced and secure energy. As a U.S. Senator, Obama has worked tirelessly to

ensure that clean coal technology becomes commercialized. An Obama administration will

provide incentives to accelerate private sector investment in commercial scale zero‐carbon coal

facilities. In order to maximize the speed with which we advance this critical technology, Obama

will instruct DOE to enter into public private partnerships to develop 5 “irst‐of‐a‐kind”commercial scale coal‐fired plants with carbon capture and sequestration.


Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy.

Nuclear power represents more than 70 percent of our noncarbon

generated electricity. It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we

eliminate nuclear power as an option. However, before an expansion of nuclear power is

considered, key issues must be addressed including: security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste

storage, 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

Paid for by Obama for America

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. In terms of waste storage,

Obama does not believe that Yucca Mountain is a suitable site. He will lead federal efforts to look

for safe, long‐term disposal solutions 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.

Commitment to Efficiency to Reduce Energy Use and Lower Costs

According to the United Nations, America is only the 22



most energy efficient country among the major

economies in the world, which means we spend more on energy than we need to because our lifestyle

and our built environment are wasting too much excess energy. Since 1973, the average amount of

electricity each of us uses has tripled. We can do better. An Obama administration will strive to make

America the most energy efficient country in the world.


Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy SourceEnergy



The Department of

Energy (DOE) projects that demand for electricity will increase by 1.1 percent per year over the

next few decades. Cutting this demand growth through efficiency is both possible and

economically sound. Barack Obama will set an aggressive energy efficiency goal—to reduce

electricity demand 15 percent from DOE’s projected levels by 2020. Implementing this program

will save consumers a total of $130 billion, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5 billion

tons through 2030, and create jobs. A portion of this goal would be met by setting annual demand

reduction targets that utilities would need to meet. The rest would come from more stringent

building and appliance standards.


Set National Building Efficiency Goals.

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.



Overhaul Federal Efficiency Standards.

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.



Reduce Federal Energy Consumption.

Currently, the federal government is the world’s largest

single consumer of energy in the world, spending approximately $14.5 billion on energy

consumption in FY 2008. Barack Obama believes in the importance of leading by example. He will

make the federal government a leader in the green building market, achieving a 40 percent

increase in efficiency in all new federal buildings within five years and ensuring that all new

federal buildings are zero‐emissions by 2025. He will invest in cost‐effective retrofits to achieve a

25 percent increase in efficiency of existing federal buildings within 5 years. The Obama plan will

put forward the resources necessary to achieve a 15 percent reduction in federal energy

consumption by 2015. This will result in savings for the government


Flip Incentives to Energy Utilities.

An Obama administration will “flip” incentives to utility

companies by: requiring states to conduct proceedings to implement incentive changes; and

Paid for by Obama for America

offering them targeted technical assistance. These measures will benefit utilities for improving

energy efficiency, rather than just from supporting higher energy consumption. This “regulatory

equity” starts with the decoupling of profits from increased energy usage, which will incentivize

utilities to partner with consumers and the federal and state governments to reduce monthly

energy bills for families and businesses. The federal government under an Obama administration

will play an important and positive role in flipping the profit model for the utility sector so that

shareholder profit is based on reliability and performance as opposed to total production.



Invest in a Smart Grid.

Achieving these aggressive energy efficiency goals will require significant

innovation in the way we transmit electricity and monitor its use. Obama will pursue a major

investment in our national utility grid using smart metering, distributed storage and other

advanced technologies to accommodate 21st century energy requirements: greatly improved

electric grid reliability and security, a tremendous increase in renewable generation and greater

customer choice and energy affordability. Obama will establish a Grid Modernization Commission

to facilitate adoption of Smart Grid practices across the nation’s electricity grid to the point of

general adoption and ongoing market support in the U.S. electric sector. He will instruct the

Secretary of Energy to: (1) establish a Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program to provide

reimbursement of one‐fourth of qualifying Smart Grid investments; (2) conduct programs to

deploy advanced techniques for managing peak load reductions and energy efficiency savings on

customer premises from smart metering, demand response, distributed generation and electricity

storage systems; and (3) establish demonstration projects specifically focused on advanced

technologies for power grid sensing, communications, analysis, and power flow control, including

the integration of demand‐side resources into grid management.



Weatherize One Million Homes Annually.

In the struggle with higher energy prices low income

families are suffering the most and receiving the least attention. Across the nation, poor families

this winter will increasingly face the choice between heating and eating as prices for natural gas,

heating oil, propane and electricity skyrocket. To address the immediate challenge this winter,

we must fully fund LIHEAP and ensure that everyone who needs it has access to heating

assistance. Over the longer‐term, a significant part of the answer for low income families is home

weatherization. By upgrading a home’ furnace, sealing leaky ducts, fixing windows, and adding

insulation we can cut energy bills by 20 ‐ 40 percent and the substantial savings accrue with

summer air conditioning as well as winter heating. And by adding energy efficient appliances and

lighting the savings are even greater. While the nation has weatherized about 5.5 million lowincome

homes since 1976, more than 28 million remain eligible. Obama will make a national

commitment to weatherize at least one million low‐income homes each year for the next decade,

which can reduce energy usage across the economy and help moderate energy prices for all.



Build More Livable and Sustainable Communities:

Over the long term, we know that the amount

“who care?”



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