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
SOLUTIONS: IMMEDIATE RELIEF FROM PAIN AT THE PUMP
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.
SOLUTIONS: NEW ENERGY FOR AMERICA
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.
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
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
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
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
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