Tuesday, December 13, 2005


While the recent energy bill passed by the Republican controlled Congress did little to lower gas prices or make us less energy dependent, the Democrats have announced an "Energy Independence 2020" plan to reduce our reliance on foreign oil over the next 15 years. They claim their plan will "create innovative new jobs and build a cleaner, greener, and stronger America."

The plan is highlighted below:


Democrats believe the Federal government can and must do a better job of protecting consumers, businesses, and farmers burdened by today's skyrocketing energy prices. We must break our country's dangerous reliance on foreign energy. We believe our leadership and vision can help ensure low cost supplies of sustainable energy to improve American competitiveness and the security of our nation. That's why Democrats have a strategy to make America energy independent by the year 2020. We plan to:

Launch an Apollo Project for Energy
- Create a massive commitment to support research and development necessary to develop alternative energy sources to free us from foreign oil by 2020.

Diversify and Expand Our Energy Supplies
- Increase dramatically the production of domestically grown biofuels - Institute a national renewable portfolio standard
- Enhance incentives for energy production from solar, wind, and geothermal
- Utilize existing domestic oil and gas leases' for environmentally compatible extraction
- Encourage construction of the Alaskan natural gas pipeline
- Support the development of a hydrogen economy
- Increase the deployment of advanced clean coal technology like integrated gasification and coal-to-liquids, in conjunction with carbon capture and storage approaches

Protect Consumers and the Environment
- Prevent oil company price gouging, market manipulation, and disaster profiteering
- Increase energy market transparency and consumer choice at the pump
- Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to cover increased household energy costs
- Provide car buyers with accurate fuel economy information
- Protect pristine public lands from short-sighted oil and gas exploitation
- Enhance funding for weatherization and low-income energy assistance needs in all climates

Improve Energy Security and Prevent Price Volatility
- Create geographically diverse strategic gasoline and jet fuel reserves
- Streamline fuel specifications while maintaining state clean air protections
- Encourage the development of a smarter and more distributed electricity system
- Leverage trade relationships to maintain competitiveness of energy-intensive U.S. manufacturers

Reduce Demand for Oil and Natural Gas
- Lower petroleum use in the federal fleet and improve government conservation efforts
- Provide consumers with more fuel efficient vehicle choices
- Develop renewable substitutes to replace natural gas use in the petrochemical industry
- Improve infrastructure and electricity options for hybrids and plug-in hybrids
- Increase mass transit use and incentivize transit-oriented development
- Advance air traffic management to shorten flight times
- Reduce tractor trailer fuel needs by improving aerodynamics, logistics, and idling

Invest in Energy Efficiency and American Jobs
- Update efficiency standards for appliances and small engines
- Invest in math and science education for the next generation of energy engineers
- Ensure access to worker training and retraining in advanced energy technologies

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