Today, the Whitehouse released President Obama’s plan for securing the future energy requirements of the US.
All in all, it’s a good document. I know why some of the material about efficient natural gas and clean coal are in there (there’s no such thing as clean coal), but the rest of it makes a lot of sense and he seems to cover all the bases.
Of course, this is a plan… more of a wish list really. Each part will have to go through congress and right now the Republicans would probably object if Obama said he wanted more oil drilling… oh wait, he did say that.
One thing REALLY caught my eye though. Both on pages 15 and 18 he mentions phasing out the subsidies for fossil fuels. Personally, if that’s the only thing that comes out of this entire paper, I’d be pretty happy.
There are two other aspects to this paper that I like. The first is that there is information about where we are now and what we’ve done recently and what the plan is moving forward. The second is an entire section devoted to how the federal government will ‘lead by example’ purchasing hybrid and electric vehicles and making federal buildings more energy efficient.
The sections of the report are as follows:
Develop and Secure America’s Energy Supplies
Expand Safe and Responsible Domestic Oil and Gas Development and Production
Lead the World Towards Safer, Cleaner, and More Secure Energy Supplies
Provide Consumers with Choices to Reduce Costs and Save Energy
Reduce Consumer Costs at the Pump with More Efficient Cars and Trucks
Cut Energy Bills with More Efficient Homes and Buildings
Innovate Our Way to a Clean Energy Future
Harness America’s Clean Energy Potential
Win the future through Clean Energy Research and Development
Lead by Example: The Federal Government and Clean Energy
Like I said, there are some really nice things in this document, and even if only a few of them come to light, I would be really happy.
I’m not a fan of the emphasis placed on new drilling on public land and federal waters. I’m certainly not a fan of clean coal and more natural gas.
But the high points that I really like are:
- The already mentioned removal of subsidies on fossil fuels
- More efficient cars and trucks (including mandated CAFE-like regulations for trucks for the first time ever).
- An emphasis on efficient housing
- 1 million electric vehicles by 2015
- at the register rebates for vehicles and home improvements instead of tax breaks
- 80% of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 (note that this ‘clean energy sources’ includes nuclear, efficient natural gas, and clean coal)
- an emphasis on research and development of improved energy and storage systems
You can read the whole thing, it’s not that long. I hope he gets most of it.