Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tom Vilsack's Energy Plan

Vilsack Energy Security Agenda

Adopt a low-carbon fuel standard to require all fuel providers by 2010 to reduce the amount of carbon produced by their fuel at a rate of 1% a year for ten years. This will create a 10% cumulative reduction by 2020.

Offer a new range of federal tax incentives, including a 25-cent per-gallon credit for the production of ethanol from cellular fiber.

Amend the Clean Air Act so that carbon emissions will be cut by 20% in each new coal plant built in the U.S after 2010. To achieve this goal, new coal-fired plants will be required to use Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (known as IGCC) or other emerging technologies to provide similar results in reducing carbon emissions.

Require that by 2020 all new power plants built in the United States be carbon-free. This requirement could be met with any available energy source, including wind, solar, geothermal, safe nuclear, and coal plants that use carbon capture and sequestration.

Enact a new renewable fuel standard (known as RFS) that will require annual increases in the use of renewable fuels in the US fuel market that achieves 60 billion gallons per year by 2030. Moreover, that standard would require that 45 billion of the 60 billion gallons be cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol or biodiesel.

Establish a new National Energy Security Trust Fund funded by repealing existing oil and gas tax breaks. Funds from this Trust will be used for research and development in renewable fuel production.

Set fuel efficiency standards so that, by 2030, cars are 50% more fuel efficient.

Encourage technological developments and offer incentives so that by 2040 America’s transportation system will be virtually petroleum-free. Further development of needed technologies—fuel cells, biofuels, plug-in biofuel hybrids or others—coupled with significant incentives for the purchase of petroleum-free automobiles will be used to achieve this goal.

Create a mandatory nationwide cap and trade program to limit emissions of greenhouse gases such that by 2050 America will achieve a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 levels.

Replace the Department of Energy with a new Department of Energy Security, to oversee and redefine the federal government’s role in energy policy. The reorganized department will act as an institutional advocate for innovation in energy policy, and will ensure accountability as the nation works towards achieving Vilsack’s energy security goals.

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