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Richardson's energy plan: "Raised the bar on all the rest." [View All]

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seasat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 07:56 PM
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Richardson's energy plan: "Raised the bar on all the rest."
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Edited on Fri May-18-07 08:01 PM by seasat
Carl Pope, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club writes:

But there is one presidential candidate with enormous depth on the issue, and he's just raised the bar on all the rest. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson served as Secretary of Energy in the Clinton Administration. Today, at the New America Foundation, he delivered his new energy approach. Dave Hamilton, Director of our Energy and Global Warming program, advised me that "his 18-page energy policy is much more aggressive than anything we've seen so far from the candidates. It is also significantly better-elaborated in theory with regard to where we end up."

Dave Roberts of Grist writes:

As of today, Bill Richardson has become the boldest, most visionary Democratic presidential candidate on climate and energy policy.

The League of Conservation Voters issued this statement:

Of all the candidates plans to date, Richardson sets the highest goals for reducing global warming pollution and increasing production from renewable energy sources.

Here's the outline of the plan:

Goal 1--By 2020, dramatically reduce oil consumption by as much as 10 million through a series of bold measures:

  • Get low and zero petroleum plug-in cars into the marketplace, while sharply reducing the carbon emissions from our electric sector. The pure-electric vehicle offers simplicity and performance for an average daily commute in our larger metro areas, while the plug-in electric car or truck provides more range and flexibility for people who drive longer distances, as it can extend gas mileage above 100 miles per gallon.
  • Create a well-to-wheels low carbon fuel requirement that reduces carbon impact of our liquid fuels by 30% by 2020, including ethanol and biodiesel. Requiring conventionally powered cars and trucks, to be flex fuel capable and provide tax credits to the first 10% of gasoline retailers who install renewable fuel pumps.
  • Push fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon by 2020.
  • Reduce oil consumption for other modes of transportation-ships, trains, trucks and planes through new technologies, such as fuel-switching to electricity and renewable fuels.

Goal 2 -- Create new efficiencies and energy sources in the electrical sector

  • Call for a national renewable portfolio standard of 30% by 2020, rising to 50% by 2040 -- thus mandating utilities to provide a certain amount of renewable energy in the electricity sold to every consumer.
  • Push for a law requiring a 20% improvement in energy productivity by 2020. This 20 by 20 proposal has been studied by the Western Governors Association and will save western customers $21 billion a year by 2020.

Goal 3 -- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2040.

  • Start with a market-based cap and trade system. By 2020 utilities and industry will be allowed to emit 80% as much global warming pollution as they do today. Combined with transportation sector savings, these changes will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020.
  • Move to carbon-clean coal using safe, long-term carbon disposal or sequestration, and deploy these carbon-clean coal technologies here and around the world.

Goal 4 -- Capitalize and invest in America's strengths in science and technology

  • Establish a national energy innovation trust fund with a one-time funding commitment to provide needed research and technology support, invest in our world-leading institutions and science and technology programs.

Goal 5 -- America must lead by example and become a beacon of the New Energy Future.

  • Immediately return to the international negotiating table and support mandatory limits on global warming pollution and keep atmospheric carbon below 450 parts per million.
  • Cooperate with the European Union, the World Bank, the Asian partnership, the UN and our allies around the world to finance the small incremental cost of "doing it right."
  • Work closely with fast-growing nations like China, Brazil, South Africa, and India so that they use new, low-carbon technologies to help meet their energy demands.
  • Renew our relations with our largest oil supplies, Mexico and Canada, which supply about 20% of our oil and create a North American Energy Council to stabilize the oil and gas trade, build a continental electrical grid, help bring energy resources and productivity to market throughout the continent and develop a regional system for carbon trading.

To establish credibility on an issue like this it helps to have some experience in the field. Here are a few of Bill Richardson's past accomplishments in addressing the issues of global warming and energy conservation.

He has an impressive track record on this issue and I didn't cover all of his accomplishments. As an earth scientist this is an important issue to me and I want someone that can walk the walk not just talk the talk.
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