John Irons's Blog


Economic News, Data and Analysis

Candidate’s Energy Policy

Obama has been pushing hard on energy policy recently. His comprehensive approach combines a broad-based approach to carbon reductions (through cap-and-trade) with a variety of targeted incentives to move us to a more efficient economy fueled by renewable energy. The plan also comes with rebates to help consumers get by. Details here and bullets below.
McCain’s approach is all about drilling and nuclear. It’s pretty thin by way of actual policy. What do I mean thin on policy? His documents say he “supports Flex-Fuel vehicles” but there is no policy, he simply “calls on automakers” to make a faster switch. He says cellulosic ethanol shows “great potential” but does not offer solutions to speed the development. He says modernizing the electric grid would save energy, but only says he will “reduce red tape” to allow for more investment. The only real substance is a $2 billion support of the coal industry and his cap-and-trade policy (though the later is flawed in how it allocates permits). More drilling and a gas tax holiday are purely gimmicks that will have little or no impact on consumers.

New Energy for America

Obama’s 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 combined
  • 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 2025
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050

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