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Obama's Energy Policies At A Glance

Reuters
Wednesday, 5 Nov 2008 | 11:49 AM ET
Barack Obama
CNBC.com
Barack Obama

Energy was a major issue in the U.S. presidential campaign after high gasoline prices added to consumer woes this year and candidates pledged to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Here is a look at the energy plan of President-elect Barack Obama.

ENERGY RESEARCH

Obama wants to invest $150 billion over 10 years on low-carbon energy sources that will help create 5 million jobs, double research and development spending on biomass, solar and wind resources; accelerate commercialization of plug-in hybrid cars, invest in low-emission coal plants.

WINDFALL PROFITS TAX

Obama supports a five-year windfall tax on excessive profits of large oil companies. The proceeds from the tax would pay for a $1,000 tax rebate for low- and middle-income families to help them cope with rising energy prices.

OIL USE

Obama would reduce overall U.S. oil consumption within 10 years to offset the millions of barrels of crude imported from OPEC members in the Middle East and Venezuela.

VEHICLE FUEL ECONOMY

Obama would raise vehicle fuel economy standards by 4 percent a year and give automakers $4 billion in assistance to retool plants for making new fuel-efficient cars. Provide a $7,000 tax credit for purchasing "advanced technology" vehicles and put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars that get 150 miles per gallon on the road by 2015.

EXISTING DRILLING LEASES

Require energy companies to develop the 68 million acres leased from the government for oil and natural gas drilling or lose those leases.

OFFSHORE DRILLING

Obama opposed lifting the congressional moratorium on drilling in federal lands off U.S. coasts, but now says he would support limited expanded offshore drilling as part of broader legislation to help solve America's energy problems.

ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE DRILLING

Obama opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE

Earlier in the campaign, Obama opposed releasing oil from the reserve unless there was a severe supply disruption, but he now supports releasing 70 million barrels of light sweet crude, which would be replaced later with heavier crude.

BIOFUELS

Require the U.S. to produce at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol a year by 2030; build ethanol distribution infrastructure, mandate that all new vehicles be "flex fuel" by end of his first term, produce 2 billion gallons of "cellulosic" ethanol from non-corn sources like switchgrass and wood chips by 2013.

NUCLEAR POWER

Obama supports nuclear power, but says how to dispose of nuclear waste from U.S. plants and prevent nuclear proliferation must be solved before more reactors are built. He opposes storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Obama would cut carbon dioxide emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050; reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020; require fuel suppliers to cut carbon content of their fuel by 10 percent by 2020.

ELECTRICITY

Obama wants to require U.S. utilities to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025; extend for 5 years the federal production tax credit for electricity generated by renewable sources; modernize the electric grid.

WEATHERIZE HOMES

Obama wants to weatherize 1 million low-income homes a year by installing fuel-efficient furnaces, replacing windows and adding insulation.

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