Energy Policy

Background Information

In 2000 President Bush released a “Comprehensive National Energy Policy”. On January 29, 2001 President Bush announced that Vice President Cheney would chair a task force to develop a new national energy policy. When announcing the energy plan, the President said that his plan would reduce gasoline prices. The price of gas in 2001 when President Bush was sworn into office was $1.44 a gallon. Obviously President Bush’s energy plan did not go as planned. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was made into a law and President Bush said “the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is going to help every American who drives to work, every family that pays a power bill, and every small business owner hoping to expand”. The average American family uses 1,429 gallons of gasoline annually and the annual cost of gasoline has increase by over $1,500.

All of these promises and no results!
The new president of the United States will need to make some legislation that will lower gas prices and eliminate our high dependence on foreign oil.

Obama’s Energy Plan

What has Senator Obama done to increase energy conservation as a Senator?

In the area of renewable fuels Senator Obama has worked on numerous efforts in the Senate to increase access to and use of renewable fuels. Senator Obama helped pass legislation that gives gas stations a tax credit for installing E85 ethanol refueling pumps. Senator Obama also supported a bill raising CAFE by 4% a year until year 2018. This is a bill to measure fuel economy standards for automobiles and would start the United States on the path toward energy independence. Barack Obama has said he will support requiring that 20% of the nation’s power supply come from renewable sources like wind, solar power, biomass, and geothermal.
In the area of energy efficiency Obama co-sponsored a Renewable Portfolio standard that mandates 10% of total electric utility output must be renewable by 2010. He also sponsored a Biodiesel Fuel Act to require diesel fuel sold in Illinois to contain at least 2% biodiesel fuel by volume. He was chief co-sponsor of
The Energy Efficiency Building Act, which aims to improve energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
Senator Obama introduced a bill requiring more pollution controls at coal plants to block president George W. Bush from rolling back the Clean Air Act in Illinois. He also cosponsored a bill to require that 10% of the electricity in the state of Illinois come from renewable energy sources by 2012. He also supported measures to increase energy efficiency codes in the United States.

Short- Term Solutions

· Immediately Provide Emergency Energy Rebate
· Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation
· Swap Light and Heavy Crude, Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices

Mid-Long Term Solutions

· Invest in Our Secure Energy Future and Create 5 million New Jobs
· Invest in Clean Energy Economy and Help create 5 million jobs
· Create a "Green Vet Initiative"
· Convert our Manufacturing Centers into Clean Technology Leaders
· Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies
· Make our Cars, Trucks and SUV's Fuel Efficient
· Increase Fuel Economy Standards
· Invest in Developing Advanced vehicles and put1 million plug-in electric vehicles on road by 2015
· Partner with Domestic Automakers
· Mandate all new vehicles are flexible fuel vehicles
· Develop next generation of Sustainable Biofuels and Infrastructure
· Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard
· Promote the Supply of Domestic Energy
· A "Use it or Lose it" approach to existing leases
· Promote the responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas
· Prioritize the construction of Alaska Natural gas Pipeline
· Get more from our existing oil fields
· Diversify our Energy sources
· Require 10 percent of electricity to come from Renewable Sources by 2012
· Develop and deploy clean coal technology
· Safe and secure nuclear energy
· Commitment to Efficiency to Reduce Energy Use and Lower Costs
· Deploy the cheapest, cleanest, fastest energy source-- Energy Efficiency
· Set national building efficiency goals
· Overhaul federal efficiency standards
· Reduce federal energy consumption
· Flip incentives to energy utilities
· Invest in a smart grid
· Weatherize one million homes annually

John McCain’s Energy Policy

  • John McCain said he will be the anti-George Bush when it comes to global warming and alternative energy policy.
"I will not shirk the mantle of leadership that the United States bears."

  • John McCain has many ideas when it comes to keeping the United States energy efficient.
McCain wants to offer a $300 million cash prize to whoever can develop a battery-powered automobile that will meet certain specifications.

"In general, I'm a fan of offering prizes as opposed to funding government research, but the demand for cheaper forms of transport is so overwhelming that I doubt a government prize is needed to incentivize such research. No doubt a great many brilliant scientists are now working feverishly on fuel cell and battery technology for motor vehicles."

  • John McCain Will Commit Our Country To Expanding Domestic Oil Exploration
The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production. John McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities.

  • John McCain Believes In Promoting And Expanding The Use Of Our Domestic Supplies Of Natural Gas
On of McCain's other cash reward ideas is his Clean Car Challenge. John McCain will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit for the consumer based on the reduction of carbon emissions. He will commit a $5,000 tax credit for each and every customer who buys a zero carbon emission car, encouraging automakers to be first on the market with these cars in order to capitalize on the consumer incentives. For other vehicles, a graduated tax credit will apply so that the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit.

  • John McCain Supports Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) And Believes They Should Play A Greater Role In Our Transportation Sector.
In just three years, Brazil went from new cars sales that were about 5 percent FFVs to over 70 percent of new vehicles that were FFVs. American automakers have committed to make 50 percent of their cars FFVs by 2012. John McCain calls on automakers to make a more rapid and complete switch to FFVs.

  • John McCain Believes Alcohol-Based Fuels Hold Great Promise As Both An Alternative To Gasoline And As A Means of Expanding Consumers' Choices.
Some choices such as ethanol are on the market right now. The second generation of alcohol-based fuels like cellulosic ethanol, which won't compete with food crops, are showing great potential.

  • John McCain Will Effectively Enforce Existing CAFE Standards.
John McCain has long supported CAFE standards - the mileage requirements that automobile manufacturers' cars must meet. Some carmakers ignore these standards, pay a small financial penalty, and add it to the price of their cars. John McCain believes that the penalties for not following these standards must be effective enough to compel all carmakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.

  • John McCain Will Commit $2 Billion Annually To Advancing Clean Coal Technologies.
Coal produces the majority of our electricity today. Some believe that marketing viable clean coal technologies could be over 15 years away. John McCain believes that this is too long to wait, and we need to commit significant federal resources to the science, research and development that advance this critical technology. Once commercialized, the U.S. can then export these technologies to countries like China that are committed to using their coal - creating new American jobs and allowing the U.S. to play a greater role in the international green economy.

  • John McCain Will Encourage The Market For Alternative, Low Carbon Fuels Such As Wind, Hydro And Solar Power.
According to the Department of Energy, wind could provide as much as one-fifth of electricity by 2030. The U.S. solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate in 2006. To develop these and other sources of renewable energy will require that we rationalize the current patchwork of temporary tax credits that provide commercial feasibility. John McCain believes in an even-handed system of tax credits that will remain in place until the market transforms sufficiently to the point where renewable energy no longer merits the taxpayers' dollars.

  • John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration.
The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers substantial money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

  • John McCain Will Make Greening The Federal Government A Priority Of His Administration.
The federal government is the largest electricity consumer on earth and occupies 3.3 billion square feet of space worldwide. It provides an enormous opportunity to lead by example. By applying a higher efficiency standard to new buildings leased or purchased or retrofitting existing buildings, we can save taxpayers substantial money in energy costs, and move the construction market in the direction of green technology.

Something needs to be done. Make an educated decision on who has the better energy plan.

Students Rachael and Tanja Speak Out on Energy Policy

Students Sierra and Natalie Speak Out on Offshore Drilling

For More Information Please Visit:

Resources:"Campaign booklet, "Blueprint for Change", p. 24-27 Feb 2, 2008
Fuel Economy Reform Act (S.3694) HYPERLINK ""06-S3694 on Jul 19, 2006
Campaign website,,?On The Issues? May 2, 2004
Campaign website,, “On the Issues” Sept. 28, 2004
The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.157-158 Oct 30, 2007

Page Originally Created by:: Megan Grzesiak, Katie Greer, Megan Mastey, Sarah Shaw of Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga TN.