Monday, May 7, 2007

Obama in Detroit: The Age of Oil Must End

Addressing the Detroit Economic Club today, Senator Barack Obama shared his plan to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
"The need to drastically change our energy policy is no longer a debatable proposition," Obama said.  "It is not a question of whether, but how; not a question of if, but when."
Obama's plan focuses on three key components:

1. Fuel Economy Standards: Obama's plan would establish a target of four percent increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards each year.  If the target is met for ten years, Obama 's plan will save 1.3 million barrels of oil per day and 20 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

2. Help for Consumers: Under current law, tax credits are available for consumers who buy hybridsbut only if they buy one of the first 60,000 ultra-efficient vehicles produced by a given manufacturer. Barack Obama would lift the 60,000-per-manufacturer cap on buyer tax credits to allow more Americans to buy ultra-efficient vehicles.

3. Help for Manufacturers: U.S. automakers face retiree health costs that add $1,500 to the cost of every GM car. They are struggling to afford investments in hybrid technology. Obama would encourage automakers to make fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles by helping the companies shoulder the health care costs of their retirees. Domestic automakers will get health care assistance in exchange for investing 50 percent of the savings into technology to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition, Obama would provide automakers with generous tax incentives for retooling assembly plants.

Senator Obama also called for increased use of biofuels.

"The potential for biofuels in this country is vast," he said, "it's time we made them as commonly available as gasoline is now."

"For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time."