Vilsack energy policy speech

In case you weren’t in San Francisco yesterday and wanted to read what Democratic presidential candidate/former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack said in his energy policy speech, here’s the news release from the TV camp — with a link at the bottom to the text of the speech.

Vilsack Unveils Bold Plan to Overhaul America’s Energy Policy

Sets Aggressive Goals for Reduction in Energy Imports and Carbon Emissions

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Democratic candidate for President Tom Vilsack unveiled a sweeping, ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions 75% by 2050 and make America energy independent by increasing the domestic production of renewable fuels. Vilsack’s plan to protect America’s energy security comes just 10 days after he became the first and only candidate for President to call on members of Congress to stop funding for the war in Iraq.

"For more than 3,000 American soldiers, it (energy independence) has literally been a matter of life and death," Vilsack said in his speech. "Here we are – in a war in which more than 3,000 American men and women have died and thousands more have been maimed and wounded, and all we get is more talk and almost no action."

During his speech, Vilsack called for sweeping change in the government’s handling of energy issues by scrapping the Department of Energy and reorganizing it as the Department of Energy Security to better reflect the nation’s energy goals. The department would be focused on achieving the ambitious vision of an energy independent America:

"Over the past three decades, the Department of Energy has evolved into an advocate for fossil-based fuel producers, and an unfortunate source of inertia for energy policy," said Vilsack. "The mission of the new Department of Energy Security will be the polar opposite. It will be charged with eliminating the use of fossil-based fuels, and will serve as the institutional advocate for innovation in energy policy."

Vilsack also made a personal commitment to lead the way toward a reduction in carbon emissions – by neutralizing the carbon footprint created by his campaign travel and the electricity consumed by his campaign’s offices. His campaign will invest in credits to finance the construction of clean and renewable energy projects to make his campaign "carbon neutral."

"I am here – not just to ‘talk the talk’ but also ‘walk the walk.’ So today, I am pledging that my campaign will be the first to ‘walk the walk,’" said Vilsack in his prepared remarks.

Today, Vilsack vowed to lead the nation, as president, toward a dramatic reduction in both energy imports and carbon emissions. To accomplish these goals, Vilsack outlined seven energy objectives that he will initiate as President to move America closer to energy security:

Adopt a low carbon fuel standard to require all fuel providers by 2010 to reduce the amount of carbon produced by their fuel at a rate of 1% a year for ten years.
Offer a new range of federal tax incentives, including a 25-cent per-gallon credit for the production of ethanol from cellular fiber.

*Amend the Clean Air Act so that carbon emissions will be cut by 20% in each new coal plant built in the U.S after 2010.
*Require that by 2020 all new power plants built in the United States be carbon-free.
*Enact a new renewable fuel standard and ensure that vehicles are 50% more efficient so that by 2030 America will use 60 million gallons of renewable fuels. Require that 45 billion of the 60 billion gallons of renewable fuels be cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol or biodiesel.

*Encourage technological developments and offer incentives so that by 2040 America’s transportation system will be virtually petroleum-free.
*Create a mandatory nationwide cap and trade program to limit emissions of greenhouse gases such that by 2050 America will achieve a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 levels.

Under Governor Vilsack, Iowa led the nation in ethanol and biodiesel production. Iowa is now third in the nation in wind energy production, trailing only Texas and California.

Vilsack was the first Democratic candidate for President to announce his candidacy, the first to question the McCain Doctrine, and the first to urge Congress to stop funding the war in Iraq. Vilsack is a Washington outsider with a proven track record of expanding access to healthcare and early education, as well as making Iowa a national leader in renewable fuel production.

See link for an outline of the Vilsack Energy Security Agenda:

See link for text of Vilsack’s remarks to the Commonwealth Club as prepared for delivery:

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.