John Kerry yesterday unveiled a three pronged plan to achieve energy independence and combat global climate change. The speech, held at Faneuil Hall in Boston Massachusetts, outlined a plan which challenged America to accept three big ideas. The first page of the speech is filled with rhetoric related to the Iraq war, culminating with Jimmy Carter's question from 1979: "Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem?" The timing of the question is a painful reminder of the procrastination of the U.S. in reaching energy independence. Cyclical increases in fuel prices bring the issue to the forefront, where it evaporates equally as fast as fuel prices decline or a war is put behind us. Kerry calls for action, and outlines three areas to focus on: establish an oil goal and set policies to reach it, expand the availability, production and distribution of renewable fuels to run our cars, and finally take measures to freeze and reverse greenhouse gas emissions. The oil goal wants to mandate a reduction in U.S. oil consumption by an amount equivalent to the oil we currently import from the Persian Gulf. The mandate would include incentives for businesses and industry to make the goal achievable, and go hand in hand with significant investment in E85 production and infrastructure, and significant improvement in national fuel economy standards. To curb U.S. carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, Kerry wants to establish an economy wide cap and trade program to reverse emissions growth starting in 2010, with the goal of being 65 percent below 2000 emissions by the year 2050. Tax incentives will make it easier for companies to transition, and continue to allow them to compete in a global marketplace.
[Source: Progressive U]

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