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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Moderate Dems Outline Energy Plan

The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) has released a progressive energy platform that it says will lead to a clean energy future.

PPI is associated with the centrist Democratic group, the Democratic Leadership Council, which was once headed by Bill Clinton.

The report authored by Jan Mazurek, Roger Ballentine, Randolph Court and Will Marshall, outlines a plan to address America's two distinct energy needs: fuel for transportation and power to generate electricity.

Their proposals include:

  • Capping U.S. carbon emissions -- now: Establishing a national cap-and-trade regulatory system to control carbon dioxide emissions would create a profit motive for companies to burn less oil and other fossil fuels.
  • Capturing the "clean tech" market: Progressives should champion cutting-edge research and innovation, tax incentives, and investments that will focus entrepreneurial attention on developing and marketing all manner of energy-efficient "green technologies," and encourage auto manufacturers to dramatically step up the production of clean vehicles.
  • Diversifying energy sources: The report calls for expanding the use of clean-burning natural gas while also supporting investments in coal gasification, biomass, and other technologies that can be used to generate electricity with fewer greenhouse emissions.
  • Aggressively expanding the use of renewable energy: Progressives should demand that the federal government create a national renewable portfolio standard for electric utilities and endorse a goal of bringing 100,000 new megawatts of clean power online by 2020.

The authors emphasize that the state of our country's energy policy is an urgent problem demanding immediate action. "America's national security, economic vitality, and environmental health demand that the country neither accept today's energy policy status quo, nor passively wait for some distant wholesale shift to a clean future."


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