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Obama Campaign Promises: Energy & the Environment

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Obama Campaign Promises: Energy & the Environment

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At a glance, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's 2008 campaign promises for energy and the environment were to:

  • Invest in a Clean Energy Future
  • Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2050
  • Support Next Generation Biofuels
  • Set America on Path to Oil Independence
  • Improve Energy Efficiency 50 Percent by 2030
  • Restore U.S. Leadership on Climate Change
Invest in a Clean Energy Future

Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy: Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid.

A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe.

Double Energy Research and Development Funding: Obama will double science and research funding for clean energy projects including those that make use of our biomass, solar and wind resources.

Invest in a Skilled Clean Technologies Workforce: Obama will use proceeds from the cap-and-trade auction program to invest in job training and transition programs to help workers and industries adapt to clean technology development and production.

Obama will also create an energy-focused Green Jobs Corps to connect disconnected and disadvantaged youth with job skills for a high-growth industry.

Convert our Manufacturing Centers into Clean Technology Leaders: Obama will establish a federal investment program to help manufacturing centers modernize and Americans learn the new skills they need to produce green products.

Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund: Obama will create a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development. Obama will invest $10 billion per year into this fund for five years.

The fund will partner with existing investment funds and our National Laboratories to ensure that promising technologies move beyond the lab and are commercialized in the U.S.

Require 25 Percent of Renewable Electricity by 2025: Obama will establish a 25 percent federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources, like solar, wind and geothermal by 2025.

Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology: Obama will significantly increase the resources devoted to the commercialization and deployment of low-carbon coal technologies.

Obama will consider whatever policy tools are necessary, including standards that ban new traditional coal facilities, to ensure that we move quickly to commercialize and deploy low carbon coal technology.

Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2050

Cap and Trade: Obama supports implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Obama's cap-and-trade system will require all pollution credits to be auctioned. A 100 percent auction ensures that all polluters pay for every ton of emissions they release, rather than giving these emission rights away to coal and oil companies.

Some of the revenue generated by auctioning allowances will be used to support the development of clean energy, to invest in energy efficiency improvements, and to address transition costs, including helping American workers affected by this economic transition.

Confront Deforestation and Promote Carbon Sequestration: Obama will develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands, or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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