In a speech in Lansing, Michigan, Senator Barack Obama outlined a broad energy plan that included a number of policy elements specifically related to transportation and fuel, among them the goal of putting 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on US roads by 2015. (Conventional hybrids, which appeared on the US market in 1999, passed the one-million sales mark in 2007. Earlier post.)
As part of the focus on plug-in, Obama’s plan calls for offering consumers a $7,000 tax credit for the purchase of such advanced technology vehicles as well as conversion tax credits; for converting the entire White House fleet to plug-ins “as security permits” within a year of an Obama Administration coming to office; and committing to requiring half of all cars purchased by the federal government be plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles by 2012.
The plan calls for further investments in advanced vehicle technology with a specific focus on R&D in advanced battery technology. The increased federal funding will leverage private sector funds and support domestic automakers in bringing plug-ins and other advanced vehicles to market.
Other transportation and fuel elements in the Lansing plan include:
Increase fuel economy standards 4% per year.
Provide $4 billion in retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers to support their manufacture of the new fuel-efficient cars.
Mandate all new vehicles to be flex-fuel vehicles.
Develop next generation biofuels and the required infrastructure, and require at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2030.
Establish a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard that will require fuels suppliers in 2010 to begin to reduce the carbon of their fuel by 5% within 5 years and 10% within 10 years.
The plan also calls for:
Releasing light crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and “replacing it later with heavier crude more suited to our long-term needs.”
A windfall profit tax on oil companies to fund an immediate $500 redistribution for an individual and $1,000 for a married couple.
A cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions targeted at delivering an 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050.
Implement a “use it or lose it” policy on oil and gas leases.
Provide incentives for using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.
Require 10% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2012.
Develop and deploy clean coal technology.
Address key issues prior to an expansion of nuclear power.
Invest in a smart grid.