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Monday, May 7, 2007

Obama Lays Out Plan for Energy Indepence

During a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, Barack Obama today
proposed a plan to change the cars we drive and the fuels we use in order to
reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fight the cause of global climate
change. By 2020, Obama’s plan will cut our oil consumption by 2.5 million
barrels of oil per day; take 50 million cars’ worth of pollution off the road; save
more than $50 billion at the gas pump; and help the auto industry save millions
of jobs and regain its competitive footing in the world.

Barack Obama’s plan focuses on three key components:
1. Fuel Economy Standards: Despite tremendous technological innovation
in the auto industry, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
for cars have been held hostage to ideological battles in Washington for 20
years. Barack Obama introduced a bold new plan, bringing together long-
time opponents to gradually increase fuel economy standards while
protecting the financial future of domestic automakers. Obama’s plan
would establish a target of four percent increase each year - unless the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proves the increase is
technologically unachievable, hurts safety, or is not cost-effective. If the
target is met for ten years, Obama’s plan will save 1.3 million barrels of oil
per day and 20 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

2. Help for Consumers: Under current law, tax credits are available for
consumers who buy hybrids—but only if they buy one of the first 60,000
ultra-efficient vehicles produced by a given manufacturer. Barack Obama
would lift the 60,000-per-manufacturer cap on buyer tax credits to allow
more Americans to buy ultra-efficient vehicles.

3. Help for Manufacturers: U.S. automakers are facing retiree health costs
that add $1,500 to the cost of every GM car. They are struggling to afford
investments in hybrid technology. Obama would encourage automakers
to make fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles by helping the companies shoulder
the health care costs of their retirees. Domestic automakers will get health
care assistance in exchange for investing 50 percent of the savings into
technology to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition, Obama
would provide automakers with generous tax incentives for retooling
assembly plants.

For the full speech:

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