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Obama aims for oil independence

Posted by lawman2 on January 27, 2009

President Barack Obama has called for the US to become energy independent, saying its reliance on foreign oil and global warming posed threats.

Outlining his energy priorities, he said the country would not be held “hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes, and a warming planet”.

He called for greater fuel efficiency and an “energy economy” aimed at creating millions of jobs.

He also ordered a review of whether states can set car emission standards.

This challenges a Bush administration decision which favoured a national standard for vehicle pollution.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton picked Todd Stern – who took part in the Kyoto Protocol negotiations on climate change from 1997 to 1999 – as her envoy for climate change, the state department said.

Mr Stern, who served under former President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, will be the Obama administration’s principal adviser on international climate policy and strategy as well as its chief climate negotiator.

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“Containing climate change will require nothing less than transforming the global economy from a high-carbon to a low-carbon energy base,” said Mr Stern after Mrs Clinton announced his appointment.

“But done right, this can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and become a driver for economic growth in the 21st Century.”

Crossroads of history

At his first White House news conference since becoming president, Mr Obama said he would reverse America’s dependence on foreign oil while creating jobs, but warned there was no “quick fix”.

OBAMA ENERGY PLAN
A customer at a petrol pump
Reverse US dependence on foreign energy
Review of decision to block states from setting own emission targets
Orders the transportation department to come up with new short-term rules on how carmakers can improve fuel efficiency
Federal buildings to become more efficient
Double ‘green’ energy from wind, sun and biofuels over next three years

“We will commit ourselves to steady, focused, pragmatic pursuit of an America that is freed from our energy dependence, and empowered by a new energy economy that puts millions of our citizens to work.”

He added: “Now is the time to meet the challenge of this crossroads of history, by choosing a future safer for our country, prosperous for our planet, and sustainable.”

Mr Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review its refusal of a waiver which had previously allowed California to set its own – stricter – vehicle emission and fuel efficiency standards.

He said California had taken bold moves in implementing the standards.

Mr Obama said: “The days of Washington dragging its heels are over.

“My administration will not deny facts. We will be guided by them.”

His statement that the US would lead on climate change was a clear swipe at his predecessor’s sceptical view of global warming, says the BBC’s James Coomarasamy in Washington.

Energy efficiency drive

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had asked Mr Obama to reverse the Bush administration’s insistence on a single, national standard.

California wants a 30% reduction in motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 2016, achieved by improving fuel efficiency standards.

President Obama also ordered the transportation department to come up with new short-term rules on how carmakers can improve fuel efficiency.

A 2007 law required that new cars and trucks produced by 2020 obtain 35 miles per gallon of fuel (about 15km/litre).

However, then-President George W Bush did not put in place the regulations to enable the law to be carried out.

Emissions from car exhaust (file photo)
Car exhaust is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions

The new rules Mr Obama wants to put in place would mean the new standard is reached by 2011, the New York Times said.

The president also announced plans to make all federal government buildings more energy efficient, and pledged to cut families’s energy bills by “weatherising” 2.5 million homes.

He also said the US would double its capacity for “green” energy generation, from sources such as wind, sun, and biofuels, over the next three years.

More than 3,000 miles of transmission lines would be established to transmit the energy.

In the European Union, a recently agreed climate package set out average emission targets for the whole car industry of 120g of CO2 per kilometre by 2012 for new cars, compared with current levels of 160g/km.

The EU target for 2020 is 95g/km. But CO2 emissions vary from car to car, and manufacturers have been given until 2015 to meet their specific targets for each model.

BBC

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12 Responses to “Obama aims for oil independence”

  1. Lawman2 said

    couldn’t pass up on the pic!

    Like

  2. The “Big Three” are under bankruptcy watch and begging for more bailout money. President Barack Obama thinks this is a good time to appease his environmental base by weighing Detroit down with a new round of environmental regulations. This is a horrible timing and it will severely damage the ability of the “Big Three” to return to profitability. The first increase in CAFE will take place by the 2011 model year. Detroit is now preparing to launch the 2010 model year in July. Read more here. The “Big Three” are sinking and Barack Obama fires a salvo of torpedoes

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  3. The “Big Three” has the ability and the research to make a vehicle that gets a good enough gas mileage to hurt the oil companies profits at $4.00 a gallon. They had prototype cars in the eighties that made a trip from New York to California on one tank of gas. This is not one of those rumors I heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy. I saw the prototype and the guy started documenting it (I saw the video.) around Tennessee. The guy bought a ’86 car made by GM I forgot the actual model. GM erroneously shipped the prototype out and the guy bought it. GM then paid the guy a lot more money than he paid for the car and he accepted it. If you say this is BS I owned a ’93 Honda Accord that gets a lot better gas mileage than most new cars today. Granted I had to recalibrate the ECU and tweak the engine just a bit but it got 36 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The “Big Three” could do the same thing people pay people that tune the cars to be more efficient for racing or what ever, and actually charge more. But do they do these things no they do not. What is happening to them is their fault for being greedy. The government should not bail them out they should restructure and rethink what would make people buy more of their cars. I have no pity for these companies, good thing it is not up to me to decide their fates.

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  4. Lawman2 said

    i agree with the redneck…this is really bad timing.stupid.not good business at all.

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  5. tothewire said

    Redneck has a great blog! I really enjoyed it! http://bloggingredneck.blogspot.com/

    Like

  6. tothewire said

    I agree with E_E it is way past due.

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  7. thunder said

    The beginning of the end of oil. Its old news you probably never read about.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070425164930.htm

    The time was three years ago but the big energy experts still say it cant happen in our lifetimes.

    Oh the “experts” said a major problem with power transmission and it could take 20 years.
    Problem was solved in 2009 so whats holding it back now?

    Im sure it would happen in less than 5 years if they would spend a little more R&D on it. The most important project on earth didnt get any Obama change $

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  8. The problem is most people refuse to live “off the grid”. Even though there are many resources that tell how one can effectively run “off the grid”. Living off the grid means not getting your power from the power company. It isn’t illegal (even though there were rumors of the Bush Administration trying to make a tax for citizens that live “off the grid”. We are talking about an Administration that locked American Citizens to Cuba indefinately without a trial by a jury of their peers. Which was very unconstitutional.) it is realitively easy to do. You don’t have to live completely off the grid either. You can use the living “off the grid” techniques to suppliment your energy bill. Why are we waiting for the government and power company to do this? If we want change it is going to take way more than just one black guy saying he will bring it. We need to help bring change. If we want more Alternative Energy then do the research to set up your house with wind or solar energy or whatever else is available. Before we actually achieve Energy Independence, we the citizens must take the first steps. The majority must lead the advance, we the people still have a voice in the government. If they do not listen to our words, they will listen to our actions. When they see more people adapting their current vehicles for using HHO fuel, or households supplementing the power they get from the power company. Both are reasonably easy to do and reasonably cheap (if you figure how much money you will save by using these products. If you want things to change, don’t be an idiot and think things will change in Washington. Because the Republican Party is dead set on resisting the Obama Administration to the point every single major issue they will deny it. They will also demonize it if it benefits the majority of the citizens and hurts the corporations. Ignorantly calling such bills “Socialist” by using it as the Nixon Administration did. As opposed to the Obama Administration actually holding to what this country was founded on. A government that was created for the people and by the people.

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  9. Hors Service said

    @E_E

    In fact the “greeness” depends on the technology used, but you’re broadly correct to me.

    There’s no miracle, but for example just improving the quality of the gas will improve the life expetancy of motors a great deal, like in Europe.

    Although I disagree, today’s motors consoms far less than in the past, they are much more efficient. But a growing part of the energy produced is dedicated to things like air conditioning, that didn’t existed in the past.

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  10. I was primarily talking about how to we can depend less on petrol based products for fuel, that does not involve nuclear energy. While I do believe Nuclear Energy is one of the cleanest and more dependant forms of energy. I do not feel that enough research has been done to make it 100% safe and 100% more effective than petrol. The only way for ANY country to become less dependant on non-renewable resources, is to increase the demand elsewhere.

    There are two problems for any country to become less dependant on Oil. As I stated above, I believe that the different citizens that really want their country to become less petrol dependant. Is to supplement the way they get electricity in their homes, with solar panels or wind energy. There are products out there that consumers can buy to do this. People have been living off the grid since the 70’s. I think the whole living off the grid attitude is just as bad as the capitalist attitude. It doesn’t fix anything, it doesn’t contribute to the good of the whole. (In this case the entire human race.) But having more and more people supplementing their energy, with a renewable resource like solar energy, wind energy, natural gas, etc. Will not only help them in the long run, but the rest of the people as well. You WILL see a difference in your energy bill. If you show your neighbor your savings they may or may not do it.

    I am not saying this is a really simple and easy process. Most energy companies will actually help you set it up so you only need to use their service intermittently. How it was explained to me was like this, you buy $1200 usd worth of equipment the power company will only charge what you use, and if you generate more than you use (Which you will.) then you will get a kind of credit. Check with your power company, as this is what my power company told me. For a small fee they will shut-off your power and send a specialist to help wire the equipment into your power main. Unfortunately we live in a capitalist world, nothing is free. Not that I think you should get things for free, but usually service charges turn out to be more than they should. While this procedure deals with electricity and takes close to an entire day to set up, the number I was given was lower than I expected. My point is that although in the long run making it so the power company supplements your primary source of energy you will save you a bunch of money and help curb your countries dependency on petrol based fuels.

    I hope one day we (The US) will go back to the free market system. I also hope one day the US will regulate businesses and tax the heck out of the goods that company makes overseas. It is one of the many things that I think lead to the US and global economic crash. Also the equipment I speak of can range from $200 to $20k usd. For example wind energy is not a new concept, they have been selling a product for sailboats so that a sailboat is not dependent on a petrol based engine to recharge the battery system that gives that boat electricity. That same company now sells a range of wind energy products that can power a home or boat. They also have alternative fuels for sale, as well as the equipment needed to modify (have a mechanic do it please.) a vehicles engine to make your existing vehicle a “hybrid” without the huge cost the car companies give you. There are so many alternatives and so many ways the average citizen can actually make a difference, IF enough citizens do it. If not then we will simply never be oil independent, and we will be cursed to pollute our environment and effect it negatively. You can say global warming does not exist, but you cannot say pollution does not adversely effect our quality of life.

    In short nothing will change until the cogs of the machine (the average citizen.) changes.

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  11. What Obama has to consider.

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  12. @EE

    This is why I think the state should be more incentive in his actions.

    But I doubt that the “self-production” can replace the centralised power production. Maybe help, but noone has the technical abilities to repair his own windmill, for example. In the case of a disaster, the effects could be terrible.

    I also doubt in the capacity of man to change so fast. The price of energy is the only thing that could really have an impact, but then the price of life will be horribly high (as everything we need is based on energy and its use).

    So I think maybe the best thing to do against global warming on the short term, is finding ways to deal with the consequences, and not the causes, sadly.

    Like

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