New Mexico governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson gave a big speech today in which he introduced what sounds like an extremely ambitious climate and energy plan. The speech isn’t online yet, and the plan isn’t on his site yet, so all I have to go on is reactions from people who have seen it. [Update [2007-5-17 11:48:0 by David Roberts]: No sooner do I post this than I find the speech online, along with a helpful summary of the plan. More later.]

Brian Buetler says:

The plan was, in keeping with the pattern, slightly more extraordinarily ambitious than the previous plan introduced by a Democratic contender. First there was Edwards’ plan, then Dodd’s, and now Richardsons, all asymptotically approaching the strength of Al Gore’s proposal.

The details are wonky, but here are the big points are boiled down:

1). Cap-and-trade system with a 90 percent reduction in emissions by 2050.
2). Lower dependency by incentivizing electric cars, 50 mpg CAFE standards.
3). National energy innovation trust fund with a one-time funding commitment.

Richardson, unlike Dodd and Gore, does not support a carbon tax.

Matt Yglesias says:

I particularly liked his insistence on the idea that most people underplay the role of transportation and land use policy in the energy puzzle. This was appealing because it’s what I already thought, but Richardson said it totally unprompted, and it’s true. More fuel efficiency is good, and more renewable energy is also good, but we’re also going to need people to drive less. And that’s going to mean that we’ll need policies that make it realistic for people to do so — mass-transit, but also transit-friendly, high-density constructions.

And here’s an AP story on the speech.

Once the plan’s online I’ll write some more about it.