New American Energy
In the local platform hearings, Americans talked about the importance of energy to the economy, to national security and to the health of our planet. Speaking loud and clear, they said that America needs a new bold and sustainable energy policy to meet the challenges of our time. In the past, America has been stirred to action when faced with new threats to our national security, or new competitive conditions that undercut our economic leadership. The energy threat we face today may be less immediate than threats from dictators, but it is as real and as dangerous. The dangers are eclipsed only by the opportunities that would come with change. We know that the jobs of the 21st century will be created in developing new energy solutions. The question is whether these jobs will be created in America, or abroad. We should use government procurement policies to incentivize domestic production of clean and renewable energy. Already, we’ve seen countries like Germany, Spain and Brazil reap the benefits of economic growth from clean energy. But we are decades behind in confronting this challenge.
For the sake of our security-and for every American family that is paying the price at the pump-we will break our addiction to foreign oil. In platform hearings around the country, Americans called for a Manhattan or Apollo Project level commitment to achieve energy independence. We hear that call and we Democrats commit to fasttrack investment of billions of dollars over the next ten years to establish a green energy sector that will create up to five million jobs. Good jobs, like those in Pennsylvania where workers manufacture wind turbines, the ones in the factory in Nevada producing components for solar energy generation plants, or the jobs that will be created when plug-in hybrids start rolling off the assembly line in Michigan. This transition to a clean-energy industry will also benefit low-income communities: we’ll create an energy-focused youth job program to give disadvantaged youth job skills for this emerging industry.
It will not be easy, but neither was getting to the moon. We know we can’t drill our way to energy independence and so we must summon all of our ingenuity and legendary hard work and we must invest in research, development, and deployment of forms of new energy-solar, wind, as well as technologies to store energy through advanced batteries and clean up our coal plants. And we will call on businesses, government, and the American people to make America 50 percent more energy efficient by 2030, because we know that the most energy efficient economy will also gain the competitive edge for new manufacturing and jobs that stay here at home. We will help pay for all of it by dedicating a portion of the revenues generated by an economy wide cap and trade program- a step that will also dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and jumpstart billions in private capital investment in a new energy economy.
We’ll double fuel efficiency standards and we’ll help manufacturers-particularly in the auto industry-convert to build the cars and trucks of the future and other green innovations. And we will help workers learn the skills they need to compete in the green economy. We are committed to getting at least 25% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Building on the innovative efforts of the private sector, states, cities, and tribes across the country, we will create new federal-local partnerships to scale the success and deployment of new energy solutions, install a smarter grid, build more efficient buildings, and use the power of federal and military purchasing programs to jumpstart promising new markets and technologies. We’ll invest in advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol which will provide American-grown fuel and help free us from the tyranny of oil. We will use innovative measures to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
To lower the price of gasoline, we will crack down on speculators who are driving up prices beyond the natural market rate. We will direct the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to vigorously investigate and prosecute market manipulation in oil futures. And we will help those who are hit hardest by high energy prices by increasing funding for low-income heating assistance programs and providing energy assistance to help middle-class families make ends meet in this time of inflated energy prices.
This plan will safeguard our economy, our country, and the future of our planet. This plan will create good jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced. With these policies, we will protect our country from the national security threats created by reliance on foreign oil and global insecurity due to climate change. And this is how we’ll solve the problem of four dollar a gallon gas — with a comprehensive plan and investment in clean energy.