It Takes a Vilsack to Raise Our Hopes
Presidential candidate Tom Vilsack outlines bold energy and climate plan
If Democratic presidential long-shot Tom Vilsack had his way, the U.S. would embrace a mandatory cap-and-trade system to slash greenhouse-gas emissions 75 percent by 2050, break its oil addiction, and create hundreds of thousands of clean-energy jobs. This week, the former Iowa governor became the first presidential hopeful to outline a detailed energy policy. Just picture it: new power plants carbon-free by 2020; fuel providers reducing carbon emissions 1 percent a year for a decade; a 25-cent-per-gallon federal tax credit for cellulosic ethanol production; a nigh-unto-petroleum-free transportation system by 2040; and the Energy Department — now “an advocate for fossil-based fuel providers” — renamed the Department of Energy Security. Ballsy! Vilsack even pledged to green his stumping by offsetting his travel and office electricity use. “[O]ur nation’s destiny truly hangs in the balance,” he said. While he checks “become proficient in hyperbole” off his to-do list, feel free to salivate.