Hillary Clinton touts new energy plan

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) outlined a plan yesterday to cut U.S. oil imports in half by 2025. Along with urging increased conservation (gasp), she proposed a “Strategic Energy Fund” financed by a temporary two-year fee on major oil-company profits, elimination of some oil tax breaks, and closure of a loophole that allows oil companies to avoid royalty payments. The accrued $50 billion would go toward tax credits for energy-efficient vehicles and renewable energy; Clinton called for the U.S. to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. The fund would also provide incentives for installation of ethanol pumps in half of U.S. gas stations by 2015, sure to be popular in corn-happy, first-presidential-caucus Iowa. Beltway speculation has it that Clinton, the presumptive Democratic frontrunner for 2008, is getting a little nervous about all the attention Al Gore’s getting for his climate-change advocacy, and wants a piece of the spotlight. But wait, Gore’s not running, right? Uh … right?