Hillary calls for Big Oil to fund a cleaner energy future

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) says the oil industry should pony up for a multibillion-dollar “Strategic Energy Fund” that would invest in clean-energy technologies and help folks struggling with spiking heating costs. At the Cleantech Venture Forum in D.C. yesterday, Clinton called for Big Oil to pay an “alternative energy development fee” to help “reinvest” its record-breaking profits, but stressed, “It’s not about new energy taxes on consumers.” (God no, not new taxes!) She said the money would underwrite wind and solar projects, development of new technologies, and a major push for more efficient use of fossil fuels. The idea will likely face a tough reception in the Republican-controlled Congress, where a recently passed House bill hands oil companies financial incentives to build new refineries. If nothing else, Clinton’s speech suggested that energy will be a major theme in the 2008 presidential campaign — not that she’s running, mind you (wink wink).