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Friday, January 04, 2008

Barack Obama Wins Iowa Caucus: Good For Environment

Senator Barack Obama won the Iowa Caucus, has raised the most money in the presidential race and is very good on environmental and energy issues. Senator Obama served on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for 3 years (2005-2007) and showed solid judgment in protecting America's environment and energy future. Senator Obama supports: global warming mitigtion, nuclear power, although he toned down that support in Iowa, coal to liquid (CTL) technology development, ethanol development and voted for the 2005 and 2007 energy bills. He opposed President Bush's Clear Skies Initiative.

Barack Obama is proposing a "cap and trade" approach to reduce global warming emissions that will require businesses to buy allowances if they pollute, creating an incentive to reduce energy usage. He has promoted legislation that requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to track unaccounted-for spent nuclear fuel rods used at power plants in the U.S. He sponsored the Nuclear Release Notice Act that would require notification of federal, state and county officials when radioactive releases exceed federal limits or when two occur within a two-year span from the same source, process or equipment. Obama sponsored the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007, which would provide incentives for research and plant construction, [clarification] as long as they emit at least 20 percent less life-cycle carbon than conventional fuels.

Ethanol: Obama introduced 1) the BioFuels Security Act, which would require the U.S. to use 60 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel a year by 2030, 2) the Fuel Security and Consumer Choice Act in 2006, which would require all U.S. marketed vehicles to be manufactured as Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) within ten years, 3) the American Fuels Act of 2006 (S. 2446), which would increase the production of cellulosic biomass ethanol (CBE) to 250 million gallons by 2012, 4) legislation (S. 2984): Future Investment to Lessen Long-term Use of Petroleum (FILL UP) Act, that would require oil companies making in excess of $1 billion in profits during the first quarter of 2006 to invest no less than 1% of those profits into installing E85 or other alternative fuel pumps at gas stations across the U.S. (service stations that install alternative fuel pumps are eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $30,000 to offset the cost of installation. This tax credit became law as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005), and 5) S. 918: E-85 Fuel Utilization and Infrastructure Development Incentives Act, which would provide a retail sales credit of 35 cents for each gallon of alternative fuel, including any fuel of at least 85% ethanol, sold at retail fueling station.

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