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Obama’s excellent energy and climate plan

Presidential candidate Barack Obama has released his energy and climate plan — and it is first-rate (PDF here and HTML here). The plan will:

  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level recommended by top scientists to avoid calamitous impacts. [Obama will require carbon emissions to be “80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050” through cap & trade (with 100% allowance auction!) starting with a mandate “of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.”]
  • Invest $150 billion over the next ten years to develop and deploy climate friendly energy supplies, protect our existing manufacturing base and create millions of new jobs.
  • Dramatically improve energy efficiency to reduce energy intensity of our economy by 50 percent by 2030.
  • Reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels of oil, by 2030
  • Make the U.S. a leader in the global effort to combat climate change by leading a new international global warming partnership.

I wonder if Shellenberger & Nordhaus endorse it — they get their huge clean energy fund, but they have to swallow all those mandates and high carbon prices they claim are politically untenable.

Obama definitely understands that you need smart regulations and government mandates to get clean energy technologies into the marketplace — and to stop traditional coal plants from being built. His plan includes:

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  • Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
  • Require 25 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Sources by 2025.
  • Flip Incentives to Energy Utilities … by ensuring companies get increased profits for improving energy efficiency, rather than higher energy consumption.
  • Implement legislation that phases out traditional incandescent light bulbs by 2014.
  • Double fuel economy standards within 18 years
  • Mandate All New Vehicles are Flexible Fuel Vehicles
  • Increase Renewable Fuel Standard
  • Obama will use whatever policy tools are necessary, including standards that ban new traditional coal facilities, to ensure that we move quickly to commercialize and deploy low carbon coal technology.

Kudos to Obama and his staff — they have set the bar high for candidate energy and climate plans.

Gristmill’s take on this is here.Want to stay in-the-know on all things climate? Subscribe to our RSS Feed!