While many headlines from Sen. Barack Obama's speech on energy policy on Monday focused on tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a look at the details shows a significant pledge to clean technologies.
The presumed Democratic nominee for president delivered a speech in Lansing, Mich.--an area hit from the declining auto industry--to unveil his New Energy for America plan.
Overall, it calls for investing $150 billion over 10 years to create new clean-energy jobs and to cut U.S. dependence on imported oil from the Middle East and Venezuela.
Short-term measures are geared at lowering gasoline prices by tapping the petroleum reserves. They also include a tax rebate.
The medium and long-term plan calls for policies to promote renewable energy, clean-tech jobs, and energy efficiency. Specifically, the plan's goals are:
Putting 1 million U.S.-built plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015 through loan guarantees for retooling automakers and a $7,000 consumer tax credit.
A mandate that 10 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025.
Cap and trade-based climate regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. A portion of the proceeds from auctions would go toward next-generation biofuels.
For many clean-tech entrepreneurs and investors, these are the sorts of policies they are seeking. A recent poll by Earth2Tech found that a great majority of clean-tech venture capitalists favor Obama over McCain.
His rival, presumed Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, also supports alternative energies and plug-in vehicles but political coverage of his energy policies focuses on his support for expanded oil drilling and nuclear power.