Nov 16, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
From SetAmericaFree.org:: We are thrilled to announce that tomorrow, Nov. 16, there will be back to back press conferences in the House and Senate by pathbreaking bipartisan Congressional coalitions announcing the landmark Fuel Choices for American Security Act based on the Set America Free Blueprint for Energy Security.
WHERE: HC-7 THE CAPITOL
WHEN: 10:30 AM
WHERE: Large Senate Radio & TV Gallery, S-325 WHEN: Noon Eastern
DETAILS: Landmark Oil Savings Plan Will Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil, Build Domestic Technologies
Washington, DC (November 16, 2005) - A bipartisan group of prominent lawmakers in both the House and Senate representing both are introducing new legislation to cut America's oil dependence by 2.5 million barrels a day over the next 10 years and significantly more thereafter. The bill would permanently close a dangerous and costly gap in our national security by diversifying the supply of fuels in the transportation sector, which accounts for two thirds of U.S. oil consumption and is over 97% dependent on petroleum today, and speeding the adoption of advanced and efficient vehicles. The bill, the Fuel Choices for American Security Act of 2005, offers a viable blueprint to energy security by helping speed our transportation sector into the 21st Century.
The bill is based on the energy security blueprint put forth by the Set America Free Coalition (www.SetAmericaFree.org), which brings together prominent individuals and non-profit organizations concerned about the security and economic implications of America's growing dependence on foreign oil. Set America Free Coalition members span the political spectrum and include security hawks, environmentalists, religious evangelists, and labor unions.
Sponsors of the legislation include Sam Brownback (R-KS), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Ken Salazar (D-CO) in the Senate, and Representatives Jack Kingston (R-GA), Vice Chair of the Republican Leadership Conference, Jim Saxton (R-NJ) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) in the House.
"This is the approach we need to break the energy deadlock on Capitol Hill. We simply cannot afford to remain bogged down in partisan mistrust and the politics of competing special interests," said Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) "In a time of war, when most of the world's oil reserves are located in increasingly hostile and unstable countries, we need a sensible strategy that puts an end to our dangerous dependence on foreign oil once and for all."
The United States has just 3 percent of the world's remaining oil reserves yet accounts for 25% of world oil consumption so we can't just drill our way out of the problem. Sixty five percent of the global oil supply rests in the Middle East and unless the U.S. changes course we'll continue to grow more reliant on foreign oil. Other major suppliers to the U.S. market are also politically unstable places, like Venezuela and Nigeria.
"It's time for a different approach that moves us forward and lets both parties focus on the real challenge: reducing the oil we need to run a strong, healthy economy," said Ashok Gupta, head of the air and energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council."
The new Fuel Choice for American Security Act puts the U.S. on the path to greater independence by setting specific oil savings targets and requiring that the government develop and implement a national plan to achieve them. The bill provides flexibility in how the oil savings are achieved but provides important new oil savings tools to help us get there, including:
- Policies to create fuel flexibility in transportation, revitalizing domestic auto manufacturing by focusing on advanced technology, and maximize fuel savings in vehicles on the road today.
- Incentives for greater production of renewable biofuels and financing for retailers to install alternative fuel pumps.
- Greater energy choices to consumers for their vehicles and in their gas tanks;
- Vehicle upgrades for federal and private fleets;
- Incentives to speed commercialization of new efficiency technologies, such as light weight materials and plug-in hybrid vehicles;
- A program to help communities increase the use of public transit.
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The Set America Free Coalition brings together prominent individuals and non-profit organizations concerned about the security and economic implications of America's growing dependence on foreign oil. The coalition promotes a blueprint for energy security that spells out practical ways real progress toward energy security can be made over the next several years. For more information visit: www.setamericafree.org.