Obama’s Energy Offensive

After what was widely recognized as a tough week, Barack Obama’s campaign is trying to get back on the offensive, releasing a negative television ad, hosting a morning conference call, and now, in an energy speech, sharply attacking John McCain.

From the prepared comments:

“You won’t hear me say this too often, but I couldn’t agree more with the explanation that Senator McCain offered a few weeks ago. He said, ‘Our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been thirty years in the making, and was caused by the failure of politicians in Washington to think long-term about the future of the country.’

“What Senator McCain neglected to mention was that during those thirty years, he was in Washington for twenty-six of them. And in all that time, he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He voted against increased fuel efficiency standards and opposed legislation that included tax credits for more efficient cars. He voted against renewable sources of energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind power. Against an energy bill that – while far from perfect – represented the largest investment in renewable sources of energy in the history of this country. So when Senator McCain talks about the failure of politicians in Washington to do anything about our energy crisis, it’s important to remember that he’s been a part of that failure. Now, after years of inaction, and in the face of public frustration over rising gas prices, the only energy proposal he’s really promoting is more offshore drilling – a position he recently adopted that has become the centerpiece of his plan, and one that will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.”

Besides delivering some pointed attacks on John McCain, Obama set some very big goals for a new American energy policy in the speech, which he delivered in Lansing, Michigan.

From the prepared version:

“If I am President, I will immediately direct the full resources of the federal government and the full energy of the private sector to a single, overarching goal – in ten years, we will eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela. To do this, we will invest $150 billion over the next ten years and leverage billions more in private capital to build a new energy economy that harnesses American energy and creates five million new American jobs.”

He listed three major steps:

1 – Provide incentives for states to build fuel-efficient cars to achieve the goal of one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on America’s roads within six years.

2- Get ten percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by the end of his first term. He cites greater use for ethanol, nuclear power and cleaner coal.

3- Reduce the county’s electricity demand 15 percent by the end of the next decade, saving $130 billion on energy bills.

Obama’s Energy Offensive