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Saturday, October 25, 2003


Howard Dean Presents Renewable Energy Plan

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, October 25, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dean has presented his plan for renewable energy:

Governor Dean proposes creating a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), requiring more American biofuels, boosting wind energy transmission, creating a solar power tax credit, extending the production tax credit (PTC), and investing in renewable energy and efficiency as part of the Fund to Restore America. The Dean campaign said their plan would create 15,000 new energy related jobs in Iowa and US$126 billion in new local property tax revenue by 2020.

There are six specific points (from official press release):

* Create a Renewable Portfolio Standard 20% by 2020. Despite a bipartisan plea from 53 Senators, the GOP leadership in Congress, buckled under to oil and gas interests and rejected calls to require that our nation generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources. Governor Dean will put the interests of Americans ahead of special interests and require that our nation generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. To ensure efficient and flexible implementation, Dean will create a renewable energy credit trading system.

* Require More American Biofuels. Governor Dean will require that every gallon of the US, on average, contain 10% American biofuels like ethanol and soy-diesel. As with the renewable energy requirement, Dean will implement a biofuels credit trading system to allow the market to determine where biofuels can be most efficiently used.

* Boost Wind Energy Transmission. To tap this massive wind energy potential of the Plains, Governor Dean will work with state and local governments, renewable generators and transmission utilities to breakdown regulatory barriers, eliminate transmission capacity deficiencies and identify possible transmission investments that could jumpstart new renewable generation

* Create a Solar Power Tax Credit. Governor Dean will boost demand for solar technology in the near-and long-terms by implementing a consumer tax credit for residential solar power and increasing federal support for R&D into solar technologies to reduce the cost of solar cells.

* Extend the Production Tax Credit for More Renewables. Governor Dean will extend the Production Tax Credit, which expires at the end of the year. Dean will also expand the tax credit to cover more types of renewable power generation including geothermal, solar and biomass.

* Invest in Renewable Energy and Efficiency as Part of the Fund to Restore America. Governor Dean's economic plan calls for a $100 billion investment in America over two years: the Fund to Restore America. Dean will encourage states to dedicate a portion of the Fund to investments in renewable generation and in supplemental transmission capability needed to spark new renewable generation.

I'm VERY skeptical of ethanol and biomass, and there are scalability issues with wind that I won't go into here either. On the whole I am disappointed that there is no mention of funding for fusion and support for nuclear fission. This press release is IMHO weak, by relying too much on energy buzzword concepts (some of which are too tied into federal subsidies such as ethanol).


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.