A New Energy Policy
We urge a new clean energy policy that no longer subsidizes entrenched oil, nuclear, electric and coal mining interests — an energy policy that is efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly. We need to invest in a diversified energy policy including renewable energy like wind and other forms of solar power, more efficient automobiles, homes and businesses one that breaks our addiction to oil, coal and atomic power. A new clean energy paradigm means more jobs, more efficiency, greater security, environmental protection and increased health.
Ralph Nader praises the Apollo Alliance’s "Ten-Point Plan for Good Jobs and Energy Independence," an overdue agenda for the country’s energy future, as a welcome contrast to the shortsighted policies of the Bush Administration. By increasing the diversity of the United States’ energy portfolio, aggressively investing in the industries of tomorrow, facilitating the construction and retrofitting of high performance buildings, and working in cooperation with public servants at the state and local level to rehabilitate our urban infrastructures, the Apollo Project promises to revitalize the engine of the American economy. As the Alliance illustrates in its report, New Energy for America, the Apollo Project’s design articulates a new paradigm for setting America’s energy woes aright and serves up an authoritative refutation to the irresponsible policies of the entrenched fossil fuel and nuclear energy lobbies.
In the spirit of its namesake, which galvanized the will of the American people into a national effort to put an American on the moon, the new Apollo Project advocates a full engagement of the federal government with the initiative of the American people in the service of revitalizing our country’s approach to its energy plight. Over the course of a single decade, beginning in 2005, the Apollo Project proposes the establishment of a viable infrastructure for the achievement of American energy independence. Calling for a $313.72 billion dollar federal investment in that ten-year period, Apollo progressively shifts the burden of American energy consumption away from fossil fuels and onto domestic renewable energy markets such as the wind, biomass, and solar energy industries. The United States has fallen dreadfully behind in these areas and will be well served to reestablish itself as a leader in technological innovation.
"While the Apollo Project places more emphasis on tax incentives instead of tax penalties, and more emphasis on subsidies than on technology-forcing regulation supported by in-house government research and development than I would have preferred," says Nader, "at least it shines over the darkness of the fossilized Bush position."
Full implementation of the ten-year Apollo Model Policy Agenda will reduce transportation-related petroleum consumption by 1.25 to 2.55 million bpd (or between 54 and 110% of our current level of imports from the Persian Gulf); reduce national energy consumption by 16% ; and put the United States on pace to meet 20% of its total electricity demand from renewables by 2020-more than three times 2003 levels. The Apollo Project further promises to revitalize the American job market with an injection of 3.3 million jobs-largely within areas of industry demanding greater skills and providing higher wages, better job benefits, and improved social equity.
Over the course of Apollo’s ten-year implementation period the overall economy will benefit from an increase of $1.4 trillion dollars in new Gross Domestic Product. Within that same decade-long timeframe, the Apollo Project will pay for itself through savings in energy costs and tax revenues, with further and greater fiscal benefits to ensue thereafter. This is to say nothing of the benign environmental benefits to be reaped from the consequent decreases in air and water pollution and greenhouse gases.
The Ten-Point Plan for Good Jobs and Energy Independence excerpted from the Apollo Alliance’s "New Energy For America" Jobs Report, jointly produced by The Institute for America’s Future & The Center on Wisconsin Strategy, with economic analysis provided by The Perryman Group, Waco Texas:
- Invest In More Efficient Factories: Make innovative use of the tax code and economic development systems to promote more efficient and profitable manufacturing while saving energy through environmental retrofits, improved boiler operations, and industrial cogeneration of electricity, retaining jobs by investing in plants and workers.
- Encourage High Performance Building: Increase investment in construction of "green buildings" and energy efficient homes and offices through innovative financing and incentives, improved building operations, and updated codes and standards, helping working families, businesses, and government realize substantial cost savings.
- Increase Use of Energy Efficient Appliances: Drive a new generation of highly efficient manufactured goods into widespread use, without driving jobs overseas, by linking higher energy standards to consumer and manufacturing incentives that increase demand for new durable goods and increase investment in US factories.
- Modernize Electrical Infrastructure: Deploy the best available technology like scrubbers to existing plants, protecting jobs and the environment; research new technology to capture and sequester carbon and improve transmission for distributed renewable generation.
- Expand Renewable Energy Development: Diversify energy sources by promoting existing technologies in solar, biomass and wind while setting ambitious but achievable goals for increasing renewable generation, and promoting state and local policy innovations that link clean energy and jobs.
- Improve Transportation Options: Increase mobility, job access, and transportation choice by investing in effective multimodal networks including bicycle, local bus and rail transit, regional high-speed rail and magnetic levitation rail projects.
- Reinvest In Smart Urban Growth: Revitalize urban centers to promote strong cities and good jobs, by rebuilding and upgrading local infrastructure including road maintenance, bridge repair, and water and waste water systems, and by expanding redevelopment of idled urban "brownfield" lands, and by improving metropolitan planning and governance.
- Plan For A Hydrogen Future: Invest in long term research & development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and deploy the infrastructure to support hydrogen powered cars and distributed electricity generation using stationary fuel cells, to create jobs in the industries of the future.
- Preserve Regulatory Protections: Encourage balanced growth and investment through regulation that ensures energy diversity and system reliability, that protects workers and the environment, that rewards consumers, and that establishes a fair framework for emerging technologies.
- Promote Advanced Technology & Hybrid Cars: Begin today to provide incentives for converting domestic assembly lines to manufacture highly efficient cars, transitioning the fleet to American made advanced technology vehicles, increasing consumer choice and strengthening the US auto industry.