Alliance Outlines Needs for National Energy Plan

Calling on national policy makers to develop a comprehensive, long-term national energy plan that will guide the nation to a clean and secure energy future, the National 25x'25 Alliance has issued new recommendations alliance leaders say will create new jobs, strengthen the economy, improve national security, and enhance our ability to address climate change challenges through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

"Our dependence on foreign oil to heat and cool our homes, power our farms and factories, and fuel our cars and trucks is impairing national security and placing our economy at risk," says Ernie Shea, 25x'25 project coordinator. Shea cites the endorsement of 25x'25 as a national energy goal by the Energy Independence and Security Act adopted by Congress last year. The act calls on agricultural, forestry, and other renewable resources to meet 25 percent of the nation's energy needs by 2025.

The recommendations urge Congress and the next President "to take the steps necessary to achieve this bold goal and set the nation on the path to a clean, secure energy future."

"The time has come to construct and pass a comprehensive, long-term energy plan that will accelerate the production of all forms of renewable energy, create new renewable energy markets and deepen our commitment to conservation of natural resources, sustainability and protection of the environment," Shea said.

The recommendations developed by 25x'25 for a national energy policy are:

1. Ensure that the enabling policies that are adopted will result in the successful achievement of the 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 national goal.

2. Expand and fund federal soil and water conservation programs to ensure the sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel.

3. Establish a mechanism to create a market for carbon.

4. Pass long-term (6-8 years minimum) renewable energy production and energy efficiency tax credits.

5. Change the way utilities are regulated to give them a real incentive to aggressively pursue cost-effective energy efficiency.

6. Expand and extend federal loans and loan guarantees for renewable energy production.

7. Create incentives to accelerate the production and deployment of flex fuel and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

8. Modernize and improve access to the grid, build new transmission lines and remove siting impediments to facilitate the delivery of renewable electricity to markets and to improve transmission efficiency and reliability.

9. Increase federal research, development and deployment funding to accelerate the commercial deployment of next-generation biofuels; solar power, wind energy, geothermal energy, and hydropower; energy efficiency tools; carbon capture and storage; and other renewable energy technologies.

10. Create and expand pipelines, rail lines, ports, pumps, and other infrastructure needed to deliver renewable fuels and feedstocks to market.

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