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Sen. Lieberman plans biofuel PHEV bill: legislative breakthrough
Oct 8, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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This is by far the most specific and far-reaching proposal to date.

-- Press release followed by news story un this posting -- permanent link for this message is­group/­calcars-news/­message/­169

-- Speech excerpts, outline of plan and full text of speech in next posting:­group/­calcars-news/­message/­170

PRESS RELEASE­newsroom/­release.cfm?id=247140 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 7, 2005 Contact: Casey Aden-Wansbury Phone: 202.224.4041

Lieberman Unveils Plan to Break America's Dependence on Foreign Oil Senator delivers Georgetown's Loewy Memorial Lecture in Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University

WASHINGTON - Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) today unveiled a package of legislative proposals to help America break its dangerous dependence on foreign oil that threatens the nation's security, economy and environment. Before an audience of professors, students and academics, Lieberman delivered Georgetown's Loewy Memorial Lecture in Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University.

"What we are seeing is more than just a temporary drain on our budgets - a passing inconvenience and temporary increase in costs" Lieberman said. "I fear that we are literally watching the slow but steady erosion of America's power and independence as a nation - our economic and military power and our political independence. We're burning it up in our engines and spewing it from our tailpipes because of our absolute dependence on oil to fuel our cars and trucks."

"The bill I will propose puts our nation's transportation system on a new road where the tanks are filled with more home-grown fuel ... We will push harder for more and quicker production and commercialization of biomass based fuels... The bill would also create a program to guarantee that filling stations had the pumps to provide the fuel to keep pace with the growing alternative-fuel fleet produced by the mandate."

Lieberman's proposal will mandate 10 million barrels in oil-savings in 20 years and will also mandate the mass-production of cars that can burn any combination of gasoline and alternative fuels or, alternatively, cars powered by efficient hybrid engines. In addition, the bill will include:

An aggressive strategy for pushing the development and mass marketing of hybrid technologies, including hybrids that give drivers the option to plug them in at night;

A program to ensure an adequate number of alternative fuel retail outlets;

For the first time, fuel-efficiency standards for trucks;

Standards to ensure fuel efficient replacement tires are offered for cars and trucks;

Financial support for retooling manufacturing facilities for advanced technology and alternative fuel cars and trucks.

"Our present energy and transportation systems were born at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Centuries with the twin discoveries of oil extraction and the internal combustion engine," Lieberman said. "Those systems have served us well - bringing growth to our nation and the world. But it is now the 21st Century and its time to move on. The era of big oil is over. It's time to kick start our entire infrastructure - from the refinery to the tailpipe - and build this new era of energy independence."

The full text of the speech is available at­newsroom/­release.cfm?id=247129

An outline of the legislative plan is available at:­documents/­bills/­051006gtownspchsum.pdf

NEWS STORY­site/­news.cfm?newsid=15352706&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=10110&rfi=6

Lieberman calls for end to big oil, dependence on foreign oil By JOSEPH STRAW, Journal Register News Service New Britain Herald 10/08/2005

WASHINGTON -- Declaring that "the era of big oil is over," U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., said Friday the country must act quickly to end its dependence on foreign oil or jeopardize its status as a world superpower.

Lieberman announced plans for legislation that would mandate the phasing in of traditional hybrid and second-generation "plug-in" hybrid cars, and would require a dramatic transition from fossil to ethanol fuels made from domestic biomass like corn.

"We are one well-coordinated terrorist attack or natural disaster away from a monstrous spike in the price of oil that could go to $100 a barrel," Lieberman said.

"All that, and much more, should make us worry," Lieberman said.

Shifts in world politics, or even wars not involving the United States, could compromise oil markets and the supply, leaving the United States "like a pitiful giant, like Gulliver ..tied down by smaller countries."

Unless the United States changes course, Lieberman said, "We will have given them the ropes and help them tie us down."

The speech delivered to students and faculty at Georgetown University was touted by Lieberman's office as a "major" address on energy independence strategy.

The event came just hours before the House of Representatives voted 212-210 on a controversial bill that would ease restrictions on domestic oil refinement capacity in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Lieberman declined to say where he would fall should the legislation come to a vote in the Senate, but expressed doubt about addressing the problem with increased production.

Katrina and Rita, which compromised U.S. refinement and fuel transmission capacity, pushing gasoline costs to more than $3 per gallon nationwide, with astronomic hikes in the cost of home heating oil expected this winter.

Lieberman, who has sought with varying degrees of success to pass environmental reforms in the Senate, cited a "rising bipartisan desire" in Congress to act in the wake of the storms.

Federal subsidies for ethanol production, pushed by legislators from the farm-heavy Great Plains states, were a critical sticking point in federal energy policy legislation that passed this summer.

Lieberman's legislation could draw heavy support from those states, countering the muscle of oil-producing states. Lieberman is courting Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., as a possible Republican co-sponsor, as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., a possible presidential candidate in 2008, is another possible co-sponsor, Lieberman said.

As planned, Lieberman's bill would set the goal of cutting motor vehicle fossil fuel consumption in half over 20 years.

The bill would require that within three years 10 percent of all cars sold in the United States are either hybrids or use alternative fuel, with that requirement rising to half after seven years.

Lieberman cited successful implementation of alternative fuel requirements in Brazil as evidence that reform is possible, and can succeed.

Lieberman likened America's critical oil dependence and inaction to the nation's longtime awareness that a major hurricane would ravage New Orleans.

He called our foreign oil dependence "the most significant failure of American leadership in recent times," arguing that market forces have created the current predicament, and cannot be counted on to fix it.

Officials at the Washington office of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association did not respond to calls Friday requesting comment.

Deron Lovaas of the Natural Resources Defense Council was on hand Friday for Lieberman's speech, which he called "inspiring."

"I'm hopeful that this means we'll actually see some progress in terms of weaning ourselves from oil," said Lovaas, director of the NRDC's vehicle campaign.

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