GOP senator’s climate and energy plan

Planet Washington

March 30, 2010

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., today unveiled what he says is a plan to cut foreign oil use by two-thirds, reduce national energy use by 14 percent and cut household electricity bills by 10 percent by 2030.

Lugar’s plan also would reduce the emissions of heat-trapping gases, but only by half of what President Barack Obama has set (a 17 percent reduction) as the goal for 2020. The Republican senator’s plan aims for a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. Climate scientists worldwide have said developed countries will need to hit an 80 percent reduction by 2050 to improve the odds of avoiding dangerous climate problems. 

Lugar calls his idea a streamlined plan that focuses on the cheapest energy savings available, with no mandatory reduction of industrial greenhouse gas emissions. (The Lugar plan is here).

The Indiana Republican’s plan comes as Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are working on a draft of a bill that would put a price on carbon pollution and set limits on it. Their latest target for making it public is in April (story from McClatchy in South Carolina).

Lugar’s approach calls for expanded loan guarantees for nuclear power and $11 billion in incentives for shutting down the most polluting coal-fired power plants, or about 16 percent of coal-generation capacity. Much of the reduced oil use would come from better vehicle fuel efficiency.

Posted by Renee Schoof at 05:14 PM

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