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Congressman Gephardt talks of energy self-sufficiency goal for US
1 March 2002
America's energy security depends on developing "environmentally smart, renewable energy solutions" and not on increasing fossil fuel extraction, says House minority leader Richard Gephardt. The Missouri Congressman argues that even if the US allowed "drilling off every coastline and in every wildlife refuge in America," it would still be dependent on foreign oil. "We need to begin today to reach the goal of making America energy self-sufficient, using clean and safe sources of energy. I believe that with strong leadership and a real energy policy we can meet this goal within a decade." The government can begin, says Gephardt, by offering "a menu of financial mechanisms" like tax incentives, loans or grants to projects that reduce energy use or increase the use of renewable power. Specifically, he proposes a 30% tax credit for business investment in renewable energy generation. Gephardt's comments echo those of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who announced plans to introduce energy legislation containing incentives for renewable energy and efficiency measures, as well as a national goal of producing 20% of the nation's electricity from renewable energy by 2020. "This is an initiative born out of necessity and its goal is quite simply to initiate a transition from our heavy dependence on polluting and sometimes insecure fossil fuels to more efficient, clean, and reliable energy," argues Kerry.
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