America’s Achilles Heel…
…Is Our Dangerous Dependence on Oil
America’s overdependence on foreign oil is costing American lives, bankrolling many of our worst enemies, and polluting our air.
The time has come for dramatic bipartisan action to address our nation’s Achilles heel — our dangerous dependency on oil. We must reduce our vulnerability to high oil prices and supply disruptions, and address the dangers of climate change resulting from energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The President’s plan outlined in the State of the Union address was a step in the right direction, but far more needs to be done by the President and Congress to set and achieve new targets for our energy security. We call on members of Congress from both parties and the President to work together to launch a new “Manhattan Project” to deploy and promote cleaner alternative energy sources and increase energy efficiency. Our efforts must match the magnitude of the challenge we face. Specifically, we must:
Set ambitious goals. Commit to a national oil consumption reduction target of 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2025.
Reinvent our Vehicles. Promote the development and implementation of fuel saving technologies.
- Provide substantial incentives to help automakers retool factories to build more efficient vehicles.
- Provide $1.4 billion over six years for research, development, deployment, testing, and certification that would speed commercialization of advanced technologies such as plug-in hybrids and stronger lightweight materials.
- Expand the consumer tax credit for the purchase of vehicles that use fuel saving technology.
- Your browser may not support display of this image. Significantly strengthen vehicle fuel efficiency standards and establish standards for heavy duty trucks. Allow manufacturers to trade fuel economy credits.
Increase Fuel Choice. Ramp up commercialization of alternative fuels.
- Invest an additional $1 billion over the next five years in research and production incentives for cellulosic biofuels.
- Your browser may not support display of this image. Create a program that would provide tax credits, low interest loans, and grants to support the installation of alternative fuel pumps.
- Require that most new vehicles be flex fuel capable by 2012.
- Provide substantial funding for efforts that expand electric drive technologies for automobiles.
These common sense measures will grow our economy, protect our environment, and enhance our security.
Our children’s lives and the future of our country depend on our making wise choices today about our energy security for tomorrow. The time to act is now.
Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Warren Christopher, Secretary of State 1993-1997
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Rita Hauser, Chair, International Peace Academy
Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor 1993-97
John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy 1981-87
Richard C. Leone, President, The Century Foundation
Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor 1983-85
Donald McHenry, Ambassador to UN 1979-81
Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92
Ted Sorenson, White House Special Counsel 1961-63
John C. Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Frank Wisner, Undersecretary of State 1992-93