Thursday, January 22, 2009

The White House Plan

After having posted yesterday on the actions in the House to re-start the economy, the White House has a new set of Web pages up, listing the changes that it hopes to implement. Similarly over at the Department of Energy, the front Web page has changed. These tell us the plans for the moment. Obviously they will adjust as circumstances change.

The overall goals set out at the White House include:
* Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
* Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
* Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
* Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
* Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

These are all ambitious targets. The first is aimed at industrial support to, among other things, move the Clean Coal program forward.

In regard to lowering oil demand, the current import sum of crude oil from the Middle East and Venezuela (from November includes 1.49 mbd from Saudi Arabia, and 1.16 mbd from Venezuela – but if the target is for all petroleum products, and we add Iraq and Kuwait to the list, then the total import from the Middle East and Venezuela becomes 3.44 mbd. With current consumption of around 19.12 mbd – a drop of 2 mbd from this time last year, this gives a target which is a 18% target reduction in consumption. (I suspect that they may have originally been planning 10% but the supply numbers are swinging and the imports from the Middle East have been rising as domestic and Mexican numbers have been falling). (Note that the DOE Web page gives percentage imports not volumes, for 2007).

For the plug-in hybrids, while they may be built in America, I would suspect that the manufacturers will not all be historically domestic.

For 10% of the electric supply – if we, again, look at the October 2008 figures (in million megawatt-hours) Coal provided 153; Petroleum liquids 1.85; Petroleum coke 1.3; Natural gas 72.5; Other gases 0.8; Nuclear 62.8; Hydro-electric 16.4; other renewables 9.75; for a total of 318 million megawatt-hours. So the target of 10% comes to 31.8, and the current production of renewables is 26.15, so the increase is roughly 5 million megawatt-hours, or just over 50% more renewables over today’s production, assuming that hydro stays the same.

So how are these targets to be met – first the White House site, which gives only a little more detail:

Provide Short-term Relief to American Families
Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation.
Swap Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.

Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years
Increase Fuel Economy Standards.
Get 1 Million Plug-In Hybrid Cars on the Road by 2015.
Create a New $7,000 Tax Credit for Purchasing Advanced Vehicles.
Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
A “Use it or Lose It” Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases.
Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas.

Create Millions of New Green Jobs
Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source – Energy Efficiency.
Weatherize One Million Homes Annually.
Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.
Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.

Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050
Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change.
(I note that Former Vice President Gore will be appearing in the Senate to talk about this - but it is really a Saturday topic.)

Moving on therefore to the Department of Energy we find that the Department is still buying oil for the SPR, starting in February, however given the current price of $43 a barrel this might be the smart time to buy.

The rest of the web site does not appear to have any of the new initiatives in place yet, so perhaps we will leave it there for now, and come back for a more detailed look as the information becomes available.


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