For some time, Senator Richard Lugar, R-Ind, has been preparing the Lugar Practical Energy and Climate Plan for introduction as a bill in the Senate. The Plan is an alternative to the American Power Act recently proposed by Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.
The Lugar Plan does not propose fees on transport fuels or emission allowances to produce electricity from fossil fuel. Under the Lugar Plan, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 25% over business as usual by 2030, mainly through standards and through a vehicle feebate program.
This compares to a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of 17% (compared with 2005 levels) by 2020 under the Kerry/Lieberman proposal, to be achieved mainly through fees on transport fuels and emission allowances.
The Lugar Plan would cut oil imports by an estimated 68% by 2030, by tightening fuel economy standards for vehicles and by increasing renewable fuel and domestic oil production (as a transition), but mostly by introducing a feebate system that encourages purchases of the most efficient new vehicles in each class.
Buildings and Industry
The Lugar Plan would furthermore introduce energy efficiency standards for buildings, appliances and equipment, to cut energy demand by some 7% by 2030. Also, loans would be offered to encourage industry to reach energy savings targets.
The Lugar Plan would allow states to determine their preferred energy mix, within targets set and supervised by federal government, under which “clean energy” production would rise to 11% by 2015 (30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050). This “clean energy” would include nuclear power, which would be assisted by expanded loan guarantees. Incentives would also be offered to encourage states to retire the most polluting coal-fired power plants.