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Clinton/Gore Administration: Taking Action to Strengthen America's Energy Security

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The Briefing Room

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 18, 2000


President Clinton today proposed new steps to strengthen the sound, comprehensive energy strategy that has helped keep the U.S. economy robust. The President called for the creation of a regional home heating oil reserve and reauthorization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He also called for enactment of a tax package that will help ensure the productive capacity of the domestic oil industry and that must include measures to promote greater energy efficiency and renewable energy -- measures which Congress has failed to act on twice before. These steps will enhance America’s energy security, create jobs, protect the environment, and produce long-term savings for consumers.


  • Establishing A Regional Home Heating Oil Reserve: In order to reduce the likelihood that future heating oil shortages will harm consumers, the President is proposing the creation of a home heating oil reserve in the Northeast with an appropriate trigger that could supply additional heating oil to the market in the event of a supply shortage. The President today directed the Department of Energy to commence the appropriate environmental reviews to create this home heating oil reserve and will work with Congress to pass authorizing legislation this year.

  • Reauthorizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Current authorization to operate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve expires on March 31st, even as OPEC oil ministers are meeting in Vienna to discuss production quotas. To ensure the ability to use all available tools to respond to the needs of the U. S. economy, the President called on Congress to immediately reauthorize the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which authorizes the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the International Energy Program at DOE.

  • Enacting A Comprehensive Tax Package To Promote Energy Security: The President today proposed a comprehensive package of tax incentives, including new tax credits for domestic oil producers to reduce U.S. reliance on oil imports and essential incentives to promote renewable and efficient sources of energy for U.S. economy. This tax package:

    • Will Help Preserve Productive Capacity of the Domestic Oil Industry: President Clinton will propose adjusting the tax treatment for certain exploration activities and to lower the business costs to producers when oil prices are low. The Administration will also continue examining opportunities to preserve marginal well production, which accounts for over 20 percent of on-shore oil production in the lower-48 states.
    • Must Include Measures To Improve the Energy Efficiency of the Economy and to Promote the Use of Alternative Energy Sources: To improve the energy security of our economy, President called on Congress to pass the energy efficiency and renewable energy tax components proposed in his current budget. These include tax credits for electric, fuel cell, and qualified hybrid vehicles, tax credits for efficient homes and buildings, and tax credits for non-petroleum based energy sources including wind, biomass, and methane.

  • Investing In Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Technologies. President Clinton and Vice President Gore are calling on Congress to enact more than $1.4 billion in budget requests that will promote energy security and the use of alternative and more efficient energy technologies, including:
    • $275 Million To Make America’s Homes and Buildings More Efficient
    • $173 Million To Weatherize Low Income Households
    • $255 Million To A Partnership For A New Generation Of More Efficient Vehicles
    • $410 Million To Develop Sources Of Domestic Renewable Energy

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