Remarks by the President on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (9/23/00)
                 President Clinton?s 21st Century Approach
                         to America's Energy Needs
                            September 23, 2000

Ensuring the availability of affordable and environmentally responsible
energy is central to maintaining our unparalleled economic growth and
prosperity.  For more than seven years, the Clinton-Gore Administration has
consistently pursued a forward-looking and balanced approach to meeting
America?s energy needs in the 21st century.  This strategy supports
continued development of traditional energy sources, and aggressive efforts
to improve energy efficiency and promote alternative energy sources.

To ease reliance on imported oil, the Administration has invested in new
technologies that have significantly enhanced recovery of domestic oil
reserves.  To promote clean energy alternatives, the Administration has
expanded research and development of solar, wind, biomass and other
renewable sources.  To save energy and money, the Administration has
adopted new energy-efficiency standards for appliances and forged new
partnerships with industry.  These include Energy Star? and the Partnership
for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), which is on track to producing
affordable vehicles that get three times the mileage of today?s models.
And to demonstrate federal leadership, the President has issued Executive
Orders directing federal agencies to dramatically improve the energy
efficiency of their buildings and automotive fleets. To save energy and tax
dollars, we have taken dramatic steps to reduce the energy use of the
federal government, the larger energy user in the world, reducing energy
consumption by 30 percent and saving $800 million a year.

Republican leadership has failed to act on key elements of the President?s
long-term energy policy, including: tax incentives to consumers for the
purchase of energy-efficient cars, homes and appliances; comprehensive
electricity restructuring; and reauthorization of the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve.  Over the past seven years, Congress has approved only 12 percent
of the increased funding proposed by the President for energy efficiency
and renewable energy.

Now, the Republican leadership wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge to oil drilling ? despoiling one of America?s last wild places for a
short-term supply of oil.  Furthermore, they continue to cut programs
critical to meeting our long-term energy needs.  For instance:
?  The House appropriation of $650 million for Energy Conservation is $201
million less than the President?s request, and $95 million      below the
current year?s appropriations.  These cuts include:
?  A $143 million cut -- complete elimination ? of applied R&D at the
Department of Energy (DOE) for the PNGV program, canceling      over 400
R&D projects in 33 States by 15 Federal labs, 22 universities, and others;
?  A $14 million cut in the low-income home Weatherization Assistance
Program, which will mean about 7,000 fewer low-income           families
will have their energy bills reduced; and,
?  A $2 million cut from industrial cogeneration, which funds R&D on more
efficient turbines that increase energy efficiency and     reliability of
the electrical grid.
?  The House appropriation of  $343 million for Solar and Renewable Energy
is $67 million less than the President?s budget request.        These cuts
?  Cuts in biomass fuels and biopower R&D, virtually eliminating our
planned increase to develop alternative transportation fuels    and to make
better use of biomass and waste materials for generating electricity
?  Reductions in solar electricity R&D, designed to make solar energy
?  Cuts in R&D for wind-power, which, if adequately funded, will be
competitive within a few years.


I.Tax Incentives to Encourage Greater Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and
  Domestic Oil Production
The Administration has proposed a balanced package of tax incentives to
promote responsible development of
traditional energy sources, and, for three years has proposed tax
incentives to promote a wide range of alternative and renewable energy
sources.  The President and Vice President, once again, call on Congress to

?  Tax incentives to support the domestic oil and gas industries, including
the expensing of geological and geophysical           testing and ?delay?
rental payments;
?  Tax credits to promote wind, solar, biomass, and other domestic
alternative sources of energy;
?  Tax Credits For Electric, Fuel Cell, and Qualified Hybrid Vehicles ($2
billion, five-year package); and,
?  Tax Credits for Efficient Homes and Buildings.

II.  Investments in R&D to Improve Energy Efficiency, Make Renewable Energy
  Affordable, and Promote the Clean Use of Fossil Energy
Increased energy efficiency has significantly enhanced our energy security
by reducing our demand for oil.  In 1974, we consumed 15 barrels of oil for
each $10,000 of GDP; today we only consume 8 barrels of oil per unit of
GDP.  But much more can be done.  The President and Vice President have
secured substantial increases to accelerate the research, development, and
deployment of alternative and more efficient energy technologies.  They
call on Congress to build on these efforts by approving the following FY
2001 requests:
?  $1.7 billion for Federal R&D efforts to promote energy efficiency in
buildings, industry, and transportation, and          expanded use of
renewable energy and distributed power generation systems, including:
?  $254 million to continue the Partnership for a New Generation of
Vehicles (PNGV), which is on track to deliver         affordable cars that
get up to three times the fuel efficiency of today?s cars (an increase in
average fuel economy of     just three miles per gallon would save almost a
million barrels of oil per day);
?  $289 million, a 47 percent increase, for a bioenergy initiative that
will help us develop new fuels for cars and new            sources of
electricity, reducing U.S. oil consumption;
?  $275 million, a 42 percent increase, for R&D investments to develop
technologies to make homes and buildings more    energy efficient;
?  $154 million to weatherize low-income homes, reducing energy bills and
the demand for oil, and;
?  An increase for Energy Star? product and building partnerships, to
promote the purchase of energy-efficient products     and buildings. (If
all consumers purchased Energy Star? products and buildings, the Nation's
energy bill could be        reduced by $100 billion over the next 15
?  $376 million for fossil energy R&D to enhance domestic oil exploration
and promote clean use of fossil fuels, including      $10 million to
continue an Ultra-Clean Fuels Initiative to develop cleaner fuels in
existing refineries;
?  $5 million for research to help safely extend the life of nuclear power
plants; and,
?  $85 million to create a new Clean Air Partnership Fund to help States
and localities reduce pollution and become more       energy efficient.

III.    Preparation for Energy Supply Emergencies
Notwithstanding our best efforts to promote a diverse and secure supply of
energy, because of the location of the world's oil reserves, the fact
remains that we import a sizeable portion of the oil we consume.  In order
to mitigate that risk, and to address emergencies created by unusually cold
or warm weather, the Administration calls on Congress to:
?  Reauthorize the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which governs the
use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; and,
?  Authorizing the establishment of the Northeast/New England Home Heating
Oil Reserve with an appropriate trigger     for its use.

Comprehensive Electricity Restructuring for Reliability and Savings
The President is disappointed that Congress has abandoned efforts to pass
comprehensive electricity restructuring legislation.  Comprehensive
restructuring would lower electricity prices, clean the environment,
encourage innovation and new services, and increase the reliability of our
Nation's power supply grid.  It will also enhance energy security by
enabling us to operate our economy on less fuel.  The President and Vice
President?s proposed legislation, which Congress failed to enact for over
two years would:
?  Provide $20 billion in annual savings to America?s families, saving
typical family of four $232 per year;
?  Strengthen Reliable Service by requiring all participants in electric
transactions on the grid to comply with mandatory     reliability standards
developed by a reliability organization; and,
?  Improve the environment, through both market mechanisms and policies
that promote investments in energy efficiency,   renewable energy,
distributed power and combined heat and power technologies.


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