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Lugar pushes energy savings, more oil production

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Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar is pushing a national energy plan he says will save billions of dollars by increasing domestic oil production and improving energy efficiency.

Lugar rolled out his plan Thursday morning on Facebook. His proposal would cut foreign oil consumption by 50 percent by 2030, open access to Alaska oil reserves and end what Lugar called an oil drilling "permitorium" put in place by the Obama administration after last year's gulf oil spill.

Lugar also aims to save American's $33 billion annually through energy conservation, in part by subsidizing retrofits to improve energy efficiency in buildings. He says the savings would create an "unexpected windfall."

Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said that while the energy debate has been pushed to the backburner in Washington — as lawmakers wrestle with the budget and the nation's debt ceiling — Lugar is floating the plan now so that it is out there when the energy debate re-emerges as a front-burner issue.

The veteran lawmaker is facing a tough Republican primary challenge from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

But most of the benefits of the energy plan would not be seen until 2030, long after Americans have recovered from the current recession, said Mourdock spokesman Chris Conner, who panned it as "repackaged" Lugar ideas which have been unsuccessful before.

"It also seems a little light on specifics as to how the plan would actually be executed," Conner said.

Efforts to pass sweeping energy legislation through Congress have stalled in recent years, stumbling over regional political divides and partisan battles over the issue of global warming.

More recently, efforts to end annual corn ethanol subsidies — backed in part by many conservative lawmakers — were blocked by a coalition of farm-state lawmakers, including both Lugar and U.S. Sen. Dan Coats.

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  • I agree
    LandMime,

    I agree that it's sad that we're not investing as a country in alternative energy. Instead, our politicians would rather have a "us vs. them" attitude towards every little thing. This should not be a conservative vs. liberal problem. It's a human problem.
  • Oil is still God
    With all due respect for Senator Lugar, he is simply doing what the oil companies have always wanted to do. Drill baby drill.

    This is a point in human history when a tough choice about future energy needs to be made. We are over populating this world and the demand for shelter, food, water, and energy is just exploding. So what's the worse solution possible? More of the same: Drill baby drill, and cut off mountaintops for more coal. When will it stop?

    Human beings are sucking the life from the planet. Everything is for human needs. This is not living in harmony with the diverse world God gifted to us. It is a recipe for disaster.

    We cannot just continue the same old technologies, ignoring the needs of other life forms. Systemic change needs to happen in our attitudes and wants. We need to cut our energy use and find new sustainable energies now. Not sometime in the future.
  • Lugar Energy Plan
    for your information
  • politics
    Energy conservation and ethanol subsidies don't go together, but that's politics. Even when you are as old and accomplished as Lugar, elections come first, greater good comes second.

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