Obama pledges to end oil dependency

August 29, 2008 8:02:31 PM PDT
One of the bold promises Senator Obama made in his acceptance speech is that he wants to end American's addiction on foreign oil.

Senator Obama said he would address American's oil dependency for the sake of the nation's economy, security and environment.

"I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East," said Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

For some, the bold statement was more than just political rhetoric.

Professor James Sweeney is not a believer.

"If he means what it sounds like it means, it's impossible," said Stanford University Professor James Sweeney.

Professor Sweeney is the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency at Stanford University. He says the U.S. consumes about 21 million barrels of oil a day.

"We import two-thirds of our oil now and the only way we can become independent is shut down industry and tell people they can't drive, tell people they can't fly," said Professor Sweeney.

The Obama campaign points to a multi pronged strategy to achieve its goals including:

  • Increasing fuel economy standards.
  • Getting one million plug in hybrids on the road by 2015.
  • Investing $150 billion over the next decade to catalyze private clean energy efforts.

    Collin O'Mara is the city of San Jose's clean energy strategist. He believes Obama's approach is a workable solution.

    "We have the innovation in place to realize this clean energy future and our biggest concern is making sure we have the partners at the federal level to enact the technologies that are emerging all over this valley," said O'Mara.

    Professor Sweeney likes some of Obama's ideas, but says a 10-year plan is simply unrealistic and some voters agree.

    "That would be wonderful if that could but I don't think it can be we're too dependent on other countries," said Professor Sweeney.

    What is clear is that foreign oil dependence is one of the key debates this election and analysts say that can only help in generating a comprehensive energy policy.


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