Iowa Public Television


Edwards Touts Alternative Energy Plan

posted on August 17, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Democrat John Edwards on Friday proposed boosting the use of alternative fuels by replacing 100,000 school buses with biodiesel vehicles. He also called for sharply increasing the availability of biofuels, manufacturing more cars that use such fuels and raising the fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2016. "I think it will have a very significant impact," Edwards told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "They are very practical ideas that can impact on global warming." Edwards spelled out his alternative energy plan in stops Friday across southern Iowa, beginning in Centerville. Iowa is the leading producer of corn-based ethanol and a leader in the production of biodiesel, made primarily from soybean oil. His package would create a new biofuel bus program in which the federal government would help local school districts replace 100,000 diesel buses with cleaner-burning biofuel vehicles. Replacing buses would not only reduce oil consumption but would limit the exposure of children to soot and fumes from dirtier conventional buses. "The bottom line is to reduce the amount of carbon emission and help protect children," Edwards said. Edwards also would require oil companies to install biofuel pumps at 25 percent of their gas stations. In addition, all new cars sold after 2010 would have to be flex fuel, with the option of running on either gasoline or a biofuel. "We need to get biofuels on America's roads and highways so we can cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health and protect our national interest by reducing our dependency on foreign oil," said Edwards. Edwards said his proposal to increase fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon would reduce oil demand by 4 million barrels per day. "Obviously, America needs to get off its addiction to oil," said Edwards. Edwards used the alternative fuel theme to again hammer his theme that significant change in Washington won't happen until the nation elects a president who can break the grip of lobbyists and special interest money. "We're going to have to have a president who takes on these interests," he said. In all, Edwards said he would reduce the nation's oil imports by 7.5 million barrels a day by 2025.

Tags: biofuels campaign 2008 John Edwards news politics renewable fuels