Barack Obama, in an ad, called for fast-tracking "a plan for energy 'made-in-America' that will free us from our dependence on Mideast oil in 10 years ...."
Get the facts after the jump!
Michael Levi, a Council on Foreign Relations energy policy expert, was asked about the specifics of Obama's oil-saving goals, detailed on the candidate's Web site. He says they can be achieved if politicians have the will to pursue the various regulations in the plan.
Asked about the general issue of "dependence" on Middle Eastern or Venezuelan oil, Levi added an important caveat: While dependence on these sources of oil can be reduced in 10 years, it won't be eliminated. Oil trades on world markets, and its cost and supply are affected by those large markets in the Middle East and Venezuela, he said - whether the United States would hypothetically choose to trade with them or not.
"We could choose to restrict ourselves geographically, but that would make fewer options for supply and we'd end up paying more," Levi said.
The Obama-Biden Web site introduces its "comprehensive New Energy Plan for America" with six general goals. One of the goals is: "Within 10 years, save more than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined."
In another section, the Web site elaborates under the subheading "Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela Within 10 years."
It calls for increasing "fuel economy standards, getting "1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015," creating a "new $7,000 tax credit for purchasing advanced vehicles," establishing a "national low carbon fuel standard, adopting a 'Use It or Lose It' approach to existing oil and gas leases, and promoting "the responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas."
It is unclear, from both Web statements, whether Obama wants to continue importing oil from the Middle East and Venezuela under tighter controls or simply cut out imports from those countries.
Verdict: Possible. Obama's oil-savings goals could be reached,
but expert warns influence of Middle Eastern oil producers won't