September 17th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Fact Check: Obama's plan for energy independence

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="What are Obama's energy proposals? "]The statement:

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!

The Facts:
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
be eliminated.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Greg FL.

    Obama can tell the truth. Why can't McCain?

    September 17, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. Wendy One

    NOBAMA's PLAN – You start walking while he rides in a Limo. Or maybe he figures all the B___S___ he's spouting will produce enough ethanol to power the nation's vehicles. No wait a minute, he'll change his mind again before the week's out and won't be able to remember the first one.

    September 17, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Carmen

    Give Palin/McCain some notes on this subject. They are stupid than stupid.

    September 17, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. Chris in CA

    The Republican operatives/bloggers on the Ticker are so blatantly obvious. Kind of pathetic actually.

    September 17, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Lorna, NY

    At least he has a plan. I wish more people would go on both web sites and make an intelligent decision on who is best for the country.

    September 17, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  6. RB

    This is my first time to ever comment in any way by computer on any
    subject matter' but I must say that from the things that I read most of
    you folks need something to do. You have too much time to hate and
    generally abuse other people. It's pretty evident why we have so much
    violence in our society by just reading comments on the WEB. I don't
    know any of the people running for any of the offices but to try and read
    to learn about them is impossible. Someone honestly hates every
    one who is running.
    I was taught that if you couldn't say something good about someone,
    don't say anything. That being said–most of you folks would be
    awfully quiet.

    September 17, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. DrMan

    Nobama's plan for energy independence would do nothing but make gas prices even higher. People whine and cry about gas prices now. If Obama wins and he implements his plan I don't want to hear a SINGLE socialist lib crying about gas prices because it will be because of your (not my) Obamessiah.

    September 17, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. shocked

    You worry about middle east oil and yet the largest supplier of oil to the U S A is right behind us. Ya Canada. Did you guys know they are pumping oil south if the 49th and its not ever refered too. We better watch out, they may cut us off and then we will know what crap hitting the fan is like.
    Yes he can

    September 17, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Robbi

    It's been proven factually over and anew, drilling won't help us. We won't see any effects for decades, and then only minimal. Simple fact, fossil fuels are finite, people. They will run out. If we don't develop our other options, and quickly, we will grind to a halt. Anyone who shrieks "drill, drill" is short-sighted. Being myopic won't save us; that will take vision and determination. McCain does not have the vision. I'll take Obama.

    September 17, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. McWhine

    McWhine and Palin hate America!! Evidence: both of them didn't wear flag pins in their recent campaign events. McWhine didn't even wear that in his acceptance speech. They must not love America enough. Fox news Hannity and OReily, please investigate this!!

    September 17, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. j.williams, san diego

    Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae- Obamas most favorite contributor..outside of George Soros.

    September 17, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. just a guy

    Pat Riot
    I don't think u read the plan he says give incentives to those who buy hybrids. It is still up to u wether to buy it or not

    September 17, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. Willy

    Obama's plan. TAX, TAX, TAX, TAX blame it on republicans, TAX, TAX, TAX.

    September 17, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Indie Voter

    By the way, smart guys & gals, producing more oil here in the states won't take us off of foreign oil either. It is still traded in a global market.
    Seriously, McCain is the saddest thing I have seen in recent history. He is completely cashing/checking out on his once fantastic reputation to stand up for what is right. I guarantee McCain ten years ago would have supported Obama over the shell of a man he has become.

    September 17, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. Antigone

    McCain Fact Checks! Where are they CNN? I truly wish some news organization would "fact check" him as frequently as Obama is fact checked! Why does McCain and Palin scare the media?

    September 17, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Tennisguypitt

    That's great! I honestly thought the plan was a little too good to be true. I'm happy to say I was wrong.

    It seems Barack Obama has substance, doesn't he?

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 17, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. TRUTH

    Palin 2012 - You are not fooling anyone. The same post on every topic -- Go hate somewhere else.

    September 17, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. thanks but no thanks

    At least Obama has a plan.....

    September 17, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. inuk of the north

    Barbra Striesand is a community organizer – just on a different level.

    Eleven million bucks in one night???

    Striesand 2012

    September 17, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. sam

    you guys at cnn are so baised how come we never here anything positive about mccain are you trying to imply that Obama is an Angel!

    September 17, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. neal grant

    journalism, supposed to be unbiased
    fact check owned by same people who sat obama as a chairmember
    I can't afford a new car so this plan won't work in my world and plus
    I could never vote for a traitor.

    logan act look it up

    September 17, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    CNN story on proposed budgets of the canidates

    Obama $360 Billion
    McCain $415-$460 Billion

    McCain will also lower your Federal taxes, But you local and state taxes will go up because of revenue lost from the Feds.
    Just smoke and mirrors

    September 17, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    CNN story last week on proposed budgets
    Obama $360 billion
    McCain $415 – $460 billion

    September 17, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  24. The Point Man

    Now the communist comment! Same old Republican refrain. Brainwashing spans generations. That's the best that you can do? This type of reasoning was weak years ago and is still weak!

    September 17, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. ray v

    which plan collects the most money. that's the one that raises taxes

    September 17, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
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