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Obama Energy Policy Could Impact Midwest

November 10, 2008

St. Paul, MN - The incoming Obama administration is promising a bottom-up review of U.S energy strategy. This weekend, transition chief John Podesta said the new President will look at various Bush administration policies, including allowing oil and gas drilling on fragile public lands.

Michael Noble with Minnesota-based Fresh Energy says president-elect Barack Obama has a mandate to develop a new energy infrastructure, which will help fulfill another campaign promise – to rebuild the economy.

"We have every opportunity to invest in a new energy economy, based on clean, renewable energy like wind power and solar energy and biofuels. These are the engines for America's next industrial revolution."

He says that's good news for Minnesota and the Midwest, with its strong winds and high farm productivity. During the campaign, Obama said he wants more funding for energy research and to reduce emissions caused by burning fossil fuels. He also left the door open for additional offshore oil and gas drilling.

Noble adds that developing domestic energy sources will address another long-standing issue.

"By tackling our energy problems here at home, we can become more independent of foreign oil. We can build our own economy, rather than shifting hundreds of billions of dollars to dangerous, far-away places."

Obama says he wants to eliminate the need for Middle East and Venezuelan oil by investing 150 billion dollars in developing and expanding local energy resources. That will create five million new jobs. A key component, according to the President-elect, is to build more fuel-efficient cars and put a million more hybrid autos on the roads.

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN