Questions and Answers

Q: How much of this Policy can be implemented by Executive Order or regulatory action, and what needs to be approved by Congress?

Of the 105 recommendations in the report, 12 can be implemented by Executive action or Executive Order, 73 are directives to federal agencies, and 20 are recommendations for action by the Congress.

Q:  Why doesn’t the plan include provisions extending the current moratorium on OCS exploration?

The President supports the current exploration moratorium in the coastal waters of Florida and California and, as he pledged during the campaign, will work with California and Florida leaders and local affected communities to determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not drilling should go forward on existing leases.

Q:  What does the President’s plan say about nuclear fuel reprocessing?

The President’s plan recommends that the U.S. research the benefits of using advanced technologies in nuclear fuel reprocessing and fuel treatment technologies that are cleaner, more efficient, less waste-intensive, and more proliferation-resistant.

Q:  Is the President going to recommend lifting or changing the current sanctions against Iraq?

The President has said that he does not intend to lift sanctions on Iraq unless and until Iraq’s leadership accepts responsibility.  The President’s plan directs the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Commerce to initiate a comprehensive review of existing sanctions, and that they consider U.S. energy security as part of that review.

Q:  Would the President support release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to increase short-term supplies?

The President believes that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is what its name implies – “strategic” in nature.  It can alleviate short-term supply disruptions but cannot impact the price of oil long-term in the global market.  He will reserve it to deal with major supply disruptions and threats to U.S. national security.

The President’s National Energy Policy directs the Secretary of Energy to work closely with Congress to ensure that our SPR protection is maintained;  consider whether to use offshore Gulf of Mexico royalty oil to refill the SPR;  and lease excess storage to other countries to increase global stability.

Q:  What is the price tag for the President’s energy plan?

Many of the recommendations in this report call for Congress and federal agencies to develop specific legislative or regulatory provisions, and so estimates for the total plan are not possible to construct.  However, some of the provisions in the President’s plan have been estimated by the Treasury Department to cost the following:

  • Tax credits for electricity produced from wind and biomass resources: $1.0 billion over 10 years.
  • Tax credit for residential solar energy systems:  $100 million over 10 years.
  • A temporary income tax credit available for purchase of new hybrid (gasoline/electric) or fuel cell vehicles:  $4.2 billion for six years.
  • Tax credit for landfills capture and utilize the methane emitted from them:  $1 billion over 10 years.
  • Shortened depreciation life (7 years) for CHP projects:  $2 billion over 10 years.
  • Extension of the excise tax exemption (credit) for ethanol:  $100 million.