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Barack Obama delivering a speech at the University of Southern California in support of California Proposition 87

In his New Energy For America plan, Obama proposes to reduce overall U.S. oil consumption by at least 35%, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030 in order to offset imports from OPEC nations.[165][166] And by 2011 the United States was said to be "awash with domestic oil and increasingly divorced and less reliant on foreign imports".[167]

Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provided incentives (chiefly tax breaks) to reduce national consumption of energy and to encourage a wide range of alternative energy sources.[168][169] It also resulted in a net tax increase on oil companies.[170]

Obama and othe

Another way to look at President Obama's tenure is as a slow recovery from a combined financial crisis and recession. Research indicates such recoveries can be protracted, with lengthy periods of high unemployment and substandard economic growth.[162][62][163] The U.S. economy steadily recovered as homeowners completed their deleveraging (debt reduction) and began to spend again, encouraging businesses to hire and invest. Supporting the recovery process were the stimulative monetary policies of the Federal Reserve, which maintained low interest rates and asset buying programs to encourage economic growth throughout President Obama's tenure.[164]

In his New Energy For America plan, Obama proposes to reduce overall U.S. oil consumption by at least 35%, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030 in order to offset imports from OPEC nations.[165][166] And by 2011 the United States was said to be "awash with domestic oil and increasingly divorced and less reliant on foreign imports".[167]

Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provided incentives (chiefly tax breaks) to reduce national consumption of energy and to encourage a wide range of alternative energy sources.[168][169] It also resulted in a net tax increase on oil companies.[170]

Obama and other Senators introduced the BioFuels Security Act in 2006. "It's time for Congress to realize what farmers in America's heartland have known all along – that we have the capacity and ingenuity to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by growing our own fuel," Obama said.[171] In a May 2006 letter to President George W. Bush, he joined four other midwest farming state Senators in calling for the preservation of a $0.54-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol.[172]

In an interview with NBC's Tim Russert on May 4, 2008, Obama said, "...we've got a serious food problem around the world. We've got Energy Policy Act of 2005, which provided incentives (chiefly tax breaks) to reduce national consumption of energy and to encourage a wide range of alternative energy sources.[168][169] It also resulted in a net tax increase on oil companies.[170]

Obama and other Senators introduced the BioFuels Security Act in 2006. "It's time for Congress to realize what farmers in America's heartland have known all along – that we have the capacity and ingenuity to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by growing our own fuel," Obama said.[171] In a May 2006 letter to President George W. Bush, he joined four other midwest farming state Senators in calling for the preservation of a $0.54-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol.[172]

In an interview with NBC's Tim Russert on May 4, 2008, Obama said, "...we've got a serious food problem around the world. We've got rising food prices here in the United States." "There's no doubt that biofuels may be contributing to it. And what I've said is, my top priority is making sure that people are able to get enough to eat. And if it turns out that we've got to make changes in our ethanol policy to help people get something to eat, then that's got to be the step we take."[173]

On the issue of nuclear power, in 2005, Obama stated, "... as Congress considers policies to address air quality and the deleterious effects of carbon emissions on the global ecosystem, it is reasonable – and realistic – for nuclear power to remain on the table for consideration. Illinois has 11 nuclear power plants – the most of any State in the country – and nuclear power provides more than half of Illinois's electricity needs."[174] Regarding McCain's plans for 45 new nuclear power plants, Obama said that it's not serious, it's not new, it's not the kind of energy policy that will give families the relief they need.[175] Obama declared himself flatly opposed to building the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.[176] Furthermore, he opposes new nuclear plants until the problems of nuclear waste storage, safety and cost can be addressed.[177]

In 2006, in response to Illinois residents' concerns about unreported radioactive leaks by Exelon Corporation, Obama introduced a Senate bill to effect mandatory disclosure of such leaks. In 2008, The New York Times, which had endorsed Hillary Clinton,[178] charged that, in revising his bill, Obama had "removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators".[179] In response, the Obama campaign cited a National Journal analysis of the revised bill, showing that "Obama's bill would require that any leak of radioactive materials exceeding the levels set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the EPA be reported to state and local authorities, and to the NRC within 24 hours."[180]

Obama and other Senators introduced a bill in 2007 to promote the development of commercially viable plug-in hybrids and other electric-drive vehicles in order to shift away from petroleum fuels and "toward much cleaner – and cheaper – electricity for transportation".[181] Similar legislation is now in effect in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.[182] Obama proposes that the U.S. Government invest in such developments using revenue generated from an auction-based cap-and-trade or emissions trading program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[183]

Obama stresses innovation as a means to improve energy efficiency, calling for a 50% improvement by 2030. He has called for a 50 miles per US gallon (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg‑imp) rule, proposing tax credits to automakers in order to ease the transition.

He opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

On June 22, 2008 Obama proposed tightening regulations on oil speculators in an effort to ease record high prices of oil.[

Obama stresses innovation as a means to improve energy efficiency, calling for a 50% improvement by 2030. He has called for a 50 miles per US gallon (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg‑imp) rule, proposing tax credits to automakers in order to ease the transition.

He opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

On June 22, 2008 Obama proposed tightening regulations on oil speculators in an effort to ease record high prices of oil.[184] "My plan fully closes the Enron loophole and restores common-sense regulation," Obama said.[185]

On January 24, 2007 Obama spoke about his position on health care at Families USA, a health care advocacy group. Obama said, "The time has come for universal health care in America [...] I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country." Obama went on to say that he believed that it was wrong that forty-seven million Americans are uninsured, noting that taxpayers already pay over $15 billion annually to care for the uninsured.[187] Obama cites cost as the reason so many Americans are without health insurance.[188] Obama's health care plan includes implementing guaranteed eligibility for affordable health care for all Americans, paid for by insurance reform, reducing costs, removing patent protection for pharmaceuticals, and required employer contributions.[189] He would provide for mandatory health care insurance for children.

In July 2008 The New York Times reported that Senator Obama has promised to "bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family." His advisers have said that the $2,500 premium reduction includes, in addition to direct premium savings, the average family's share of the reduction in employer paid health insurance premiums and the reduction in the cost of government health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.[190]

The Associated Press reported in September 2008 that Senator Obama was proposing a National Health Insurance Exchange that would include both private insurance plans and a Medicare-like government run option. Coverage would be guaranteed regardless of health status, and premiums would not vary based on health status either. The campaign estimates the cost of the program at $60 billion annually. The plan requires that parents cover their children, but does not require adults to buy insurance.[191]

According to an October 26, 2008 article in the New York Times, Obama is considering a new payroll tax on large and medium employers who do not already provide their employees with health insurance, and this tax would be used to pay for health care for uninsured people, but Obama has not cited the specific percentage of payroll that the tax would be, or how small a number of employees the employer would have to have in order to be exempt from the tax.[192]

The New York Times reported that Senator Obama has promised to "bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family." His advisers have said that the $2,500 premium reduction includes, in addition to direct premium savings, the average family's share of the reduction in employer paid health insurance premiums and the reduction in the cost of government health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.[190]

The Associated Press reported in September 2008 that Senator Obama was proposing a National Health Insurance Exchange that would include both private insurance plans and a Medicare-like government run option. Coverage would be guaranteed regardless of health status, and premiums would not vary based on health status either. The campaign estimates the cost of the program at $60 billion annually. The plan requires that parents cover their children, but does not require adults to buy insurance.[191]

According to an October 26, 2008 article in the New York Times, Obama is considering a new payroll tax on large and medium employers who do not already provide their employees with health insurance, and this tax would be used to pay for health care for uninsured people, but Obama has not cited the specific percentage of payroll that the tax would be, or how small a number of employees the employer would have to have in order to be exempt from the tax.[192]

Obama voted for the $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[193]

Obama introduced the Stop Fraud Act[194] to increase penalties for mortgage fraud by mortgage brokers and real estate brokers and to provide more protections for low-income homebuyers.

In regards to capital gains on house sales, Obama says he favors increasing Obama introduced the Stop Fraud Act[194] to increase penalties for mortgage fraud by mortgage brokers and real estate brokers and to provide more protections for low-income homebuyers.

In regards to capital gains on house sales, Obama says he favors increasing capital gains tax above the present 15% rate to 20% for families whose income is above $250,000.[195]

On April 20, 2007, Obama introduced a bill in the Senate (Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act – S. 1181) requiring public companies to give shareholders an annual nonbinding vote on executive compensation, popularly called "Say on pay." A companion bill introduced by Rep. Barney Frank passed the House the same day.[196] Several corporations voluntarily have begun to give shareholders such a vote because of concerns about excessive CEO salaries.

Labor rights

Obama supports the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that adds penalties for labor violations and which would circumvent the secret ballot requirement to organize a union. Obama promises to sign the EFCA into law.[197] He is als