Monday, October 08, 2007

"Obama casts blame on the D.C. insiders"

Seacoast (NH):
PORTSMOUTH — In a major speech today, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama won't be naming names, but he will lay responsibility for past energy policy failures on leading Washington insiders.
There's no doubt that Sen. Hillary Clinton, one of Obama's main rivals for the Democratic nomination, is his main target.

The campaign says the speech, which will be delivered at Portsmouth Public Library, will separate the Illinois senator from his Democratic rivals on the boldness of his energy policy and the leadership needed to deal with the "energy crisis" the country has yet to confront.

"Especially when it comes to energy policy, we've seen a lot of promises from Washington politicians, but no action," said Reid Cherlin, Obama's N.H. press secretary.

In an excerpt of the speech given to the Herald, Obama plans to say, "The truth is, our energy problem has become an energy crisis because no matter how well-intentioned the promise — no matter how bold the proposal — they all fall victim to the same Washington politics that has only become more divided and dishonest; more timid and calculating; more beholden to the powerful interests that have the biggest stake in the status quo."

Clinton, who is leading in state and national opinion polls, released her own energy proposals in July during a forum at Seacoast Media Group, the parent company of the Herald. Clinton has proposed what she has called an Apollo Project-type approach — which led to the modern space program and the landing of a man on the moon — through a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund.

Clinton told Seacoast-region voters at the forum that under her leadership the country will achieve energy independence and confront global climate change with market-based and government action to cut carbon emissions and pollutants contributing to global warming.

Clinton has also proposed a Green Building Fund, a $1 billion program for state governments to promote wide-scale energy efficiency that could lead, according to the campaign estimates, to 50,000 "green-collar" jobs and stimulate innovation along the way.

This will be the second time in less than a week that Obama has criticized Clinton — if not by name, then by implication. In a recent foreign policy speech, Obama criticized Clinton's Iraq war authorization vote in 2002 as another example of the "same Washington politics."

Obama's campaign would not release any specific policy proposals, but did say "he would lay out a bold energy plan that will allow America to lead in the world in combating global climate change."

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