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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 18, 2000
                      DETAILS OF THE CLINTON/GORE

Energy-Efficiency Enhances Energy Security And Strengthens The Economy: The strong performance of our economy over the past year, despite oil price rises, underscores the dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and reliability over the past quarter century. While past oil shortages have taken a significant toll on the U.S. economy, the recent increases in oil prices have yet to have a major impact on the U.S. economy. Increased energy efficiency - in cars, homes, and manufacturing - has helped insulate the economy from these short-term market fluctuations. In 1974, we consumed 15 barrels of oil for every $10,000 of gross domestic product. Today we consume only 8 barrels of oil for the same amount of economic output. But we can do even better.

President Clinton And Vice-President Gore Today Announced Important Steps To Promote Energy Security & Efficiency In America. These Steps Include:

I. Establishing A Regional Home Heating Oil Reserve: The President remains concerned about the effect that future shortages of home heating oil may have on consumers of home heating oil, particularly in the Northeast and New England. In order to reduce the likelihood that future shortages will harm consumers, the President will:

II. Reauthorizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Current authorization to operate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve expires on March 31st, even as OPEC oil ministers will be meeting in Vienna to discuss production quotas. In order to ensure that the President maintains the ability to use all available tools to respond to the needs of the United States economy, he will call on Congress to immediately reauthorize Titles I and II of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which authorize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the International Energy Program at the Department of Energy.

III. Enacting A Comprehensive Tax Incentive Package: In order to insulate the economy from the effects of future energy price increases, the United States needs comprehensive and balanced package of tax incentives. This comprehensive approach includes support for domestic oil producers to reduce our reliance on oil imports and must include incentives to continue expanding renewable energy and increasing the energy efficiency of our economy. These tax proposals are either paid for in the President's budget or will be paid for with offsets.

  1. Preserving Productive Capacity of the Domestic Oil Industry: In addition to calling for steps to decrease our demand for oil through increased efficiency, the President is proposing new steps to support new domestic exploration and production, and to lower the business costs of producers when oil prices are low. These tax proposals will cost less than $1 billion over ten years. The Administration will also continue examining opportunities to preserve marginal well production.
  2. The President?s proposal would extend the tax credit at its $4,000 maximum level through 2006.

IV. Making Common Sense Investments In Promoting Energy Efficiency And Alternative Energy Technologies. In addition to providing tax credits to promote domestic oil production and energy efficiency, the President and Vice President have already presented budget requests for appropriations that will further promote energy security. They have proposed a budget that includes over $1.4 billion next year to accelerate the research, development, and deployment of alternative and more efficient energy technologies.