Clinton attacks 'do-nothing' energy policies


US senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has attacked George Bush's government for its "do-nothing policies" on energy.

In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, the New York Democrat and former first lady made the case for a national fund paid for by oil firms that would be used to mine alternative sources of energy such as ethanol, solar or wind power.

Senator Clinton, tipped as a potential candidate for the Democrat presidential nomination, said her proposals for increased conservation could axe US oil consumption by almost eight million barrels a day, or half of projected imports, by 2025.

"Our present system of energy is weakening our national security, hurting our pocketbooks, violating our common values and threatening our children's future. Right now, instead of national security dictating our energy policy, our failed energy policy dictates our national security," she said.

"I want to suggest a concrete goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil 50 per cent by 2025, a reduction in oil consumption of just under eight million barrels a day. I believe a 50 by 25 initiative will energise our economy, not undermine it."

She said her strategic energy fund would ensure oil firms paid their "fair share" of royalties for drilling on public lands.

Against a backdrop of runaway oil prices and the apparent governmental failure on energy policies, the fund would raise about $50 billion, sufficient monies to start "the energy revolution", she said.

Senator Clinton also called on Americans to do much more to reduce oil use and urged more conservation and energy efficiency.

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