By Barbara Kessler

For those yearning to hear more about the Democrats’ energy plans, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s vigorous speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Denver opened a more detailed dialogue on the subject.

Schweitzer, a first-term Democratic governor who chose a Republican lieutenant governor, called for “a new energy system that is clean, green and American-made.” He lamented U.S. dependence on foreign oil and what he labeled the Bush Administration’s single-minded focus on drilling to extract more oil, not just abroad but also domestically.

“That single-answer proposition is a dry well, and here’s why,” Schweitzer said. “America consumes 25 percent of the world’s oil, but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don’t need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn’t enough oil in America, on land or offshore, to meet America’s full energy needs.”

In Montana, said the rancher turned politician said, leaders are pursuing oil, but also wind power and coal operations with carbon sequestration; just as the nation will have to pursue many new avenues on the path to energy independence, and to counter global warming. And that includes conservation measures.

“Barack Obama understands the most important barrel of oil is the one you don’t use. Barack Obama’s energy strategy taps all sources and all possibilities. It will give you a tax credit if you buy a fuel-efficient car or truck, increase fuel-efficiency standards and put a million plug-in hybrids on the road,” said Schweitzer.

Read the full text of the speech on the DNC Convention website. To learn more about Montana’s energy policies, see the governor’s Office of Economic Development website.

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