Democratic presidential hopeful Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, right, presents the Purple Heart medal to Stacey Brewer, left, niece of Corporal Clem Robert Boody in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Nov. 5, 2007.
AP Photo / Paul Sancya
When it comes to energy policy, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson said leadership will be the key to tackling what he considers to be the country's top domestic and foreign policy challenge in the coming decades.
Richardson, the New Mexico governor and former Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton, spoke to reporters in a national conference call from Iowa to talk about the release of his book, "Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution."
After 30 years of relatively little political progress in formulating a long-term energy policy in Washington, Richardson said if elected he plans to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to create a "national movement" to fight the status quo and make the country energy independent.
"What is needed is presidential leadership on energy policy," said Richardson, who will talk about his new book and his energy and climate change policies at a presidential candidate's forum and at Seacoast Media Group, the parent company of the Herald, on Thursday.
"What I'm offering is literally a crash course, a 10-year plan to make us energy independent," said Richardson, who wrote his second campaign book in the spring. Its release coincides, he said, within the domestic and international context of skyrocketing oil prices and increased warfare and tension in the Middle East. He said ending the war in Iraq and energy policy were his top two priorities and were uniquely connected because of the country's inability to move toward energy independence — and deal quickly with the impact of global climate change — to restore the country's leadership position in the world.
"It's becoming abundantly clear this is the top domestic security and national security issue facing the country," said Richardson who also served as United Nations Ambassador.
"The $300 billion we (annually) export (to buy oil) is bleeding us to death."
Richardson's plans include a goal to cut oil dependence by half by 2020 and reduce carbon emissions 20 to 30 percent by 2020 — and by 90 percent by 2050. He said his efforts in new Mexico to implement sound energy and conservation proposals reflect the desire of the American people to embrace "a mandate for change."
All the Democratic candidates have released energy policy proposals, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, who released the details of her plan in Iowa Monday and who spoke at Seacoast Media Group on her energy and climate change policies in July.
Speaking to the Portsmouth Herald Editorial Board last week, Clinton expressed the frustration of many politicians when she noted the difficult situation the country is in.
"We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Saudis," she said. "It's insane."
GO & DO
Bill Richardson shares his energy and climate change policies
When: Thursday, November 8, 1 p.m.
Where: Seacoast Media Group, 111 New Hampshire Ave., Portsmouth, N.H.
Details: All available tickets for this event have been distributed.
Seacoast Online is owned and operated by Seacoast Media Group. Copyright © 2007 Seacoast Online. All rights reserved.
Seacoast Media Group is a subsidiary of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc., a Dow Jones Company.