June 27, 2006
By: by Bethany Lesser, Office of Senator Schumer
At the first New Energy Symposium hosted by New Energy New York, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer gave a major policy address where he outlined his bold “Manhattan Project” for energy. Schumer’s plan would devote billions of dollars for new energy research and development, and create a new federal agency to promote innovation.
“We need to direct the resources and full wherewithal of the federal government toward a Manhattan Project to make us energy independent,” Schumer said. “Whether it was FDR rallying the country to defend freedom abroad or President Kennedy daring us to reach beyond the sky to explore space, today’s energy crisis needs the same drive, imagination, and leadership. New energy technology companies across New York have a seminal role to play in making our nation safe and secure, free of foreign sources of energy.”
The new Manhattan Project would be administered by a completely new and independent agency called the National Energy Efficiency Development Administration (NEEDA). Its sole mission would be to reduce US imports of foreign oil 5% by 2008; 20% by 2011; and 50% by 2015.
NEEDA would focus on five primary tasks:
NEEDA would be given $83 billion over the next 10 years to accomplish its goal. Schumer said that most of the funding for the Manhattan Project would come from rolling-back some of the federal subsidies for the major oil and gas companies, and devoting that money to new energy research.
Schumer also proposed a new tax credit to promote ethanol production in New York and a Blue Ribbon Commission to study updating state and local energy and environmental regulations in order to promote the production and use of alternative sources of energy.
In December 2002, Schumer unveiled a new consortium called "New Energy New York” with seven of the Capital Region's leading alternative energy organizations. Now there are over 30 organizations statewide that look at ways that New York State’s high-tech companies can interact to address energy-related technology issues, bring attention to the state’s leadership on clean-energy resources, and provide benefits to each of the members through cooperation and coordination of marketing initiatives.