The future of federal energy policy is looking bright — Barack Obama chose Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice president this weekend. Biden has a three-decade senate record that includes a solid history of establishing climate change and energy policies. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has a perspective on how those policies will jive with the international community (not very well so far), and throughout his career he has sponsored a variety of legislation that tackles renewable energy, cleantech funds, electric car battery investment and biofuel mandates.
As a representative of Delaware, it’s also not too surprising that his policies align with the major industries in his state. Delaware produces corn and soybeans — the feedstock that currently makes up most of the first generation of biofuels; Biden makes sure to give corn-based ethanol props as a first good step. But Delaware also has a substantial poultry industry, and chicken farmers across the U.S. have generally been upset at the rising price of the corn used to feed chickens; Biden maintains (like most of us do) that corn needs to be switched over to cellulosic ethanol soon. He is also a friend of his state’s auto-manufacturing industry; in legislation he’s proposed aimed at remaking transportation he has tried to make sure the automakers aren’t hurt too much (more on this at CalCars.org). [digg=http://digg.com/politics/10_Things_to_Know_About_Biden_and_Energy]
Overall, who can’t like a guy who in 2006, in response to oil companies’ record profits and rising gas prices, point blank asks the chairman of Exxon and execs of other energy companies if they “needed” billions in tax breaks. “We guess not,” was the overall response from the group, according to Biden. Here are 10 things we think you should know about Biden’s energy and climate change record:
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