Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) said she will reintroduce legislation for a $50 billion “Strategic Energy Fund” that would use funds from a new temporary tax on oil and gas companies to invest in research and development (R&D) of clean energy technologies. The announcement came after a tour through multiple facilities in New York that highlighted innovative energy initiatives under way in the state.

“As a nation, it is time we take the giant leap in energy innovation we desperately need and that is exactly what the Strategic Energy Fund will do,” Clinton said.

The legislation would eliminate oil and gas company tax breaks and ensure the companies pay their “fair share” of royalties for drilling on public lands. The legislation also would place a temporary tax on major oil company profits that exceed a 2000-2004 profit baseline. The tax would be in place for two years, and companies could offset their tax by investing in alternative energy technologies such as ethanol and wind power.

The Strategic Energy Fund would raise $50 billion to fund research, development and deployment of energy technologies that would reduce America’s oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. The fund would provide the following:

“What we are proving in New York is that the energy challenge is not a zero sum game,” said Clinton. “By pursuing these opportunities, we can grow the economy and shrink our dependence on foreign oil. We can slow global warming and speed the creation of good new jobs. We can protect our security and protect our environment.”

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