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Congressional Hopeful Kilroy Pushes Alternative Energy

Democrat Franklin County Commissioner and 15-th Congressional District candidate Mary Jo Kilroy says the U.S. Congress and everyday people need to step up to help with global warming and the energy crisis.

"For too long Congress has been gridlocked on global warming," Mary Jo Kilroy said.

That's part of the reason Kilroy said the U.S. too slow to develop alternative energy or fight global warming.

Kilroy, who wants to fill long-time republican incumbent Deborah Pryce's seat in Congress, said there are four basic issues that should be addressed to help climate change and save energy: new energy sources, carbon emissions reduction, commitment to conserve existing energy and encourage what she calls a green economy.

Kilroy said Ohio has an advantage for a green economy. She noted the solar panel industry in northwestern Ohio; wind power possibilities off of Lake Erie and bio-fuel materials grown by Union and Madison County farmers.

"But to make that a reality they need the resources and the technologies and they need the market places for the energy that they can produce," Kilroy said.

Kilroy also called for a carbon regulated economy in which businesses, like power plants, would be limited on how much carbon dioxide they can release each year.

"To put into effect responsible market-based cap and trade policies to reduce carbon, and to ensure the Ohio industry is given the support as we transition into a carbon-regulated economy," Kilroy said.

Kilroy said there's a huge gap in the current administration's energy efforts, and that more money should go toward climate change and alternative energy sources. Kilroy said the Bush Administration is spending $30 million a year on new energy solutions.

"When we are spending billion, billions in Iraq every week you see the disparity there. We absolutely need to direct more resources to this problem - significant resources," she said.

Kilroy said part of those resources would be used to explore tax credits for businesses and homeowners to help make transitioning into a green way of living easier, and to look at ways to subsidize new research.

Kilroy's opponent, Republican State Senator Steve Stivers is out of town on Ohio National Guard duty and unable to comment on Kilroy's energy plan.

Earlier this month Stivers announced a five-point energy plan he says will reduce American's foreign oil dependence and make the nation more secure.

Stivers' plan is a variation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1942 Petroleum Administration for War.

"It led to new supply, new pipelines and new refineries that helped us in the war effort. I believe the national imperative is more important now than it was in World War II," Stivers said.

Stivers' Petroleum Administration for Security would locate and build new U.S. refineries. Also, Stivers' called for higher mile per gallon standards on car and trucks. He wants the average for cars to be raised to 40 mpg and 35 mpg for trucks by 2015.