Sen. Clinton outlines her energy fund plan

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) yesterday outlined her proposal for a Strategic Energy Fund aimed at weaning the U.S. economy off of its dependence on oil by diverting oil-company tax breaks to investment in biofuels, clean coal and other renewable energy sources.

In a speech to the Apollo Alliance, a partnership between labor, business and liberal-leaning advocacy groups that will make the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, Clinton tied alternative energy to economic security. Clinton’s plan, which she began discussing during an energy-policy swing through upstate New York this week, would direct oil-industry profits reaped during the Bush administration to cutting-edge and climate-friendly research.

Clinton is slated to introduce legislation tied to her proposal this week. But the Republican National Committee (RNC), conscious of energy’s relevance in the Iowa caucuses, issued a preemptive strike on Clinton’s proposed clean-energy fund with a list of 17 previous votes she has taken against the ethanol industry. The RNC likened Clinton’s energy rhetoric to Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBringing the American election experience to Democratic Republic of the Congo Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020 The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE’s (D-Mass.) during his 2004 White House run.

Clinton’s speech came as her presidential campaign’s high-profile online fundraising drive went down to the wire on its goal of $1 million in contributions. Former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonGOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Lawmakers, pick up the ball on health care and reform Medicaid The art of the small deal MORE and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have sent e-mail appeals to grassroots donors during the weeklong push, but Clinton’s campaign was about $111,000 short with a half-day remaining yesterday.