Pataki Calls For Alternative Fuel Incentives

New York Gov. George Pataki on Monday called for tax credits for fuel-efficient cars and development of alternative fuels as he offered a national energy plan — and revved up his own presidential ambitions for 2008.

The three-term Republican governor, bemoaning the high price of gasoline and its impact on national security and the economy, offered a 10-year plan on the same day as oil supplies from Alaska were disrupted because of a pipeline corrosion problem.

Nearly three-fourths of the pipelines from the nation's largest oil field will be replaced and production could be closed for weeks or months, news that sent oil prices up by $2 a barrel.

The governor, mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, proposed tax credits to encourage auto makers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles and development of alternative fuels through a combination of tax incentives, legislative changes and loan guarantees.

"Foreign oil's undeniable ties to terror, to global instability and to continued environmental degradation makes immediate, decisive action to reduce our petroleum consumption absolutely critical," Pataki said.

The Republican spoke about increasing the availability of ethanol, the corn-based fuel and a popular alternative in Iowa, site of the leadoff presidential caucuses.

Pataki's remarks were briefly interrupted by members of the Transit Workers Union, who shouted that he was to blame for the transit strike that paralyzed New York City's subway and bus system last December.