WASHINGTON, March 15 (RIA Novosti) US President Barack Obama said Friday he wants American cars and trucks that can “one day go from coast to coast without using a drop of oil,” and asked Congress to create a clean energy research fund he said would help make that happen without increasing the federal deficit.
“Let’s set up an Energy Security Trust that helps us free our families and our businesses from painful spikes in gas once and for all. It’s not just about saving money. It’s also about saving the environment, but it’s also about our national security,” Obama said.
“Our reliance on oil makes us way too dependent on other parts of the world, many of which are very volatile,” he added.
Speaking at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, after a tour of one of the largest national laboratories for scientific and engineering research, Obama said the trust would pay for the research into clean energy technologies using revenues from federal offshore oil and gas leases, and would not add to the US budget deficit.
It’s a proposal he first raised during his State of the Union address last month. It calls for $2 billion over 10 years for research on electric vehicles, homegrown biofuels, domestically produced natural gas as a transportation fuel and other “breakthrough” technologies.
Friday’s announcement put a price tag on the plan and included both a clean energy agenda, which Democrats favor, and offshore drilling, which Republicans support.
But Republicans may not back it because the plan "still takes a revenue stream and directs it into this usage… That's $2 billon that could go to other uses or deficit reduction," said David Pumphrey, co-director of the Energy and National Security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit research and analysis firm, according to The Associated Press.
Obama’s proposal is similar in some ways to a plan already put forth by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the senior Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, but the president’s plan doesn’t call for increased offshore energy production and Murkowski’s does.
“The president says he wants to divert a share of the royalties from offshore production that has already been factored into the budget… More likely, the president’s real plan is to raise taxes on oil and gas. There’s a better way that not only funds investment in research, but also addresses our need for affordable and abundant energy,” said Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon in a statement to RIA Novosti.
Dillon said Murkowski’s plan would tap new revenue sources from new energy production areas not currently available for lease.
The president’s request came on the same day the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an annual report it said shows “major increases made in the efficiency of the vehicles Americans drive.”
According to the EPA report, fuel efficiency in the US increased by 1.4 miles per gallon (.6 kilometers per liter) in 2012.
Obama said American automakers have made tremendous strides in fuel efficiency, but added, “the only way to really break this cycle of spiking gas prices, the only way to break that cycle for good is to shift our cars entirely -- our cars and trucks -- off oil.”
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Cuba’s new trademark: Multicolored vintage cabs
Infographics: Powerful Ship-Borne Laser System
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is one of the most important foreign policy initiatives taken by Russia along with five other countries. Both Russia and China want to reduce the threat of separatism and western influence in the region. Emergence of SCO provoked new international order.