President Barack Obama, speaking Friday from Argonne National Laboratory, called on Congress to put a new $2 billion energy initiative into motion and get America off of its heavy reliance on foreign oil “once and for all.”
“The only way to 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,” the president said to about 400 people in the Center for Nanoscale Materials.
In his State of the Union address, Obama had first called on Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies that would lead to cleaner energy.
Now, he was bringing attention to the issue at Argonne, a mega-hub of innovation that includes wide-scale research to improve efficiency in the car industry. A White House official said Argonne was chosen because “they have been at the forefront of research focused on high-tech vehicle technology.”
Obama said there should be support for this idea “because it’s not just about saving money, it’s also about saving the environment. It’s also about national security. . . . Our reliance on oil makes us way too dependent on other parts of the world, many of which are very volatile.”
Obama’s proposition was to take a portion of oil and gas revenues from public lands and put it toward research “that will benefit the public so we can support American ingenuity without adding a dime to our deficit.”
“We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; support scientists that are developing cheaper batteries that can go farther on a single charge; support scientists and engineers that are devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy, like advanced biofuels and natural gas, so drivers can one day go coast to coast without using a drop of oil,” Obama said.
The president’s proposal sets aside $2 billion over 10 years and will support research into a range of cost-effective technologies — like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, biofuels, fuel cells, and domestically produced natural gas.
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