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Obama Wants $2 bil Advanced Vehicle Research Trust Fund

By tapping oil, gas drilling royalties, proposal could win bipartisan support.

by on Mar.15, 2013

President Barack Obama during his State of the Union speech last month.

Following up on a pledge made during his State of the Union address to “shift our cars and trucks off oil for good,” President Barack Obama is seeking Congressional approval for a $2 billion energy trust fund to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies.

The request could be a challenge to achieve considering the current, highly partisan situation in Washington, where even the military has fallen victim to Congressional gridlock. An earlier Obama Administration program focusing on battery propulsion was effectively shut down by Republican opponents after some high-profile problems.

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The White House nonetheless hopes to sidestep the ongoing federal budget debate by promising the requested funding “would be set aside from royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf.” That could be a salve to those who have demanded the White House continues to expand oil and gas drilling. There are already some signs of support from Republicans.


President Wants Funds to Shift Away From Gas-Powered Cars

Energy Security Trust would divert oil revenues to develop clean technologies like batteries, hydrogen.

by on Feb.13, 2013

The president calls for the creation of a national Energy Security Trust to help shift away from oil.

President Barack Obama wants to divert some of the revenues the federal government receives for oil and gas drilling to help find ways to shift to cleaner energy sources like battery power and hydrogen fuel cells.

In his State of the Union address, the president noted that there are significant new revenues being raised by leasing rights for expanded oil and natural gas production on public lands. He envisions using some of that to fund a new Energy Security Trust.

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“If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we,” Obama said. “Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices that we have put up with far too long.”


Obama to Outline Plans for Dealing With Oil Prices at Indy Parts Plant

Allison Transmission plant produces hybrid systems for buses and truck.

by on May.05, 2011

Pres. Obama during a visit to the Chevy Volt plant.

President Barack Obama is expected to address the issue of rising oil prices, on Friday, during a visit to a parts plant in Indianapolis that produces fuel-saving hybrid systems for buses and trucks.

The president is hoping to maintain the momentum offered by the weekend take-down of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden as he tackles one of the toughest issues facing the nation today.  With job growth faltering, some analysts believe near-record fuel prices are threatening to push the U.S. back into recession.

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Obama last week announced his goal of increasing domestic oil and exploration and production, while making automobiles and trucks more fuel-efficient and encouraging the switch to electric and other forms of alternative propulsion.

But the steady increase in fuel prices, now nearing $4 a gallon nationwide – and $5 in a few key markets, like Southern California – is becoming a short-term political liability.  At the current rate, oil industry analysts say, a gallon of regular could soon top the July 2008 all-time peak of $4.11.  And some are forecasting the figure may hit $5 before leveling off.


China Now Leads in Clean Energy Investments

Will new Obama proposals help U.S. regain lead?

by on Mar.30, 2011

As President Barack Obama exhorts Americans to get behind a coherent energy policy, a new study shows the U.S. falling  behind in the race to develop new, clean sources of energy, according to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Last year, clean energy investment across the globe grew by 30%, to $243 billion last year, with China continuing to solidify its position as the world’s clean energy leader by investing a record $54.4 billion in 2010.

China’s investment represented a 39% increase from 2009, the new Pew Study said.  Germany was second in the G-20, up from third last year, after experiencing a 100% increase in investment, to $41.2 billion.

“The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630% growth in finance and investments since 2004,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program.

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“Countries like China, Germany and India were attractive to financiers because they have national policies that support renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production and that create long-term certainty for investors,” she said.

The United States, which had maintained the top spot until 2008, dropped another rung in 2010 to third, with $34 billion invested.


Obama Wants to Slash Oil Imports, Shift Govt. Fleet to Green Vehicles

Outlines energy policy calling for shift to cleaner fuels.

by on Mar.30, 2011

President Obama discussing energy policy.

President Barack Obama, warning there are “no quick fixes,” outlined a broad energy policy that he hopes will win broad bipartisan support at a time when oil prices have hit their highest levels in three years.

A key goal will be to better access untapped sources of domestic sources of oil and gas even as the nation moves forward on a goal of trimming petroleum imports by a third by 2025, the president declared during a speech today at Washington’s Georgetown University.

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Among other key goals, the government will move to buy only hybrids, plug-ins and other advanced technology vehicles for its vast fleet of 600,000 vehicles by 2015.

“Presidents and politicians of every stripe have promised energy independence but that promise has so far gone unmet,” the president noted.  “That has to change. We cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again,” he said.


Panel Claims U.S. Can’t Meet White House Goal of Putting 1 Million Battery Cars on the Road by 2015

President still intent on shift to clean power for cars.

by on Feb.03, 2011

The White House wants 1 million battery cars, like this Ford C-Max Energi, on the road by 2015.

President Barack Obama, during a visit to Penn State today,  laid out more of his broad plan for the nation to switch to clean energy, a move that would, among other things, place heavy emphasis on putting at least 1 million battery cars on the road by 2015.

But a blue-ribbon panel, put together by Indiana University, warns that the administration won’t be able to meet its goal of shifting motorists into hybrids and battery-electric vehicles that quickly.

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“The production intentions of automakers are currently insufficient to meet the 2015 goal,” argued the report, “and even the current plans for production volume may not be met.”

Pres. Obama has made energy a cornerstone of his policies, and has authorized billions of dollars in grants and low-interest loans to promote energy efficiency and a shift away from imported oil.  Much of that money has gone to the auto industry, where it is supporting efforts to set up lithium-ion production facilities, develop even more advanced batteries, and help manufacturers put on the road vehicles that can use the new technologies.