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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.

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Oil Prices Heading Up – And Could Hit $4 by Summer, Warns DoE

But threat of big shock seems minor, government adds.

by on Feb.02, 2011

Expect to pay more, but government analysts say the feared surge to $4 a gallon is unlikely in 2011.

Be prepared to see the price at your local pump push towards $4 a gallon by the Independence Day holiday, warns the Department of Energy, in a new fuel forecast.

But the odds favor a less radical run-up, the government predicts, with only a 7% chance we’ll be paying $4 for gas this year.  Nonetheless, the DoE’s Energy Information Administration, sees it a certainty that fuel costs will keep climbing from their current level, which is average a bit more than $3 a gallon nationwide.

The EIA says the average price for a barrel of crude oil ran $89 in December 2010, and should push to $93 this year.  Considering the figure is already nudging close to $92, it raises the question of whether the government forecast is too conservative.  By the end of 2012, the forecast is $99 a barrel, which would still be well short of the record $147 hit in July 2008.

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A steady climb upward would be far more acceptable, according to most economists, than the extreme peaks and valleys seen in recent years – 2008’s high point was followed by a low of $38 a barrel in December of that year.

While a senior Shell official recently warned that prices at the pump could soon be in the $5 range, the Energy Department forecast calls for an average $3.17, across the country, this year, up from $2.78 in 2010.  That is expected to climb to $3.29 a gallon in 2012.

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