President Barack Obama announced a major energy proposal during a visit to Argonne National Laboratory on Friday, March 15.
After touring lab facilities and speaking with researchers about work they do related to energy, the President held a news conference in which he revealed that his administration is calling on Congress to establish an Energy Security Trust. The proposed Trust, according to the White House Office of the Press Secretary, calls for investment in "breakthrough research that will make the technologies of the future cheaper and better – technologies that will protect American families from spikes in gas prices and allow us to run our cars and trucks on electricity or homegrown fuels."
Under the President's proposal, the U.S. would set aside $2 billion over 10 years to support research into a range of cost-effective technologies, such as advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, fuel cells, and domestically produced natural gas.
"After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future," he said. "We produce more oil than we have in 15 years. We import less oil than we have in 20 years. We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have before – with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in America since the 1970s. And we’re sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years."
The proposal is modeled after a plan submitted by a group of former military leaders and business executives who are committed to reducing U.S. oil dependence. The group, called Securing America's Future Energy, or SAFE, is headed by retired Marine Corps Gen. P.X. Kelley and FedEx Corp. Chairman and chief executive Frederick W. Smith.
"This is not a Democratic idea or a Republican idea," Obama said, "this is just a smart idea… We can do it."