President Barack Obama, under pressure to respond to rising gas prices, said Thursday that there’s been broad bipartisan agreement on legislation providing incentives for natural gas vehicles.
The US president also vowed to boost domestic oil production, backed new incentives for natural gas vehicles and pushed for four cellulosic ethanol refineries by 2013 as part of a strategy for cutting the nation’s imported oil use by one third by 2025 from 2008 levels.
The president also announced that he is directing the federal government to ensure that all of its vehicle purchases are alternative fuel, hybrid, or electric cars by 2015.
“There are no quick fixes. Anybody who tells you otherwise isn’t telling you the truth. And we will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we finally get serious about a long-term policy for a secure, affordable energy future.”
He backed greater production of biofuels and vowed to establish at least four commercial scale refineries producing cellulosic ethanol or advanced biofuels within the next two years.
He also pledged to establish higher fuel-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, just as he did for passenger vehicles early in his administration.
“The United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity and security on a resource that will eventually run out,” Obama told an audience at Georgetown University. “We can’t afford it when the cost to our economy, our country, and our planet is so high.”
America only possesses 2% of the world’s known oil reserves — a reality that will require an eventual transition away from oil, he argued.
Dallas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens said America has no choice but to steer away from oil because the country cannot sustain a dependence on oil.
There’s not enough oil for the demand and with $4 per gallon gasoline just around the corner, Pickens said one immediate solution is to switch to natural gas.