President Barack Obama urges Congress to back a $2 billion trust fund aimed at supporting advanced-vehicle research.
President Obama first announced his support of the proposal last month during his State of the Union speech, as the strategy would appeal to lawmakers in both parties. Proceeds would be taken from increased offshore oil and gas production, which would be used to finance research into technologies which would make cars less dependent on oil.
According to administration officials the president plans a trust fund formed with $2 billion set aside over 10 years, the money being taken from new royalties paid by companies which extract gas and oil from underneath US waters. This proposal could see the Republicans’ opposition, as they want more drilling in areas president Obama hasn’t opened, including the Atlantic Coast.
“And at a time when, you know, every month you got to replace your smartphone because something new has come up, imagine what that means when China and Germany and Japan are all continuing to plump up their basic research and we’re just sitting there doing nothing,” Mr. Obama said.
The president said that the US has to continue funding the research as the competition from abroad gets tougher. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also supports the idea, but wants the money to come from ‘new production’ as there are “plenty of resources that haven’t been developed.”