POLITICS

Obama wants oil companies to pay for clean energy fund

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

President Obama wants to use fees paid by oil and gas companies to pay for a clean-energy research fund that would aim to eliminate oil in transportation, the White House announced Tuesday.

Obama proposed a $2 billion “Energy Security Trust” for clean-energy research during his State of the Union speech:

“Tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good,” he said.

The White House expanded on the plan in a fact sheet released Tuesday night.

“The trust will support research into a range of cost-effective technologies – like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, and vehicles that run on domestically-produced natural gas,” it said.

The president’s plan would invest $200 million a year into the trust over 10 years, according to the White House.

In the short term, the U.S. will still rely on “responsibly produced” oil and gas, the White House said.

But the Energy Security Trust would help fund the president’s push for transitioning to “cleaner” energy sources.

As part of this push, the federal government has already heavily subsidized the electric car industry, pouring more than $5 billion into development and production. It also offers a $7,000 rebate to Chevy Volt buyers.

The Obama administration has also funded billions of dollars in green energy development. Some companies funded by Department of Energy loans are still in business; others, like Solyndra, Satcon and A123 Systems, have declared bankruptcy despite receiving taxpayer-funded loans intended to fund solar power and “clean” batteries.

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