New Oil Lease-Backed Energy Security Trust to Pay for R&D
President Obama has proposed to pay for research into alternative fuels and new energy systems out of a new Energy Security Trust, which would itself be funded by about $2 billion over ten years from off shore oil lease revenues. Natural gas for trucks gets specific mention, as does speedier permitting for domestic energy production.
“Few areas hold more promise for creating good jobs and growing our economy than how we use American energy,” states a White House summary. Obama outlined his idea for the new Trust at the Argonne National Laboratory on Friday.
The White House also singled out cheaper, lighter and stronger natural gas fuel tanks, better batteries for electric vehicles, “cleaner biofuels,” and hydrogen fuel cells.
The president proposes partnering with the private sector to adopt natural gas and other alternative fuels for trucks, “with new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas or other alternative fuels, including a credit for 50% of the incremental cost of a dedicated alt fuel truck for a five-year period.”
“The natural gas vehicle market is already growing, but the vehicle incentives the president calls for would help accelerate that growth and help displace foreign oil use even faster,” NGVAmerica president Rich Kolodziej said in a release.
‘More Robust’ Energy Project Permitting
“We’re also excited about the Energy Security Trust,” Kolodziej said. “Through more research and development, natural gas vehicles will become even more efficient, more cost-effective and cleaner.”
The new Trust would back research “to ensure the safe and responsible use of natural gas, with funding to support a select number of deployment communities: real-world laboratories that leverage limited federal resources to develop different models to deploy advanced vehicles at scale.”
Among the other provisions,
- A challenge to double renewable electricity generation again by 2020, in part by making the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent and refundable, “instead of continuing century-old subsidies to oil companies.”
- Directing the Interior Department “to make energy project permitting more robust “ with better regulatory processes for oil and gas, renewable energy, and infrastructure, “including the transition to an electronic, streamlined system for oil and gas permits that will significantly reduce the time for approval of new drilling projects… the Department will also propose more diligent development of oil and gas leases through shorter primary lease terms, stricter enforcement of lease terms, and monetary incentives to get leases into production.”
- A commitment to safer production and cleaner electricity from natural gas, with more than $40 million in research for safe and responsible natural gas production, significant funding for clean coal technology, “and a new $25 million prize for the first, natural gas combined cycle power plant to integrate carbon capture and storage.”
- A responsible nuclear waste strategy.
- A goal to cut net oil imports in half by the end of the decade. “Increased production of domestic oil, natural gas, and biofuels, and improvements in the fuel economy of our cars and trucks allowed the United States to cut imports of oil by almost one-third since 2008.”
- Cutting the amount of energy wasted in cars, trucks, homes, buildings, and factories by half over the next 20 years.
- $200 million in one-time funding for Race to the Top performance based awards to support State governments that implement effective policies to cut energy waste and modernize the grid.
“After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future,” Obama 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,” the president said, “with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it.”
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Source: the White House with Fleets & Fuels follow-up