On March 15, President Obama traveled to the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to discuss the Energy Security Trust that he announced in the 2013 State of The Union Address. The Trust, which builds on a proposal supported by a broad bipartisan coalition including retired military leaders, would provide a reliable stream of funding for critical, breakthrough research focused on developing cost-effective transportation alternatives to get our cars and trucks off oil.
The President’s proposal sets aside $2 billion over 10 years and would support research into a wide range of cost-effective technologies – like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, fuel cells, and domestically produced natural gas. Paired with other Administration policies, including our historic new fuel economy standards that are already saving families and businesses money at the pump, the Trust would help solidify America’s position as a world leader in advanced transportation technology.
This represents just a snapshot of the Administration’s Energy Security Trust proposal. For more information, read the White House blog on the Energy Security Trust. Also be sure to check out the President’s recent weekly address on this proposal.
News & Events
New EPA Report: Initial Data Shows Significant Gains in Fuel Economy for 2012
The EPA released its annual report that tracks the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States, underscoring the major increases made in the efficiency of the vehicles Americans drive, reducing oil consumption and cutting carbon emissions. According to the report, EPA estimates that between 2007 and 2012 fuel economy values increased by 16 percent while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have decreased by 13 percent, and in 2012 alone the report indicates a significant one year increase of 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks. In addition, compared to five years ago, consumers have twice as many hybrid and diesel vehicle choices, a growing set of plug-in electric vehicle options, and a six-fold increase in the number of car models with combined city/highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or higher.
President Obama Nominates New Energy Department and EPA Heads
President Obama on March 4 nominated Ernest Moniz to replace Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy, and Gina McCarthy to take over U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leadership from Lisa Jackson. Of his new Energy Secretary nominee, Obama said “Ernie knows that we can produce more energy and grow our economy while still taking care of our air, our water and our climate.” In announcing McCarthy’s nomination, President Obama called her a top environmental official in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where she helped design programs to expand energy efficiency and promote renewable energy. She previously served as the assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.
Interior Department Approves Three Renewable Energy Projects in California and Nevada
As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on March 13 the approval of three major renewable energy projects that, when built, are expected to deliver 1,100 megawatts to the grid – enough to power more than 340,000 homes – and help support more than 1,000 jobs through construction and operations. Since 2009, Interior has approved 37 renewable energy projects, including 20 utility-scale solar facilities, 8 wind farms and 9 geothermal plants, with associated transmission corridors and infrastructure to connect to established power grids. When built, these projects will provide more than 11,500 megawatts of power, or enough electricity to power more than 3.8 million homes, and support an estimated 13,500 construction and operations jobs.
Obama Administration Holds 39-Million-Acre Oil and Gas Lease Sale in Central Gulf of Mexico
Taking the latest step in President Obama’s efforts to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Department of the Interior recently held a nearly 39 million-acre oil and gas lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico. As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, domestic oil and gas production has grown each year the President has been in office, with domestic oil production currently higher than any time in two decades and natural gas production at its highest level ever.
Energy Department Partnerships Speed Advanced Vehicle Technologies
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to speeding the transition to more sustainable energy sources that will help drive economic growth, the Energy Department on March 5 announced 16 major U.S. employers and two stakeholder groups have joined the Workplace Charging Challenge to give more American workers access to new transportation options, while another three U.S. corporations have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership. These steps support President Obama’s goal to drive new technology that offers more vehicle fueling options to American consumers, as highlighted in his State of the Union address. The Workplace Charging Challenge is a collaborative effort to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years. The National Clean Fleets Partnership aims to speed the deployment of clean, energy-efficient vehicles and the infrastructure to support their widespread use.