Funding Clean Energy R&D with Oil & Gas Lease Revenue
President Barack Obama announced plans last week for an “Energy Security Trust,” promoting clean energy research and development in the US, which will be funded by federal oil and gas lease revenue.
The plan is modeled after a proposal submitted by a group of former military leaders and business executives, committing to reducing US oil dependence. Federal royalties of offshore oil and gas drilling will be used to fund some $2 billion in research over the next decade, including advanced research of electric vehicle batteries, biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells. The initiative will also fund natural gas research, furthering the president's support of an “all of the above” energy strategy, advocated in his “Blueprint for a Clean and Secure Energy Future.”
"After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future," Obama said at the Argonne National Laboratory. "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 – with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in America since the 1970s. And we’re sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years."
"I want the next great job-creating breakthroughs, whether it's in energy or nanotechnology or bio-engineering, I want those breakthroughs to be right here in the United States of America," Obama added.
The funding provided will not add any additional costs to the federal budget, and investments will be critical in jumpstarting a number of small real-world experiments with efficient transportation techniques to be used in cities and towns.
"If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we," Obama declared in his 2013 State of the Union address. "Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long."
Image sourced via Argonne National Laboratory
Read More in Energy Digital's March Issue