Late last week, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his second-term energy blueprint, reiterating his commitment to a sustained energy strategy, and urged Congress to take up common-sense proposals that will further reduce his country’s dependence on oil, better protect consumers from spikes in gas prices, and reduce pollution. He is calling for the establishment of an Energy Security Trust, which is designed to invest in breakthrough research that will make the technologies of the future cheaper and better – including natural gas fuel technologies.
Supported by a broad partisan coalition, the President’s proposal sets aside $2 billion over 10 years and will support research into a range of cost-effective technologies like advanced vehicles that run on domestically produced natural gas. The mandatory funds would be set aside from royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in Federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), already included in the administration’s five year plan.
Amongst a broad swathe of energy security measures, the President’s plan commits to partnering with the private sector to adopt natural gas and other alternative fuels in the Nation’s trucking fleet. Private sector investments are building natural gas fueling infrastructure across the United States just as natural gas vehicle research is making the technology more economically and environmentally effective.
The President is committed to accelerating the growth of this domestically abundant fuel and other alternative fuels in the transportation sector, putting in place new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas or other alternative fuels, providing a credit for 50 percent of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck for a five-year period; supporting research to ensure the safe and responsible use of natural gas; and 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.
(Source: Whitehouse Fact Sheet)