Weighing Obama's SOTUS Proposal: More Oil Drilling to Fund Clean Energy?
Original story at Renewable Energy News Article• 5 mentions • 10 months ago
Renewable Energy News Article 10 months ago
WASHINGTON DC -- President Barack Obama's proposal to fund clean-energy research with fees paid by oil and gas producers is renewing a debate over whether the promise of innovation tomorrow is worth expanding drilling today. Obama's "Energy Security Trust" -- which he announced this week in the State of the Union address -- would redirect about $200 million in royalties for drilling on federal lands to pay for the development of biofuels, electric batteries and cars and trucks powered by natural gas, the White House said yesterday. The trust would operate for 10 years and spend a total of $2 billion.While Obama's plan doesn't open new areas to producers, clean-energy advocates say the idea of an oil-backed fund could ensure further support for fossil fuel alternatives even in an era of austerity and federal budget cuts."There is a lot of logic to it," said Mark Muro, a clean-energy expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "It resonates to a broad segment of the population that we should make the best of fossil fuels while accelerating the effort to transform our energy system."Drillers have lobbied to open areas off the Atlantic Coast and put more acreage in the Gulf of Mexico up for leasing, as well as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on land. Companies including Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in The Woodlands, Texas, and Continental Resources Inc., which is based in Oklahoma City, are already active on U.S. lands and could benefit from efforts to expand drilling. Companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc may benefit if more offshore territory is made available to drillers.