Obama talks energy strategy, calls for Energy Security Trust fund

By Holly Jessen | March 18, 2013

President Barack Obama spoke at Argonne National Laboratory on March 15, highlighting the importance of an all-of-the-above energy strategy and calling on Congress to establish a $2 billion Energy Security Trust. “Few pieces of business are more important for us than getting our energy future right,” he said.

The sequester, $1 trillion in automatic budget cuts that kicked in March 1, could have negative effects on the advancement of American scientific research. Obama read from the comments of directors of national labs, who said the cuts would force stopping any new Argonne National Laboratory project in the next two years. “One of the reasons I was opposed to these cuts is because they don’t distinguish between wasteful programs and vital investments,” he said. “They don’t trim the fat; they cut into muscle and into bone—like research and development being done right here that not only gives a great place for young researchers to come and ply their trade, but also ends up creating all kinds of spinoffs that create good jobs and good wages.”

He went on to talk about the recent spike in gas prices. “Every time it happens, politicians—they dust off their three-point plans for $2 gas, but nothing happens and then we go through the same cycle again,” he said. “So we’re making progress, but the only way to really break this cycle of spiking gas prices, the only way to break that cycle for good is to shift our cars entirely—our cars and trucks—off oil.” A White House infographic specifically mentions cleaner biofuels as one of the technologies to accomplish that.

As a way to reach that goal, Obama pointed to his proposal for an Energy Security Trust, which would be funded by revenue from profitable oil and gas companies, bringing in $2 billion in the course of 10 years. “We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; support scientists that are developing cheaper batteries that can go farther on a single charge; support scientists and engineers that are devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy—like advanced biofuels and natural gas—so drivers can one day go coast to coast without using a drop of oil,” Obama told the crowd.

In the meantime, Obama said he would continue to move forward with his all-of-the-above energy strategy. That strategy includes producing more oil and gas domestically while also producing more biofuels, fuel-efficient vehicles, solar power, wind power and other strategies.

The President’s full remarks can be found on the White House website