On March 30, 2011, President Barack Obama delivered remarks at Georgetown University on Energy Security, the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, the increase in natural gas production, a clean energy standard, and the use of nuclear power. President Obama also revealed the administration’s “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future,” which outlines specific goals for the United States moving forward (the “Blueprint”). The Blueprint provides a more detailed outline on energy and a three-part strategy going forward:
- Develop and secure America’s energy supplies;
- Provide consumers with choices to reduce costs and save energy; and
- Innovate our way to a clean energy future.
In his remarks, President Obama set forth a series of goals for the U.S., including reduction in reliance on foreign oil. President Obama stated that he wants to cut oil imports by a third in a little more than a decade. Obama stated this goal is achievable by finding and producing more oil in the U.S. and reducing dependence on oil overall with alternative fuels and increased energy efficiency. President Obama encouraged the oil industry to take advantage of current opportunities and also promoted the development of new sources of energy such as natural gas and renewable biofuels. He also encouraged Congress to pass a bill which will allow for extraction of natural gas in an environmentally sound and safe way. In an effort to promote efficiency, President Obama also announced that this summer, the first-ever fuel efficiency standard will be proposed for heavy-duty trucks.
In terms of broad energy policy, President Obama stated that a clean energy standard could expand the scope of clean energy investments and allow the U.S. to provide certainty for companies wanting to invest in the industry. He referenced China and Germany and their advancements in wind and solar capacity and the U.S. falling behind in this renewable space as the impetus for developing a clean energy standard. Despite the need for private investment, President Obama still pointed out that Government funding, specifically in clean and renewable energy research and technology, will be critical. In addition, President Obama pointed out that one-fifth of the electricity in the U.S. comes from nuclear energy, and safe nuclear energy can contribute to climate change efforts because nuclear energy does not emit carbon dioxide.
A copy of President Obama’s remarks is available here.
A copy of the Blueprint is available here.