President Barack Obama outlined his energy security plan on March 30, calling for a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures designed to reduce U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025. The president said that when he took office, the United States was importing 11 million barrels of oil a day. Now, he believes that in little more than a decade, that amount can be cut substantially. The roadmap to achieving that goal is contained in the administration’s “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future,” which was also released on March 30.
As part of his strategy, the president cited an array of clean energy avenues worth pursuing. He noted that expanding biofuels markets and commercializing new biofuels technologies, such as promising cellulosic and advanced biofuels technologies, could help trim oil imports. To support that, the administration has set a goal of breaking ground on at least four commercial-scale cellulosic or advanced bio-refineries over the next two years. He endorsed setting new fuel economy standards, like the one for model years 2012-16, which will raise average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. As part of that effort, the administration in July will finalize the first-ever national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks. Additionally, the federal government will lead by example and make the 600,000 federal fleet vehicles more fuel efficient. The president called for administrative action directing agencies to ensure that all new vehicles purchased by 2015 will be alternative-fuel vehicles, namely hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs). Finally, he stressed promoting investments in energy efficiency for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The administration, he said, is on track to weatherize 600,000 low-income homes through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, and pursuing a series of policies that will increase efficiency across sectors.
He reiterated that he has set a goal of having one million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015. To reach this target, the government has created incentives for companies to develop these vehicles, and for consumers who want them to buy them. Already, clean energy investments, such as competitive grants for companies to develop the next generation of batteries for EVs, have helped to create a new U.S. high tech battery industry. Overall, the president said the United States must focus on expanding cleaner sources of electricity to build a clean energy economy. See the president’s remarks for more details.
Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy.