NEW YORK — In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama again emphasized what he said is the importance for the U.S. to reduce its dependence on oil and urged Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies to shift cars and trucks from oil-based fuels.
Speaking during a tour of the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois on Friday, Obama said the only way to “break this cycle of spiking gas prices for good” is to find alternative sources of energy for vehicles.
“We went through another spike in gas prices, just like last year, and the year before that. It happens every year. It’s a serious blow to your budget — like getting hit with a new tax coming right out of your pocket,” he said.
Obama proposed taking some of U.S. oil and gas revenues from public lands and using it to fund research, including supporting scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; developing cheaper batteries that go farther on a single charge; and designing new ways to fuel cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy such as advanced biofuels and natural gas.
In the meantime, he called for moving forward with an “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” whereby the U.S. produces more oil and gas domestically, more solar power and wind power, as well as more biofuels and more fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition to cars, he also called on building of homes and businesses that waste less energy.
Separately, in the weekly Republican address, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin touted Republicans’ plans to balance the federal budget in 10 years.
“How do we do it? Well, it’s pretty simple: We stop spending money we don’t have,” Ryan said. “But the crucial question isn’t how we balance the budget. It’s why. The budget is a means to an end. We’re not balancing the budget as an accounting exercise. We’re not trying to simply make numbers add up. For Americans worried about jobs and the cost of living, our plan protects them from tax hikes and calls for Congress to fix the tax code by lowering rates and closing loopholes. We’re also going to approve the Keystone pipeline and unlock our nation’s abundant domestic-energy resources.”
He said the party’s plan also includes repealing Obama’s healthcare law; cutting wasteful spending and giving states flexibility on how to implement their federal welfare programs; and protecting and strengthening Medicare.