President Obama has urged Congress to establish an “energy security trust” that would spend federal revenue from oil and gas production on research in low-carbon transportation technologies, The Obama administration hopes the idea will receive bipartisan backing on Capitol Hill.
The plan would provide $2 billion over the next 10 years for research in advanced vehicle technology, including cars powered by electricity, homegrown biofuels, biocells and domestic natural gas. Obama’s announcement was tied into his tour of the Argonne National Laboratory in the Chicago area, where researchers are developing advanced automobiles and batteries. The lab has been working on advanced car batteries since the 1990s.
Obama faces a real challenge persuading the House and Senate to put more money into vehicle research. Disappointing sales of electric vehicles has been the source of some of the criticism. To try to win support, Obama has broadened his proposals to include vehicles that run on natural gas to win support on Capitol Hill.