Obama proposes fund to help US move away from petroleum-powered vehicle
13 February 2013
While lauding America's new found energy resources, president Obama proposed that some of the country's oil revenues be diverted into a fund to find ways to move the US away from petroleum-powered vehicles.
In his State of the Union address, Obama noted that with much of the nation's oil boom, there was an opportunity to create an Energy Security Trust that would look into ways of coming up with alternatively powered vehicles.
"If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we," Obama said. "Let's take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices that we have put up with far too long," he said.
At present, the two main ways of powering cars without oil are hydrogen fuel-cells and electricity, with more cars getting lithium-ion batteries that boosted their mileage per charge of electricity.
Most electric vehicles come with backup gas engines and some, like the sedans from Tesla Motors, were all-electric power. Also recently, several automakers have shown a renewed interest in hydrogen power, with some imported brands saying they hoped to put cars on sale by 2015.
However, both power sources still mostly depended on oil and natural gas with many power plants also fuelled by it. Moreover, most hydrogen is produced through conversion from natural gas.
Much like the way he did in his campaign, Obama made many references to the US auto industry. He said more American cars were being sold now than five years ago. He pointed out that in 2008 the auto industry was reeling, with Chrysler and General Motors headed for bankruptcy reorganisations in the face of plummeting sales.
Pointing to Ford Motor as an example, of how companies were bringing jobs back to the US, he said Ford was moving jobs from Mexico back to America. He also noted that companies in other fields like Apple were doing the same.