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President Obama calls on Congress to establish $2B Energy Security Trust for advanced transportation research, funded by oil and gas royalty revenues

15 March 2013

Est
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In an speech at Argonne National Laboratory today, President Obama called on Congress to establish a new Energy Security Trust (EST) to invest in critical, breakthrough research focused on developing cost-effective transportation alternatives. The President had referenced the concept of the EST during his State of the Union address earlier this year. (Earlier post.)

The President’s proposal sets aside $2 billion over 10 years and will support research into a range of technologies such as advanced electrified vehicles, biofuels, fuel cells, and domestically produced natural gas. The mandatory funds would be set aside from royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in Federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), already included in the administration’s five-year plan.

These revenues are projected to increase over the next several years based on a combination of leasing, production, and price trends, with additional revenues potentially generated as a result of reforms being proposed in the FY 2014 Budget. The Trust is paid for within the context of the overall budget.

“This idea...is not just about saving money. It’s also about saving the environment... but also about national security. This is not a Democratic idea or a Republican idea, it’s just a smart idea.”
—President Obama

The basic concept for the current proposal for an Energy Security Trust is derived from a proposal by the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a project organized by the non-partisan organization Securing America’s Energy Future (SAFE).

The ESLC is led by Co-Chairmen Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation; and General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), former Marine Corps Commandant and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The ESLC/SAFE plan,as outlined in the report A National Strategy For Energy Security, would use royalty revenue generated from expanded domestic energy production—including in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and off-limit areas of Alaska—to seed an Energy Security Trust Fund, which would be focused exclusively on R&D of oil displacement technologies in the transportation sector. Yearly receipts would be capped at $500 million and it includes mandatory reports to Congress

One of the key points of the ESLC/SAFE report—and one re-iterated by the President in his remarks at Argonne—is that the US is still dangerously dependent on petroleum fuels to power its massive transportation sector, and that dependency poses a very significant risk.

Oil dependence is one of the greatest threats to U.S. national security, and it deeply undermines our ability to achieve an enduring period of American economic growth and prosperity.

This report presents a vision for achieving a sharp improvement in American energy security through greater diversity in transportation fuels, continued growth in domestic production of oil and natural gas, and a more efficient regulatory system that prioritizes safety and security without sacrificing transparency. While market forces will surely take the country forward, the global oil market suffers from numerous market failures with grave national and economic security costs. This circumstance creates an unavoidable role for government policy. The Council does not take this position lightly, as we recognize that such intervention in the marketplace can produce unintended consequences. For this reason, we have strived to evaluate each individual policy recommendation through the lens of a rigorous and clear-eyed analysis of its costs and benefits.

Such an analysis, however, must be conducted within a framework that captures the significant economic, fiscal, and other costs of the status quo. Oil dependence inflicts staggering economic costs on the United States, and a set of policies designed to address this ongoing vulnerability must be evaluated with that broader context in mind. Therefore, in addition to analyzing the direct budgetary costs of public policies designed to improve US energy security, the Council also considered the costs of oil dependence with regard to the federal government’s fiscal position, the US current account balance, and consumer spending and economic growth.

—A National Strategy For Energy Security

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March 15, 2013 in Policy, Research | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)

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Excellent idea.

Hope that at least 50% will be used to develop and mass produce improved affordable ultra quick charge/discharge batteries.

How does this differ from the existing energy/battery research 'hubs'? Oil will buy further House opposition.

Mass battery production of the past four years of research is what's needed.

I'd rather see an executive directive producing batteries instead of drone murder lists.

I guess Solyndra and all the other green parasites have drained the existing slush fund, and new sources of nourishment are needed. Let's hope Congress passes on this.

Yeah the Republican & Oil industry controlled House will go for that.

Solyndra and all the other green parasites have drained the existing slush fund

"Is that true, or did you hear it on Fox News?"
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/09/28/fox-puts-its-solyndra-blinders-on-again/190200

ai vin's link shows the truth - 23 of 26 loan success.

An average $5 billion/year subsidies to Exxon/Oil.. defines ".. parasites drain(ing) the existing slush fund".

There is nebulous policies because this article dated the day after this one is saying that they don't know how to spend the subsidies.

GAO report finds DOE not actively considering any applications for Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.

I suggest to study and promote nat gas use for cars and trucks.

I am glad to see this article since there was a segment on National Pravda Radio (NPR) that made this sound like a done deal. Obama hero worship. NPR also had a segment on the plight of those with no income. Then there is a Republican POTUS, these segments are about the homeless. I am not sure why those that live under an overpass are now 'no income' people and not 'homeless' is because NPA is not biased and Fox News is.

My first point here is that we have serious problems is this country. The way we budget money should be prioritized.

So what are the facts. We are producing more transportation fuel domestically and more money is coming into the government as result. NPR can not say it but we have again 'drilled' our way out of a shortage.

If the oil industry is paying large amounts into the government why do some worry about subsidies? If the tax rate is prohibit then the oil companies go somewhere else. I have seen this for nuke plants. A new tax doubles the cost of running a nuke plant to pay for renewable energy. As a result, the nuke plant shut down and the power is produced with natural gas.

So while more money from oil is good, spending it like a drunken sailor is not.

spending it like a drunken sailor is not.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/9069/has-obama-spent-more-than-any-other-u-s-president-in-history-yes-and-no

If the tax rate is prohibit then the oil companies go somewhere else.

Well yeah, that's what we want. . .

'The People' living in 'USA' would need a Manhattan like $1,000+B 'energy project to:

1. develop and mass produce affordable, improved (5x+) ultra quick charge batteries.

2. develop and mass produce, affordable much lighter (less than 2000 lbs) mid size e-cars, light e-trucks, city e-buses etc.

3. develop and promote the accelerated installation of improved, lower cost solar and wind e-power plants (all sizes).

4. to become the world leader in clean energy production and usage.

The $1,000+B required would come from:

1. reducing or eliminating 'Oil Wars' and 'Oil Subsidies'.

2. a progressive 10 to 15 years (Fed) extra 2 cents/month/gal energy evolution tax on liquid fuel and (equivalent) on coal and NG used in USA.

3. a minimum Income Tax of 30% on ALL revenues or income. Middle class making less than $60K/year and lower class people could be compensated with improved children allowances, free child care, free schooling, free school meals, free medical care, free dental care, etc.

I only agree with the battery development. Putting more money into FC, NatGas, and biofuels is a waste.
However it doesn't matter as the Republican controlled house will not pass it anyway.

>>>"I only agree with the battery development. Putting more money into FC, NatGas, and biofuels is a waste."

Battery does not offer the type of range and quick fillup required by trucks, trains, planes, and ships. There is a need for synthetic renewable hydrocarbon fuels for these type of vehicles. H2 is another possibility, though requires far more R&D for fleet adaptation than hydrocarbon fuels.

>>>"However it doesn't matter as the Republican controlled house will not pass it anyway."

Well, I sure hope that the House will realize that the energy industry will benefit from these research, and that jobs will be created. Developing a cost-effective methods and infrastructures for the production of synthetic hydrocarbon fuels from waste biomass and renewable-energy H2 will benefit the oil industry with a steady and predictable supply of oil that will not be subjected to interruption due to international geopolitical problems, nor from future Greenhouse Gas Legislations, nor from the risks of future massive oil spills from very deep wells like the last major disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Roger,

Well put, but what actually happens does not always make sense. Right now people are being told that we have a lot of natural gas and in a few years we will produce more oil than Saudi Arabia. Perception drives moods and right now it is a matter of timing.

Good point, SJC.
The current US oil and gas boom is rather inconvenient as far as global warming is concerned. Meanwhile, in Egypt right now, trucks are lining up waiting for diesel fuel supply, which has been in severe shortage for the last many weeks. In India, many NG power plants have shut down due to shortage of NG. The oil boom in the US won't do much to ease the high demand for oil world-wide, so we can't expect the world wide price for crude oil to go below the $50/barrel level that would make synthetic oil uncompetitive. Research and development should get started if not already on-going, since it will take a long time to develop the most cost-effective method and to ramp up infrastructure for synthetic oil production. If we wait until petroleum will be in shortage again to do any alternative energy planning, we will get caught with our pants down again! Government funding of research is even more important when private funding is less likely to happen at this moment, due to the oil and gas boom in the USA.

Roger,

That is what I see, we have programs that take 20 years and yet nothing is done. It is as if when a decision is made it suddenly comes to pass, that is not how it works.

Advanced planning and development take quite a while in many instances. It has been 40 years since the 1973 oil embargo but we have done very little to be "energy independent" except talk about it and use that phrase over and over again.

O Goody,

We have another multi-Billion political slush fund to pay off "Friends", without out producing anything, at all.

For those complaining that we are no more petroleum independent than 43 years go you are mis-informed.

At one time America imported over 60% of its petroleum needs. Today it imports only 30%, and virtually all comes from the Western Hemisphere, not the volatile mid-East.

That percentage continues to fall. Despite the population tripling in size, total liquid fossil fuel consumption is all down by a few million bbls/day.

Source: DOE's EIA.

In addition to its part in driving global warming, oil is a non-renewable resource. Whether you're using it from the Middle-East or the Western Hemisphere you're still using it up. Real "energy security" comes from renewables.

"Is that true, or did you hear it on Fox News?"
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/03/21/fox-news-solar-power-might-be-tanking-our-econo/193172

If you live in the USA covert your car to natural gas and save money.

A National Strategy For Energy Security

Don't forget to read end.

Imagine the jobs created by converting cars to NG and can't forget maintence.

And not too bad on the air in ppm comparatively, would reduce emission noticeably.

Please don’t forget how much of this resource is being burned off daily WITH NO MANAGEMENT...

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