The Washington Post reports this morning that President Barack Obama in a speech today will call for one-third cut in oil imports by 2020 as a way to become less dependent on foreign oil.
He said in order to do this he will:
- He’ll propose the wider use of natural gas and will offer incentives for its use with fleet vehicles.
- He will push for greater production of biofuels and will vow to establish four refineries for producing such fuels in two years.
- He’ll push for higher fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks like he did with passenger vehicles.
- The article notes that Obama will “urge oil companies to make greater use of the federal leases both onshore and offshore to prop up domestic oil output.”
While I laud the goal as a worthy one, I have some questions and concerns.
- Will he back drilling in ANWR where there is a huge natural gas reserve?
- Shouldn’t we be looking for a free market approach rather than one the government drives? Wouldn’t that make this effort sustainable? How much would ethanol really be used for instance without the subsidies behind it?
- Fuel efficient cars and trucks are great, but they are also expensive. How much of a market demand is there for those?
- Will they be open to offshore drilling on the East Coast? The U.S. Interior Department reports that over half of the current leases are idle, but they don’t seem to take into consideration the preparation required before they can go online. He also set back offshore drilling when he authorized a moratorium in the Gulf the industry took a big hit.
I just don’t believe the President is willing to do what it takes to reach his goal.