President Barack Obama will be speaking at Georgetown University today on the future of America’s energy security. The President’s remarks are set to be focused on the goal of reducing American dependence on foreign oil by maximizing US oil production in the short term and focusing on clean energy technology for the long term. He’ll also promise to make all new government vehicles run on clean energy by the year 2015 — that’s how to lead by example. With the conflicts in the Middle East still in a heated state and the radioactive crisis in Japan on everyone’s minds, it seems a proper time to give the administrations full concentration to this issue.
Obama’s address will likely open with a comment on his understanding of how rising gas prices affect everyone in the country. He will remain sensitive to the fact that the majority of Americans are hit hard every time they pay more at the pump and therefore his focus on domestic oil production, to some, seems fitting. Though, for us, the outlook on foreign oil production is not so comforting — the US imported 11 million barrels of oil a day in 2008 and the President can only promise to cut that by 1/3 by 2025. An estimated 57 percent of onshore leases and 70 percent offshore leases — we all know the danger of offshore leases — for oil production are inactive and the President will promise to explore those for further resources. Our thought remains, if we can only cut foreign oil imports by 1/3 in 10 years, why focus any energy and effort on that, when we could totally cut oil use by pushing electric or hydrogen or algae or some new unknown technology yet to be developed.
Beyond his oil promises, the President will speak at length on biofuel research, vehicle efficiency and infrastructure for the next generation of clean tech cars and trucks. In addition to mandating that all new government vehicles run completely on clean energy by 2015 he’ll be pushing for the right kind of research to make that energy technology available to all Americans. The Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has already invested in over 100 projects that are researching everything from smart grid technology to electric vehicles and in the 2012 budget the funding for that program is expected to double. Rounding out his speech on energy security the President will definitely reiterate his goals to get 80 percent of US energy from clean sources by 2025 and put 1 million electric vehicles on the street by 2015 — which some critics have said isn’t possible — as well as his commitment to making American’s homes more energy efficient through government funded retrofits.