Obama’s Energy Push Lacks Specifics to Meet Goal, Industry Says

Publication: Bloomberg

Author: Katarzyna Klimasinska and Brian Wingfield


03/31/2011 - President Barack Obama’s target of reducing U.S. oil imports by a third by 2025 can be met only if he fills in blanks in the plan he sketched yesterday and doesn’t impose new restrictions on exploration, current and former oil industry officials said.

Obama called for reducing purchases of foreign oil after the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa drove crude prices up 14 percent so far this year. The president, speaking at Georgetown University in Washington, proposed more domestic oil production, increased use of natural gas and renewable-energy sources and continued development of nuclear power.

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Obama’s plan is moderate enough to gain support from both the Republican-dominated House and the Democratic-led Senate, Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor who is now an energy adviser to the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, said in an interview.

“The president has chosen a very pragmatic, bipartisan path, and therefore I think it is doable,” she said. The plan includes incentives designed to spur domestic oil production and natural gas and aims to expand the markets for biofuels and electric vehicles.

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