While efforts to pass a broad energy and climate bill remain stalled in the Senate, President Obama moved to jump start an American clean-energy industry by bolstering the nation’s production of corn-based ethanol and other alternative liquid fuels.
The President also ordered rapid development of technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, the New York Times is reporting.
“Now, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to work together in a bipartisan way to get this done,” President Obama said after opening a meeting with several cabinet officers and a bipartisan group of about a dozen governors to discuss his energy agenda.
The President’s motives are seen as being environmental, economic and political. In his position he is trying to address climate change by replacing dirty fuels with cleaner sources, and ultimately reduce the U.S’s dependence on foreign oil production.
“I know there is some concern about how energy fits together with climate change,” he said. “I happen to believe that climate change is one of the reasons why we’ve got to pursue a clean energy agenda, but it’s not the only reason.”
“So even if you don’t believe in the severity of climate change, as I do, you still should want to pursue this agenda. It’s good for our national security and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It’s good for our economy because it will produce jobs.”
The administration announced it was completing a rule to try to meet a mandate in a 2007 energy bill to produce 36 billion gallons of ethanol and advanced biofuels by 2022. The U.S. now produces 12 billion gallons of biofuels, mostly corn based ethanol. At present, the country does not have the capacity to triple that production.
The Environmental Protection Agency said meeting the 2022 standard would reduce oil use by 328 billion barrels a year.