President Obama will propose a $2 billion program on Friday to aid research on alternative vehicle fuels like electricity, homegrown biofuels, fuel cells and natural gas, according to a published report.
Obama, who is scheduled to introduce the program in a speech at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, will challenge Congress to set aside funding for the initiative, which he calls the Energy Security Trust, USA Today said.
The president will say that the $2 billion will come from federal royalties from offshore natural gas and crude oil leasing.
What is not clear is whether Obama intends to signal his intention regarding the long-delayed, privately funded $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline. On Wednesday a White House spokesman said no decision had been made on whether to approve or block the proposal, according to Salon.
The proposal of a trust was mentioned by Obama in his last State of the Union address, according to two senior administration officials who requested anonymity. Shortly after that speech Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she might be able to support such a program, calling it “an idea I may agree with” and that she “intends to get to work on this as soon as possible.”
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The White House officials said Argonne was chosen as the site to formally call for the initiative because of its work in advanced battery production in the 1990s.