Obama Energy Speech Preview: Oil to Decline as 'Clean' Alternatives Fill Void

 @ibtimes
on March 30 2011 10:20 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building in New York, March 29, 2011. REUTERS

President Barack Obama on Wednesday is expected present a vision of decline for the U.S. oil industry in next two decades, highlighting its lack of development at existing land leases as the country shifts to other 'Clean Energy' industries linked to nuclear power, 'clean coal,' natural gas, biofuels, wind and solar power.

Obama's speech at Georgetown University is set to start at 11:20 a.m.

By 2035, the Administration is looking to a diverse group of clean energy sources to make up the bulk of the nation's energy sources for electricity. About 80 percent of the country's electricity should come from wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, nuclear energy, natural gas and clean coal, the Administration has said under a Clean Energy Standard goal.

Obama is also expected to call for the reduction of oil imports by one-third by 2025.

The White House on Wednesday highlighted a report by the Department of the Interior showing onshore and offshore leases where leaseholders are not exploring or developing oil.

A total of 57 percent of all leased onshore acres and 70 percent of offshore leased acres are inactive, the White House said, citing a report by the Department of the Interior.

The White House had little to say on nuclear energy in a fact sheet ahead of the speech, except to say it is working an international framework. The U.S. is in the process of reviewing safety at the nation's nuclear plants in the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan.

On natural gas safety, so-called fracking techniques to extract gas from shale should involve more communication between industry experts, environmental activists, and states, the White House said.

The administration is also taking steps to move the auto industry shift away from gasoline powered cars.

New standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions should be finalized by July. The standards are meant to cut oil use and promote alternatives.

The shift toward electric cars may also be highlighted. The Administration wants Congress to pass a $7500 tax credit for electric car buyers, grants for communities hospitable to such cars, and more money for research into batteries.

On the biofuels front over the next two years, the administration wants to break ground on at least four commercial-scale cellulosic or advanced bio refineries.

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