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Weekly Address: President Obama: “It’s time to create the Energy Security Trust”

From the White House – Weekly Address

President Obama discusses the need to harness American energy in order to reduce our dependence on oil and make the United States a magnet for new jobs. He highlights his all-of-the-above approach to American energy — including a proposal to establish an Energy Security Trust, which invests in research that will help shift our cars and trucks off of oil.

Transcript – “Time to Create the Energy Security Trust”

Lemont, Illinois March 16, 2013

Hi, everybody.  As a nation, our top priority is growing our economy and creating good middle class jobs.  That’s why this week I’m speaking to you from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, because few areas hold as much promise as what they’re focused on right here – harnessing American energy.

You see, after years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future.  We produce more oil than we have in 15 years.  We import less oil than we have in 20 years.  We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good jobs to show for it.  We’re producing more natural gas than ever before – with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it.  We’ve supported the first new nuclear power plant since the 1970s.  And we’re sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years.

So we’re making real progress.  But over the past few weeks, we got a reminder that we need to do more.  We went through another spike in gas prices, just like last year, and the year before that.  It happens every year.  It’s a serious blow to your budget – like getting hit with a new tax coming right out of your pocket.

Over the past four years, as part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy, we’ve taken steps to soften that blow by making sure our cars use less gas.  We’ve put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in our history so that by the middle of the next decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  Over the life of a new car, the average family will save more than $8,000 at the pump.

But the only way we’re going to break this cycle of spiking gas prices for good is to shift our cars and trucks off of oil for good.  That’s why, in my State of the Union Address, I called on Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies that will help us reach that goal.

Here’s how it would work.  Much of our energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together.  So I’m proposing that we take some of our oil and gas revenues from public lands and put it towards research that will benefit the public, so that we can support American ingenuity without adding a dime to our deficit.  We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; developing cheaper batteries that go farther on a single charge; and devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy – like advanced biofuels and natural gas – so drivers can one day go coast-to-coast without using a drop of oil.

Now, this idea isn’t mine.  It’s actually built off a proposal put forward by a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals.  So let’s take their advice and free our families and our businesses from painful spikes in gas prices once and for all.  

And in the meantime, let’s keep moving forward on an all-of-the-above energy strategy.  A strategy where we produce more oil and gas here at home, but also more biofuels and fuel-efficient vehicles; more solar power and wind power.  A strategy where we put more people to work building cars, homes and businesses that waste less energy.  We can do this.  We’re Americans.  And when we commit ourselves to something, there’s no telling how far we’ll go.

Thanks and have a great weekend.


  1. Low-Income Kids Are Being Kicked Out Of Their Preschool Programs Thanks To Sequestration

    The early childhood education program Head Start provides educational opportunities specifically to low-income kids. But 70,000 of those students will lose the opportunity to be in the program as a result of the drastic reductions in funding triggered by sequestration.

    Preschool is not an extracurricular activity for kids. It’s been proven to help kids learn to socialize and become well-adjusted citizens. A study in California found that “our society receives $9 in benefits for every $1 invested in Head Start children.”

  2. CPAC Attendees Blast GOP Senator Who Announced Support For Marriage Equality

    “Horrible!” said Tony Mele, an 88-year-old woman from New Jersey, of Portman’s decision. When told he did so because of his gay son, she responded, “That’s his fault! He gets no sympathy from me.” A pastor from Georgia, William Temple, told Portman to “quit being so selfish as to only think about his son,” and if he won’t reverse himself, “to step down and go home.”

    Anti-science and anti-family, all in one blockquote

  3. CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive

    A CPAC session sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and billed as a primer on teaching activists how to court black voters devolved into a shouting match as some attendees demanded justice for white voters and others shouted down a black woman who reacted in horror.

    The session, entitled “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” was led by K. Carl Smith, a black conservative who mostly urged attendees to deflect racism charges by calling themselves “Frederick Douglass Republicans.”

    Some snippets:

    – “Look, you know there’s no doubt the white males are getting really beat up right now, it’s unfair,”

    – “Blacks should be happy that the slave master gave them shelter, clothing, and food.”

  4. House Republicans Unanimously Vote Down Minimum Wage Hike

    House Republicans unanimously voted down a measure Friday that would have raised the federal minimum wage, from its current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 by 2015.

    Six Democrats joined 227 Republicans in voting it down; 184 Democrats voted yes.

    The legislation was proposed as a last-minute amendment upon passage of the SKILLS Act, which reauthorizes a jobs training program.

    The $10.10 minimum wage is being promoted by business leaders as well as members of Congress. It makes good economic sense:

    – Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2015, would raise the wages of about 30 million workers, who would receive over $51 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period.1

    – Across the phase-in period of the minimum-wage increase, GDP would increase by roughly $32.6 billion, resulting in the creation of approximately 140,000 net new jobs (and 284,000 job years) over that period.

  5. From noted constitutional scholar and geographer Ted Cruz:

    And presidential hopeful?


    Bachmann Accuses Obama Of Living A Life Of Excess

    “And this is a lifestyle that is one of excess. Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater. They regularly sleep in the White House in order to be readily available in case the first family wants a really really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button? We are also the ones who are paying to walk the president’s dog.”

    (p.s. This is complaining AGAIN about the White House tours being shut down because of sequestration. Which Rep. Bachmann knows will probably earn her a video clip on Fox News)


    Sarah Palin Drinks Big Gulp During CPAC Speech: ‘Shoot, It’s Just Pop!’

    Halfway through her speech, while describing exchanging guns with her husband Todd for Christmas, the former Alaska governor pulled out a Big Gulp from behind the podium, smirked, took several sips, and remarked, “Oh Bloomberg is not around, our Big Gulp is safe! We’re cool.”

    Because nothing says “I care about you and your health” than belittling honest attempts to encourage people to eat and drink more sensibly.


    And finally, the “soul searching” to help understand why Romney lost in 2012:

    ‘Voter Fraud,’ ‘The Media,’ ‘Hurricane Sandy’

    Maybe there could be no soul searching because they have no soul?

  6. Palin Says Conservatives Need Fresh Rhetoric In Familiar Sounding Speech

    “We’re not here to rebrand a party,” Palin said, but rather to “put on a fresh coat of rhetorical paint,” suggesting conservatives have a minor image problem, not a structural lack of appeal to the majority of voters.

    But the very same speech overflowed with familiar conservative tropes that have helped cement the movement’s unpopularity.

    “Background checks: A dandy idea Mr. President,” she said, before drifting into birther territory. “[You] should have started with yours.”

    She called on conservatives to elect more far-right members who “chew barbed wire and spit out rust.”

    Excellent advice! Please continue shrinking your party until it is small enough to drown in a thimble.

  7. Michigan disputes legality of tribal marriage.

    Getting married is not the end of the journey for LaCroix and Barfield. They would like their marriage and those of other gays and lesbians to be legally accepted in every state.

    The biggest hurdle the couple faces is the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The 1996 law allows states to ignore the marriage laws of other states and it specifically exempts states from being forced to accept tribal same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on a legal challenge to DOMA this term.

  8. princesspat

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.

    The result could be significant delays for natural gas-export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn.


    In taking the step, Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases. He’d expand the scope of a Nixon-era law that was first intended to force agencies to assess the pollution effects of projects on air, water and soil.

    “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” Obama said last month during his State of the Union address. He pledged executive actions “to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

    I was pleased to read this article in my local paper yesterday yesterday. The policy implications of the directive will be interesting to follow.  

  9. North Dakota Throws Money Into Abortion Fight

    Lawmakers on Friday sent the Republican governor two anti-abortion bills, one banning the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and another prohibiting women from having the procedure because a fetus has a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome. They would be the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.

    Abortion-rights activists have promised a legal battle over the measures if they become law. But supporters of the bills say their goal is to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until a fetus is considered viable, usually at 22 to 24 weeks. […]

    “There hasn’t been near enough attention given to the costs as we’ve debated these issues. We need to be honest with taxpayer funds and that is: We will be spending money on attorneys,” [Democratic Sen. Mac] Schneider said.[…]

    “I don’t look at it from the financial side of things,” [Republican Rep. Bette] Grande told The Associated Press on Friday. “I look at it from the life side of things.”

    The state has one abortion clinic, in Fargo, and the next closest clinics would be 4 hours away in either Minnesota or South Dakota so these restrictions would cause real hardship for women in that state.

    North Dakota is awash in revenue from a booming oil industry but faces issues related to crime, housing shortages, and infrastructure, including road repairs.

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