Obama announces steps to enhance U.S. energy independence

08:14, February 04, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a series of steps his Administration is taking to enhance American energy independence while building a foundation for a new clean energy economy, and its promise of new industries and millions of jobs.

At a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors from around the country, the president laid out three measures that will work in concert to boost biofuels production and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule to implement the long-term renewable fuels standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022 established by Congress. The Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program that would provide financing to increase the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. The President's Biofuels Interagency Working Group released its first report -- Growing America's Fuel, which lays out a strategy to advance the development and commercialization of a sustainable biofuels industry to meet or exceed the nation's biofuels targets.

In addition, Obama announced a Presidential Memorandum creating an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage to develop a comprehensive and coordinated federal strategy to speed the development and deployment of clean coal technologies.

"Now, I happen to believe that we should pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill. It will make clean energy the profitable kind of energy, and the decision by other nations to do this is already giving their businesses a leg up on developing clean energy jobs and technologies. But even if you disagree on the threat posed by climate change, investing in clean energy jobs and businesses is still the right thing to do for our economy," Obama said.

"Reducing our dependence on foreign oil is still the right thing to do for our security. We can't afford to spin our wheels while the rest of the world speeds ahead."

Source: Xinhua
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