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Should we invest $2 billion more for ‘clean energy’ research right now?

With few options available for financing his clean-energy ambitions, President Obama on Friday proposed diverting $2 billion in revenue from federal oil and gas leases over the next decade to pay for research on advanced vehicles.

Mr. Obama visited the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago to tour its state-of-the-art research facilities and to promote his idea, first proposed in last month’s State of the Union address, to use oil and gas money to find ways to replace hydrocarbons as the primary fuel for the nation’s cars, trucks and buses.

The idea enjoys some bipartisan and business support, but is likely to encounter strong resistance from Congressional Republicans, who will portray it as a tax on energy producers. The White House says the money will come from growth in drilling revenue from leases on public lands and waters over the next decade and is not a new tax.

Mr. Obama presented the proposal as part of his “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” which includes an increase in oil and gas development; support for nonpolluting sources like wind, solar and geothermal energy; loan guarantees for new nuclear plants; and research into long-term alternatives to fossil fuels.

Forget about diverting oil and gas lease revenue — if the Obama administration would cancel White House tours for the next 520 years but put that money on the books now this baby pays for itself!

As much money as they’ve poured into these programs our cars should be powered by kumquats, solar rays and hamster flatulence by now:

His administration pumped $90 billion in economic stimulus funds into clean energy and “green jobs” projects, helping to dramatically expand renewable energy production in America.

But some projects failed, including a California solar panel maker called Solyndra that had received $527 million in a government loan.

Another $2 billion should put it over the top.

**Written by Doug Powers

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:30 AM on Mar. 19, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (7)
  • Not when billions have been wasted on bankrupt companies. I am not big on subsidies. Let the free market decide what succeeds and fails instead of putting the burden on the tax payers.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:31 AM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • If the government quit wasting money on pork projects, clean energy would have a chance to succeed.

    Cut out a few of these, and put the money into wind and solar power. Sorry, no clicky, but it's worth typing into your browser's address bar.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:40 AM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • Well I guess the gas and oil companies should have their government subsidies taken away then.
    The future is in green energy. i think they should get what they need

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:46 AM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • NO we need to become independent first and drill our own oil and then let a private companies do the research on their own. Because they will get it done a lot faster than any government can. The government only wants to spend that many and give it to their friends wink wink. And nothing will ever come of it, just a big waste of money that we really don't have.


    Answer by TBandNCmommy at 11:51 AM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • Well I guess the gas and oil companies should have their government subsidies taken away then Answer by butterflyblue19

    ^^  yes  ^^


    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:53 AM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • No, not right now. It's not the government's job to invest in energy. The market will do this when the market is ready.

    Answer by HHx5 at 2:02 PM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • "The government only wants to spend that many and give it to their friends wink wink." - That's not really what's happening. It's more like the government is trying to support renewable energy, but there's no one who has any clue on how to do that so they end up just throwing buckets of money at whoever can con them the best (from my DH who helped his renewable energy company get a few of those buckets of money).

    And Doug Powers doesn't know how to make a clear argument. Is the $2B specifically going to "research on advanced vehicles" or "ways to replace hydrocarbons as the primary fuel" or the "all-of-the-above energy strategy"?

    But short answer: no. Gov money shouldn't subsidize this. There are so few people who actually know what might work long-term, and tons who are just selling scams. No one in the government can tell the difference. Much better long-term for the market to handle it.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 3:40 PM on Mar. 19, 2013

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