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Obama Seeks $2B For Clean-Fuels Research

ARGONNE, Ill., (UPI) — U.S. President Obama will propose using $2 billion in revenue from oil and gas leases to pay for research on energy-efficient vehicles, the White House said.

Obama was to present his proposition Friday in a visit to the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago to tour the facility and promote the concept he first spoke of during his State of the Union in February, The New York Times reported.

Obama wants researchers to find new sources of energy-efficient power for automobiles, trucks and other vehicles.

The idea has some bipartisan and business support, but likely will encounter resistance from congressional Republicans, who will call it a tax on energy producers, observers said.

The White House said the proposal isn’t a new tax, explaining that the money would come from growth in drilling revenue from leases on public lands and waters during the next decade, the Times said.

Obama’s proposal, the Energy Security Trust, is part of his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that includes an increase in oil and gas development; support for clean sources such as wind, solar and geothermal energy; loan guarantees for new nuclear plants; and research into long-term alternatives to fossil fuels, White House officials said during a telephone briefing Thursday.

“In the State of the Union, he asked what can we do to make America a magnet for the jobs of future,” one official said during the briefing. “One key answer is to ensure that the United States is and remains at the cutting edge of breakthrough technologies that will get our economy off oil.”

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