Obama: Cut Imported Oil by 1/3 by 2020
President wants to boost domestic production, biofuels
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2011 7:21 AM CDT
Updated Mar 30, 2011 7:48 AM CDT
The Billionth Barrel of Oil Monument which was erected in 1991 in celebration of the Sultanate's export of oil at Seria, September 7, 2004 in Brunei.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – President Obama will put energy policy in the crosshairs today, calling for the United States to cut the 9.7 million barrels it imports each day by a third by 2020. But even given the precarious energy situations in the Middle East and Japan, notes the Washington Post, the president likely faces an uphill battle against a complacent public and a thirsty economy. The specifics of how to hit that benchmark look pretty familiar:

  • Natural gas: Obama will seek to widen its use, including incentives for natural gas-driven fleets, such as city buses.

  • New biofuel refineries: He'll vow to open at least four commercial-grade facilities in the next two years.
  • Higher fuel efficiency: This time the president will target benchmarks for heavy trucks.
  • Prop up domestic oil production: Facing criticism that his administration has dragged its feet on new drilling permits since the BP spill, Obama will prod oil producers to make use of existing leases he says are underutilized.
A boost comes today in the form of a bipartisan report headed up by Trent Lott, which says: "Recent events—from unprecedented unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to the Japanese nuclear crisis to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill—demand a thorough reassessment of America’s energy security.”

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Mar 30, 2011 1:42 PM CDT
Once again, watch what he does, not what he says. Plus, we may not have until 2020 to replace one-third of our imports. If the dollar loses its status as the world's reserve currency, as it surely will, our imported energy costs will soar out of control. I hope we will make great progress, but his past actions do not inspire me. To all of you that keep stating drilling won't help because U.S. reserves are so small: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Unites-States-Possesses-the-Largest-Energy-Resources-on-Earth.html
Mar 30, 2011 1:02 PM CDT
It's way easy to say "Drill Baby Drill!!!." And in a 100 years or less we run out of petroleum products. {Petroleum is used for many other things besides just fuel.} Then what will be used? Why do we have to wait till then to figure it out? What is wrong with developing a new energy source now? It may be so much more cost effective and available. But all I hear is oil...oil...oil. To go into something new you're going to upset some people, like oil people. I'm glad he's pushing us farther into the alternative energies arena. <:-)
Mar 30, 2011 10:18 AM CDT
The biggest solar generator ever is being built in the Mojave right now at a fraction of the cost of nuclear. We have a LOT of desert, and could easily get our energy needs from it. It would employ thousands and thousands of people to build and maintain it all. With the Middle East changing up like it is now, we are screwed if we don't. And things like this are happening all the time. http://www.newser.com/story/115229/nanogenerator-breakthrough-could-lead-to-pulse-powered-electronics.html Note that is is THOUSANDS of more times powerful then the previous models. You never know what huge breakthroughs are going to happen ( and they will, guaranteed) and the less oil becomes cheap and available, the harder research for alternatives will be driven. Read "the Singularity is Near" and you will start to get a hint of what is to come.