Saturday, Pres. Obama touted his plan for an Energy Security Trust, which would take two billion dollars from "profitable oil and gas companies" and spend it on "green" energy research.
This investment will ultimately enable drivers to "go coast-to-coast without using a drop of oil," Obama said:
"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."
"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."
Obama said federal revenues from oil and gas companies will supply the two billion dollars over a ten year period. "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, Obama said.
But, the American Petroleum Institute points out that Obama could generate "billions of dollars" in additional revenue by simply allowing companies to access the vast oil and natural gas resources his administration has declared off-limits:
"Eighty-three percent of federal lands and waters are still off limits to oil and natural gas development. By failing to unlock new areas for energy production, the president's plan misses a golden opportunity to create jobs and generate billions of dollars in government revenue."
Of course, previous government investments in green energy have been problematic. Solyndra, a solar power firm that received $500 million from the Department of Energy, became the poster child of green energy subsidized failures when the company declared bankruptcy.
A review last year by the Heritage Foundation, found that 19 of the companies that received loans or grants by the Obama administration have filed for bankruptcy or are in the process of doing so. And, Ener 1, the electric car company with a $118 million loan, also declared bankruptcy.