Obama Calls for More Clean-Energy Vehicles

Posted March 7th, 2012 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is calling for production of more clean-energy vehicles and tax incentives to boost their use as American motorists pay more to fuel their automobiles.

Mr. Obama Wednesday made the election-year pitch during a visit to North Carolina, where he toured a truck manufacturing plant that produces alternative fuel models. He noted that the United States has 2 percent of the world's oil reserves but consumes 20 percent of the global supply, a ratio that he said must change.

“We can't just rely on fossil fuels from the last century. We've got to continually develop new sources of energy and that's why we've made investments that have nearly doubled the use of clean, renewable energies in this country. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.”

With financial markets worrying about the West's standoff with Iran over the development of Tehran's nuclear program, the price of crude oil has risen sharply in recent weeks. With the cost of oil responsible for about three-fourths of the price of gasoline at service stations, U.S. motorists are now paying record prices for the late winter period, nearly $1 a liter . Some analysts say the prices will increase further during the warmer months ahead as American families head out on the highways for summer vacations.

Republican presidential contenders seeking to oust Mr. Obama in next November's election have regularly attacked his handling of the country's energy resources and called for more oil drilling. But the Democratic president told workers at the Daimler Trucks facility that the United States must look for an “all of the above” policy to develop clean fuels and diminish the country's oil dependency.

He called for an increase in the tax credit for purchase of clean-energy vehicles from $7,500 to $10,000. Mr. Obama said that by 2015, the U.S. government's fleet of trucks would run on clean fuels. He announced a $1-billion plan to challenge U.S. local governments to buy new-generation vehicles that run on something other than gasoline or diesel fuels.