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by Eric Hammer | FTMDaily Contributing Writer
TEL AVIV, Mar 31 – In spite of the recent earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan, President Obama still believes that nuclear energy can and should play a significant role in the American electricity landscape of the future. That is just one of the proposals recently put forward by the administration as a response to skyrocketing fuel costs and the energy insecurity gripping the world’s richest nation.
Other proposals put forward by the Obama administration include increased use of biofuels and an effort to push those with oil and natural gas exploration licenses to fully exploit them. While the administration stopped short of offering to arrange for new licenses, the President did point out that some half of all oil and natural gas exploration licenses are currently unused or under used and he wanted to see an increase in their use before he would issue additional licenses.
Responding to the administration’s criticism that they are not fully exploiting oil and natural gas licenses, executives in the energy industry said that the president is ignoring basic realities of energy exploration. According to unnamed sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal, some oil industry executives have said that the licenses they have are being fully exploited, however the reality is that even though the licenses may include large tracts of land, there are relatively few places within those areas that are viable for drilling.
In total, the president hopes to cut America’s dependence on foreign oil by one third over the next decade. Half of the reduction he explained would come from increased fuel efficiency in cars and trucks as well as increased conservation efforts for electronic devices. The other half of the savings would come from an increase in domestically sourced electricity, including possible new nuclear facilities, increasing use of biofuels and fully exploiting oil and natural gas exploration licenses.
In an effort to lead by example, the administration recently released a fact sheet on the president’s energy plan, where it was pointed out that federal fleet of cars, which numbers some 600,000 vehicles, would be converted over time to a hybrid fleet, with all new vehicles purchased by 2015 to be energy efficient electric, hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles.
Republicans on Capitol Hill responded to the president’s call to arms by saying that he was not doing enough to ensure the nation’s energy security and calling for increased drilling for oil and natural gas deposits.
The president also reiterated his goal of seeing some 80% of America’s electricity needs being met by renewable sources by the year 2035, though he gave no additional details of exactly how he expects to achieve that goal.
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