President Barack Obama wants Congress to approve the use of oil exploration royalties to provide $2 billion of funding for the research and development of advanced vehicle technologies. This funding is for a ten-year period.
The research mentioned is for the development of electric vehicle, biofuel, battery, and compressed natural gas technology. The development of battery technology is important to both electric vehicles, as well as the electricity grid, and the entire effort to switch to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
The idea was proposed by Obama in the State of the Union address to obtain a share of the money obtained from leasing federal land to oil and gas companies (the royalties I mentioned above) for use in an “Energy Security Trust” fund. In the past, Congress approved roughly half of the $650 million that Obama wanted them to provide for electric vehicle and battery research, suggesting that they are not quite as enthusiastic about that as him.
One of Obama’s most significant contributors to his environmental conservation efforts has been the development of electric vehicle and power plant battery technology, as well as the development of solar panel technology. However, his goal for putting 1 million electric vehicles on America’s roads by 2015 will almost certainly fall short.
That said, enormous strides were made for all of these technologies, such as batteries that provide electric vehicles with 500 miles of range, batteries that charge in 20 seconds , and the introduction of highly (relatively speaking) efficient hybrid electric cars that cost a few thousand dollars more than their gas counterparts. Obama’s support of the domestic car industry has also led to a rebound in the manufacturing sector.
But we still have a long way to go, and while $2 billion sounds like a lot of money, spread out over 10 years, it is but a drop in the bucket in Congress’s annual spending.
Source: Detroit News