Obama unveils new biofuels, carbon capture, initiatives

February 3, 2010
US President Barack Obama (R) speaks during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors to discuss energy policy as Vice President Joe Biden (L) looks on in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama on Wednesday unveiled a new strategy to reinvigorate US production of biofuels, vowing he would not let nations like China race ahead in building new energy economies.

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a new strategy to reinvigorate US production of biofuels, vowing he would not let nations like China race ahead in building new energy economies.

Obama is embracing a host of traditional sources of power, including coal and nuclear and new energy sources, like wind power, as he attempts to improve dim prospects for cap-and-trade climate legislation in Congress.

He said his government's had mandated the production of 36 billion gallons of biofuel production in the United States by 2022, up from 11.1 billion gallons produced last year.

Obama argued that increasing production of renewable fuels would reduce US dependence on oil by more than 328 million barrels a year and cut by more than 138 million metric tons a year by 2022.

"The bottom line is this: I am convinced that America can win the race to build a clean energy economy, but we're going to have to overcome the weight of our own politics.

"We have to focus not so much on those narrow areas where we disagree, but on the broad areas where we agree," Obama said in remarks to a bi-partisan group of state governors at the White House.

Biofuels are made from natural resources like plants, vegetable oils or fats, that can be converted to power vehicles for example, and are much more environmentally friendly than traditional fossil fuels.

Obama also announced an interagency task force to study carbon capture techniques to reduce greenhouse emissions from coal fired power stations and to help develop cleaner coal.

"It's been said that the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal -- and that's because, as I said, it's one of our most abundant energy resources," said Obama.

"If we can develop the technology to capture the released by coal, it can create jobs and provide well into the future."

The president said he wanted 10 commercial carbon capture and storage projects up and running by 2016.

A bipartisan effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill in the Senate to tackle global warming appears under threat, as election year politics and delays for other key administration agenda items create a log-jam on Capitol Hill.

Explore further: Obama pushes nuclear energy to boost climate bill

Related Stories

Clean coal plants mired by cost and delays

December 27, 2007

Clean coal-fired plants offer a cleaner fuel source but construction costs and increased greenhouse gas standards in the United States hamper their production.

Obama puts up $2.4 bln for electric vehicles

March 19, 2009

President Barack Obama Thursday unveiled a 2.4 billion dollar boost for electric vehicle development, vowing to compete with foreign nations in the race to be world leader on renewable energy.

Obama team: US needs bill to lead in clean energy

October 28, 2009

(AP) -- The Obama administration warned on Tuesday that the U.S. could slip further behind China and other countries in clean energy development if Congress fails to pass climate legislation, as early signs of a rift emerged ...

China joins U.S. FutureGen project

December 16, 2006

China has joined the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership, a plan to develop clean-burning coal, the U.S. Department of Energy said Friday.

Recommended for you


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.5 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2010
The only carbon capture mechanism that works is photosynthesis. Pumping CO2 into the ground, under lakes, and oceans is creating a disaster when the stuff re-surfaces. A more practical solution is to recycle the coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal, oil and natural gas, are energy storage chemicals not free energy sources, but residue from the past that we exploit.

The only free sources of power are the sun and geopower. All the rest are variations on a theme (wind, tidal, hot springs, etc) When we burn coal, etc., we make CO2 and H2O, mostly. Creating CO2 and H20 yields the same amount of energy as went into making the fuel in the first place. Our task is to find ways to use natural energy sources (solar and geo) to recycle the CO2. Water is not a threat and CO2 is. This means mining the earth for coal, oil, and natural gas is no answer at all. Humans need to be carbon neutral, and recycling is the only solution.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2010
"If we can develop the technology to capture the carbon pollution released by coal, it can create jobs and provide energy well into the future."

Co2 capturing factories that use scrubbers, to purify and compressors/coolers to liquify must be used then that can be used to put gas in all our beers and cokes.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2010
sorry fiz not gas
4 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2010
winthrom: Only one problem with your suggestion. It took a billion years to lay down our fossil fuels (as you said, storage for solar energy). We are using that energy a lot faster than it was laid down. If someone can figure out how to use the diffuse power of the sun to match the power from a billion years of storage I would agree with you. However, for the short term (next century) we will be depending on fossil fuels and we need to find clean ways to use them. I am sure we can because capture and storage are already showing great promise. It appears you think of storage as pumping CO2 into a cave that could collapse or explode. However, the rock they pump CO2 into has limited porosity (like a natural gas field) and you would not even think it could let gas pass through it. However, it does. Read up a little on what kinds of rock they are suggesting sequestering in. If they use basalts they will even react forming more rock from CO2.
2 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2010
Fusion, it's already been done in a lab anyone who says it hasn't is wrong, we need Helium3 unfortunetly the only amount of it which is practically next to nothing on the Earth cames from nuclear waste...however their is a mother load of it only 250million miles...on the MOON, Hmmmmm? China, India, Europe & last but hopefully not least The United States are all of a sudden planning to make perm, bases up there in the next decade, interesting? I wonder why, collect some rocks? And dance around again? Ha!.....oh and for the vehicles hydrogen fuel cells..emissions=Ø and we already have the tech but, Moble1 & BP Shell...you get the pic :r

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.