Obama urges weaning off oil

April 2, 2011 at 6:00 AM
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LANDOVER, Md., April 2 (UPI) -- President Obama urged Americans Saturday to get on board the alternate energy express, saying there's not enough oil to fuel the country's long-term future.

Obama, speaking from a UPS customer center in Landover, Md., noted last year the United States produced more oil than any year since 2003 then added "the truth is, drilling alone is not a real strategy to replace our dependence on foreign oil" because the United States only has about 2 percent of the world's oil reserves and uses about 25 percent of the oil produced.

"Even if we used every last drop of all the oil we have, it wouldn't be enough to meet our long-term energy needs," he said. "So, real energy security can only come if we find ways to use less oil -- if we invest in cleaner fuels and greater efficiency.

The president said improving the fuel efficiency of conventional vehicles is only a starting point.

"As we make our cars and trucks more efficient, we've got to harness new technologies to fuel our vehicles with everything from biofuels to natural gas to advanced batteries," Obama said. "And the good news is, these technologies aren't science fiction anymore. They exist today. Already, American car companies are producing electric vehicles that use little or no gas. And innovators across America are testing new products that hold incredible promise not just for new vehicles, but for countless new jobs."

The president said the federal government is helping to jump-start the alternative fuel-powered vehicle market.

"In the next few years, we're going to switch the entire fleet over," he said. "And I'm here at UPS because it's not just the government getting in on the action. Companies like UPS, FedEx, AT&T, Verizon and PepsiCo -- firms with some of the largest fleets in the country -- are switching to more efficient vehicles."

He said they are doing it "not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because it's good for their bottom lines."

He said the goal is to cut the 11 million barrels of oil the United States imports each day by one-third in the next decade or so.

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