President Obama took another step to curb greenhouse gas pollution on Tuesday without waiting for Congress as he directed his administration to develop new regulations to reduce carbon emissions from the heavy-duty trucks that transport the nation's goods. Appearing in a grocery chain truck bay in this Washington suburb, the president said the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency would draft new fuel economy standards for trucks by March 2015 so that they could be completed a year after that as he rushes to put in place a new regulatory structure before leaving office.
In addition to taking executive action to make America more energy independent and cut carbon pollution, the President is also renewing his call for Congress to end subsidies to oil and gas companies and create an Energy Security Trust Fund to fund research and development for advanced vehicle technologies. And he is proposing to support investment in advanced vehicles and infrastructure through a new tax credit and an extension of tax credits to support cellulosic biofuels. [...] In addition to urging Congress to repeal the $4 billion in subsidies that taxpayers provide the oil and gas industry each year, the President has called on Congress to establish an Energy Security Trust and enact reforms to promote diligent oil and gas development on federal lands. The Energy Security Trust proposal has broad bipartisan support, including retired admirals, generals and leading CEOs, and focuses on shifting our cars and trucks off oil. This $2 billion investment in a range of cost-effective technologies -- like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, hydrogen, and domestically produced natural gas -- will be drawn from revenues generated from federal oil and gas development. Establishing a dedicated source of funding will allow the Energy Department to maintain targeted and sustained investments that are catalytic and directly advance U.S. energy security.