Obama Announces Energy Incentive Program in Mt. Holly
President Obama made a pitch for alternative fuels today during a visit to the Freightliner truck plant in Mount Holly. He says the development of alternative energy will lower the demand for oil - and lower gas prices. Backdropped by a giant American Energy banner and three big Freightliner trucks, the president jumped right to the topic of rising fuel prices. "We're not just going to drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices," he said. "Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn't know what they are talking about or they aren't telling you the truth." That led to the announcement of a new incentive program called the National Community Deployment Challenge. "If you make a commitment to buy more advanced vehicles for your community - whether they run on electricity or biofuels or natural gas - we'll help you cut through the red tape and build fueling stations nearby," he said. The program will include a $1 billion grant pool as incentive for to help consumers for communities to adopt more fuel-efficient technologies. Examples of the incentives are increasing the energy efficient car tax credit from $7,500 to $10,000 and a research challenge that invests in breakthrough technologies to make electric vehicles as affordable and convenient as gas-powered vehicles. He said he wants to encourage the use of all forms of energy - nuclear, solar, wind, natural gas, biofuels and oil and gas. "That's the only sollution to challenge," he said. "Use less, lowers demand, pretty stratight forward. Only way to do it." This was popular with the crowd of Freightliner workers, because it's now building trucks that run on natural gas and hybrid vehicles as well. The president's message was received pretty well. The crowd did seem especially appreciative the president went after oil companies. "Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars goes straight to the oil industry every year," said President Obama. "$4 billion in subsidies that other companies don't get. Now keep in mind these are some of the same companies making record profits every time you fill up your gas tank." The president's prevailing message was we have to do something different. We have two percent of the world's oil reserves, but are responsible for 20% of the consumption. Demand for oil will only increase as the standard of living rises in other countries such as China.