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Obama renews call for investment in efficient energy

Cars congest a highway in Los Angeles on October 17, 2006
Cars congest a highway in Los Angeles on October 17, 2006. US President Barack Obama renewed his call for developing new technologies that would reduce dependence on fossil fuels and shift American cars and trucks off petroleum gas.

US President Barack Obama on Saturday renewed his call for developing new technologies that would reduce dependence on fossil fuels and shift American cars and trucks off petroleum gas.

"The only way we're going to break this cycle of spiking gas prices for good is to shift our cars and trucks off of oil for good," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

"That's why, in my State of the Union Address, I called on Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies that will help us reach that goal."

On Friday, Obama visited the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago, a research facility that is focusing on new electric car engines and other ways of reducing US dependence on oil.

The president is proposing to take some of the oil and gas revenues from public lands and put it toward research on energy efficient engines, developing cheaper batteries and advancing biofuels and natural gas.

"Now, this idea isn't mine," Obama said. "It's actually built off a proposal put forward by a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals. So let's take their advice and free our families and our businesses from painful spikes in gas prices once and for all."

Obama last month called on Congress to do more to combat climate change and he plans to introduce further efficiency standards for cars and renew a push on the development of wind, solar and cleaner natural gas energy.

His proposed reforms face a tough ride in Congress, however, as Republican lawmakers have heavily criticized government spending on green energy programs during Obama's first term, arguing that the outcomes did not justify the cost.

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