Previewing President Obama’s Energy Speech Today

by Greg Pollowitz

Sounds like he’s a fan of T. Boone Pickens:

Although it will be the president’s first energy policy speech since the Japanese nuclear crisis — which complicated his call for a nuclear power expansion — Obama is not expected to focus on the issue. He will, however, stress that the U.S. can slash oil imports by a third by expanding domestic energy production, encouraging natural gas use in cars and trucks, boosting development of biofuels and improving efficiency.

Obama is slated to tout natural gas as an abundant, cleaner-burning power source that Washington should promote with incentives to encourage the use of cars, trucks and fleets that run on the fuel. He could lend his support to bipartisan legislation advanced by Texas billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens and embraced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to create tax credits for buying natural gas-powered cars and building filling stations and other needed infrastructure.

Obama also is expected to:

Highlight still-developing fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks covering model years 2017-2025.

Affirm his commitment to a so-called clean energy standard — and specifically, a mandate that, by 2025, 80 percent of the nation’s electricity come from low-emission power sources such as wind and solar, nuclear power, natural gas and still-developing “clean coal” technology.

Announce a goal that within two years, the U.S. will break ground on four refineries to produce the next generation of advanced or cellulosic biofuels made from plant materials.