Stand up for nonprofit news & help us reach our $100,000 goal! GIVE NOW

Obama: Spend oil money on alternatives to oil

Adriene Hill Mar 15, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Obama: Spend oil money on alternatives to oil

Adriene Hill Mar 15, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

President Obama wants cars and trucks that don’t need oil to run. Today he proposed a fund to help make that happen,  a fund with a $2 billion price tag. Which sounds like a lot, at least until you put it in context.

For one, it’s spread out over the next decade, so we’re talking about $200 million each year. And, the pool it’d be pulled from, the royalty revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling, was more than $5 billion last year. So, less than 4 percent.

The White House estimates those revenues will increase over the next several years. Which, Andy Radford, from the American Petroleum Institute, believes is likely. For one, he says, you’ve got rising prices. And, says Radford, “we’ve had some major discoveries in offshore that have been coming on line.” The more oil and gas that gets pumped, and the more it costs, the more the government takes in through the royalty program.

But why spend that extra cash on creating cleaner cars and trucks? Everyone in D.C. is talking about deficit reduction. Why not use it for that?

William Galston from the Brookings Institution says developing alternatives to oil is a public good, and “economists agree that there are certain kinds of what they call public goods that the market left to its own devices won’t supply enough of.”

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.