Obama touts 2-billion-dollar fund for energy research

2013-03-15 21:22:57 GMT2013-03-16 05:22:57(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CHICAGO, March 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Friday called for the set up of a 2-billion-dollar Energy Security Trust during a speech made at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, which will bolster clean energy research and development in the U.S.

"We have to keep investing in scientific research," Obama said, lamenting the impact of the federal budget sequester on U.S. research. "We cant afford to miss these opportunities while the rest of the world races forward."

The fund builds on an idea Obama floated during his State of the Union speech to boost energy self-sufficiency as domestic production increases and demand falls.

Obama's idea enjoys some bipartisan and business support, but is likely to encounter strong resistance from Congressional Republicans, who will portray it as a tax on energy producers. However, the White House says the money will come from growth in drilling revenue from leases on public lands and waters over the next decade and is not a new tax.

The Argonne research facility, is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest national laboratories for scientific and engineering research focusing on energy, the environment and national security.

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