On March 15, President Barack Obama visited the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois to deliver a speech that focused on his strategies to reduce the nation’s dependence on oil and gasoline and expanded upon his proposed Energy Security Trust.

The Energy Security Trust, which President Obama originally proposed during his State of the Union Address last month, would allocate funds from offshore oil and gas drilling revenues into a research trust for technologies—including biofuels, electric vehicle batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells. The trust would invest $200 million yearly over the next decade into these research sectors.

After touring the Argonne National Laboratory and viewing a battery-testing demonstration on the Chevy Volt, the president delivered a speech on the importance of embracing alternative fuel research and supporting the proposed Energy Security Trust.

“The only way to really break this cycle of spiking gas prices, the only way to break that cycle for good is to shift our cars entirely—our cars and trucks—off oil,” President Obama said, addressing the crowd at the Argonne National Laboratory. “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 March 15, President Barack Obama visited the Argonne National Laboratory to tour its facilities and to deliver a speech focusing on the importance of supporting clean energy research. Photo courtesy Argonne National Laboratory.

President Obama particularly stressed the economic benefits of investing in clean energy. During his speech, he commented that he “chose Argonne National Lab because right now, few areas hold more promise for creating good jobs and growing our economy than how we use American energy. After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future.”

The president’s speech also highlighted the advancements that the nation has made in terms of embracing clean energy and reducing the nation’s carbon footprint over the past few years.

“We’ve worked with the auto companies to put in place the toughest fuel standards in our history. And what that means is, by the middle of the next decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.” President Obama said. “In fact, a new report issued today shows that America is becoming a global leader in advanced vehicles. You walk into any dealership today, and you’ll see twice as many hybrids to choose from as there were five years ago. You’ll see seven times as many cars that can go 40 miles a gallon or more. And as costs go down, sales are going up.”

President Obama stressed that supporting clean energy is non-partisan, “This is not a Democratic idea or a Republican idea. This is just a smart idea.”

For the full transcript of President Obama’s speech, please click here.

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