The following was written by Jacob Swenson, a community activist and University of Chicago student.
Local environmental activists congregated outside of Argonne National Laboratories today, where President Obama was speaking about his plan to create a $2 Billion “Energy Security Fund" for alternative energy research.
In his speech, the President said that we must aim to move cars and trucks entirely off oil by developing cheaper batteries, biofuels, and vehicles that operate on natural gas. The research plan, which is consistent with the President’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, would be funded using royalties from offshore drilling.
Climate activists were only half-hearted by the President’s proposal.
“It’s good to see the President focusing on the importance of developing advanced energy,” said Daniel Kesler, a spokesperson for 350.org. “But $2 billion is chump change compared to the estimated $110 billion in subsidies that will go to the fossil fuel industry over the next decade. The real way to accelerate our transition to renewable energy would be to put a price on carbon high enough to block dirty energy boondoggles like Keystone XL and direct funding into a new, advanced energy economy.”
Although the 35 activists from 350.org and the Sierra Club were not granted entrance to the event, they withstood the rain in order to call loudly on the President to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. Shiela Culkin, of Evanston, said she made the trip because “Obama said ‘Let’s be the generation to free itself from the tyranny of oil.’ I want him to stand by his promises.”
Image: Dylan Amlin, Roosevelt University student