President Barack Obama called for shifting American vehicles “entirely” off oil and said the government must finance green energy projects because they are “too risky” for the private sector. “We recognize there are some things we do together as a country because individually we can’t do it — and by the way, the private sector on its own will not invest in this research because it’s too expensive, it’s too risky,” Obama said. “They can’t afford it in terms of their bottom lines. So we’ve got to support it, and we’ll all benefit from it and our kids will benefit from it and our grandkids will benefit from it. That’s who we are. That’s been the American story.”
Obama’s remarks, delivered Friday in his adopted home state of Illinois, come after years of government spending on green energy projects that went bankrupt or out of business – such as Solyndra, Beacon Power and Ener1. The plan to wean the U.S. off fossil fuel also comes as the administration has stalled efforts to approve the Keystone Pipeline from Canada that proponents say could create tens of thousands of jobs.
“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,” Obama said at the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.