To purportedly tame the progressive rise in gas prices, President Obama visited a North Carolina truck manufacturer on Wednesday to unveil a new $1 billion plan to advocate electric and alternative vehicles through consumer incentives and federal grants for states.
The "green" initiative, tagged the "National Community Deployment Challenge," provides a $10,000 tax credit — up from the current $7,500 incentive — to consumers purchasing "advanced cars and trucks." The grant program includes a "Race to the Top" contest that would award money to states with "model communities" that agree to fund infrastructure such as charging stations or natural gas corridors "where alternative fuel trucks can transport goods without using a drop of oil," according to the White House Press Fact Sheet.
The company that Obama visited on Wednesday is Daimler Trucks North America, a cohort of the Energy Department’s SuperTruck initiative, which intends to boost fuel efficiency of 18-wheel, long haul trucks by 50 percent by 2015. In a speech at the North Carolina plant, the President affirmed:
Here is the truth. If we are going to control our energy future, then we’ve got to have an all-of-the-above strategy. We’ve got to develop every source of American energy — not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels. We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down. It's pretty straightforward. That’s the only solution to this challenge.
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Photo: President Barack Obama waves at the crowd as he leaves for a North Carolina truck manufacturing plant after arriving at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base in Charlotte, N.C., March 7, 2012.: AP Images