GM chief calls on Obama to create new energy commission

Development of so-called unconventional sources of oil and gas have driven U.S. oil production to a 20-year high and natural-gas production to record levels.

“Everywhere you look there are opportunities to seize the energy high ground,” Akerson said at the IHS CERAWeek conference. “Indeed, our leaders have been presented an historic opportunity to create a national energy policy from a position of strength and abundance, not weakness and scarcity.”

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But he said the plan must address much more than oil and gas.

“The pillars of such a plan must include energy diversity, so we don’t become dependent on any one fuel or energy source — we must continue to develop all forms of domestic energy including renewables,” Akerson said.

“Energy efficiency must remain a core component so we can absorb the impact of both future prosperity and population growth, and we must continue to make long-term investments in nascent technologies to drive carbon emissions even lower than they are today,” he added.

Akerson used his speech to tout GM’s work on fuel efficiency, electric and natural-gas-powered vehicles.

GM plans to save 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles it builds between 2011 and 2017, the company said.

Akerson also noted GM’s forecast that by 2017 it will have 500,000 vehicles on the road that use some form of electrification.