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Obama: Few things 'more important' than clean energy

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“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.

“That is 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 our goal,” he said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has similarly called for steering some oil-and-gas production revenues into green energy programs, but her plan differs from Obama’s in one crucial way.

Murkowski, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wants to marry it with expansion of areas made available for oil-and-gas leasing, while Obama’s plan would not.

Many Republicans want to open areas, such as the East Coast, that remain off-limits to drilling, and support a more-aggressive leasing program in Arctic seas off Alaska’s coast.

A House GOP leadership aide voiced skepticism over Obama’s proposal.

“For this proposal to even be plausible, oil and gas leasing on federal land would need to increase dramatically. Unfortunately, this administration has consistently slowed, delayed, and blocked American energy production,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The Obama administration’s 2012-2017 plan focuses on continued leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and, in the final years of the program, more lease sales off Alaska’s coast.

For more on Obama's remarks, click here.