WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama will require oil companies to pay 10 U.S. dollars for every barrel of oil in his budget plan to be released next week, as part of efforts to create a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system, the White House said Thursday.
"The President's plan would increase American investments in clean transportation infrastructure by roughly 50 percent while reforming the investments we already make to help reduce carbon pollution, cut oil consumption, and create new jobs," the White House said in a statement.
The new oil fee, if approved by Congress, would be gradually phased in over five years, it added.
The so-called 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan included a proposal of spending nearly 20 billion dollars per year above current funding levels to "enhance transportation options for American families."
That would include making high-speed rail a viable alternative to flying in major regional corridors and invest in new rail technologies like maglev, the White House said.
Obama's plan also proposed 10 billion dollars per year to encourage local and state governments to plan, design and build smarter, cleaner, more resilient transportation systems.
Finally, Obama will also call for more than 2 billion dollars in annual investments in clean transportation research and development, including efforts to launch pilot deployments of safe and climate smart autonomous vehicles, create regional fueling infrastructure for low-carbon vehicles, and integrate new and changing technologies into U.S. transportation system.