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Obama to Set Achievable Energy Targets Today, Bingaman Says

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will outline achievable energy targets that may win bipartisan support in Congress, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman said.

Obama will offer oil and gas companies incentives to develop federal leases as a part of his plan to reduce U.S. oil imports by a third in about a decade, according to two administration officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity before a speech at Georgetown University later today.

“What he’s talking about today is what he thinks are achievable objectives for this Congress,” Bingaman said at an event sponsored by PoliticoPro in Washington. “It’s a tough time to get much accomplished in Washington.”

Bingaman’s committee will propose legislation supporting greater use of electric cars and natural gas, to cut dependence on imported fuel. Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, also said he plans to consider tightening requirements for holders of federal leases, to ensure the resources are developed.

Oil and gas companies are producing from less than 20 percent of leases in the Gulf of Mexico and are using 43 percent of leases on federal lands, the Interior Department said in a report requested by Obama and released yesterday.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, a Republican from Washington, proposed three bills yesterday aimed at boosting the U.S. offshore oil output to 3 million barrels a day by opening Atlantic for exploration.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net.

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