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Obama Clean-Energy Fund Would Gain If Oil Drilling Expanded

President Barack Obama’s proposal to fund clean-energy research with fees paid by oil and gas producers is renewing a debate over whether the promise of innovation tomorrow is worth expanding drilling today.

Obama’s “Energy Security Trust” -- which he announced this week in the State of the Union address -- would redirect about $200 million in royalties for drilling on federal lands to pay for the development of biofuels, electric batteries and cars and trucks powered by natural gas, the White House said yesterday. The trust would operate for 10 years and spend a total of $2 billion.