31 Mar 2011

Obama unveils target to reduce US oil imports

9:00 pm on 31 March 2011

US President Barack Obama has outlined an ambitious target to reduce American oil imports by one-third by 2025.

Higher oil prices are threatening to hamper US economic recovery and there is growing dissatisfaction among car drivers with pump prices.

Mr Obama says the US has to get serious about a secure and affordable energy future and must move towards getting 80% of its electricity from non-oil sources by 2035.

As well as increasing the use of alternative energies such as biofuels and making vehicles more efficient, he says the US must raise domestic oil production.

The president also embraced an expansion of nuclear power, but says there will be a thorough review of power plants to ensure any lessons from the crisis in Japan are learned.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant has been leaking radioactive particles since a 9.0 earthquake triggered a fatal tsunami that devastated much of northeast Japan on 11 March.