Obama outlines plan for advanced technology government fleets by 2015

Taking the lead in the country's efforts to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, President Obama has announced government fleets will only purchase advanced technology vehicles by 2015.

The White House has unveiled a new plan to purchase only advanced technology vehicles - such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles -- for government fleets by 2015. The announcement was made earlier today by President Obama at an event at Georgetown University.

"Here's the bottom line "” there are no quick fixes. And we will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy," Obama said. "We cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again."

The federal government currently operates a fleet of about 600,000 vehicles. The shift to advanced technology vehicles is expected to save more than 11 million barrels of oil.

SUV loophole
Although government officials will be required to purchase advanced technology vehicles under the plan, that doesn't exactly mean they will have to give up their full-size SUVs. Per a 1992 law, "advanced technology vehicles are defined as electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and vehicles that can run on E85 ethanol." Both the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe are rated for E85 use, returning a paltry combined average of 11mpg and 13mpg, respectively.

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