Senator Lugar was in South Bend Wednesday and spent some time at Notre Dame's Energy Center. He also talked to students about energy and foreign policy. Lugar says finding new forms of energy will help ensure our country's security and economy.
The Hoosier senator says the nation's economy is directly tied to energy, he says we need to find ways to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Lugar says some energy incentives have actually been attached to the recent bailout bill. “Tax changes that would make it more desirable for people to buy a hybrid car-- for example-- or to buy some other type of vehicle that has some of this incorporated,” says Lugar.
Lugar says Indiana's biggest asset in the energy arena is its’ brains. “Our biggest asset is the research that's proceeding here at Notre Dame, at Purdue, at IU; I hope I don't neglect someone. It's cumulatively very important,” adds Lugar.
After the Senator's speech, Notre Dame's student green club was honored. GreeND received the Lugar Energy Patriot Award. “It's such a wonderful honor to have the senator with us today, and to receive this award, it was a very pleasant surprise. Wonderful he took the time to sit down with students at lunch and visit some of the research facilities we have here,” Lourdes Long, President of Notre Dame’s GreeND.
“Everyone’s job is going to be impacted by energy, regardless of whether you're in the energy sector or not,” adds Colleen Kelly, Vice-President of GreeND.
Lugar is hopeful a new energy economy will create many new jobs, especially in the struggling auto industry. He says he drives a fuel efficient Prius and is hoping Americans can have more options for buying fuel efficient cars.
On Thursday, Lugar heads to Benton County to visit two wind farms. He will also make a stop at Purdue University to talk to energy researchers.