Obama urges shift to new energy technologies

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MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (AP) ? President Barack Obama is making his most urgent appeal yet for the nation to wean itself from oil, calling it a “fuel of the past.”

He’s demanding the United States broaden its approach to energy, mindful of the political dangers of high gas prices.

Obama says shrinking demand for oil must drive the solution. He is touting his energy policies Wednesday in North Carolina, a state that figures prominently in the presidential election and will host the Democratic presidential convention.

Obama calls on Congress to provide $1 billion in grants to local communities to encourage greater use of fuel-efficient technologies. He wants better tax incentives to encourage the purchase and use of more fuel-efficient vehicles. Obama says that as consumers use less fuel, “that lowers the demand, prices come down.”