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Politics

Obama Takes Gas-Guzzling ‘Beast’ To Clean Energy Summit

Presidential limo weighs eight tons, runs on diesel
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(PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

(PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

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LISBON (CBS) — Diplomats from Portugal and other European NATO leaders met with President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss energy-friendly electric cars, but Obama’s mode of transport may have stolen the show.

Weighing over eight tons, the “Beast”, Obama’s diesel-guzzling armored limousine was flown out to Lisbon before his arrival, carting him off from the runway to the first of his meetings scheduled throughout the weekend.

While Prime Minister Jose Socrates and president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso arrived in zero-emission electric cars, the Beast’s roar may have done more to drown out the summit’s message and the advances made in its host nation.

“I’d like to underline the priority both our countries assign to renewable energy and electric vehicles,” Socrates said.

Portugal boasts what it calls the world’s first national electric vehicle charging network, with 100 power outlets in 25 towns, with 1,300 set for installment by 2011.

The White House, meanwhile, had no immediate reaction to the presidential faux-paus, but has previously refused to acknowledge any changes to Obama’s security detail.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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