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Obama hails progress on energy policy

March 1, 2012 at 3:28 PM   |   Comments

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NASHUA, N.H., March 1 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama visited snowy New Hampshire Thursday and touted progress that's been made in reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Air Force One landed in near-whiteout conditions in Manchester where gasoline is hovering under $4 a gallon and the president's motorcade proceeded on to Nashua in the snow.

"I don't need to tell you why fuel-efficiency is so important – especially right now," Obama told an audience at Nashua Community College. "Most of you have filled up your gas tanks in the last week or two. You've seen the prices go up almost every day and you've probably already felt the pinch – whether you own a car or a small business."

The president laid out his policy of increasing oil drilling, increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and investing in alternative fuels, and chided politicians for "phony election-year promises" offering "those magic, three-point plans for $2 gas. You know the plans I'm talking about: Step one is drill, step two is drill and step three is keep drilling.

"You know we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," he said. "You know there aren't any quick fixes or silver bullets."

Obama said America needs a strategy including "not just oil and gas, but wind and solar and biofuels" to control of our energy future, while at the same time using technology to cut demand by motor vehicles, and buildings and factories.

He said the United States produces more oil today than any time since 2003 and that a near-record number of oil rigs are operating here than in the rest of the world combined. But he added the global price of oil was not determined by the amount we produce at home but was linked to a world market, which is directly affected by instability in the Middle East and demand of emerging nations like Brazil, India and China.

The United States consumes 20 percent of the world's oil, he said, but we only have 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. He called $4 billion in tax-subsidies that go to oil companies annually "outrageous" and "inexcusable" and urged Congress to end the subsidies.

"Since I took office, America's dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year."

By 2015, he said, 100 percent of vehicles purchased by the federal government will be fuel-efficient.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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