Obama touts domestic energy success

March 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- The United States has reduced the amount of oil it imports while advancing clean energy at home, U.S. President Barack Obama said.

Obama submitted a one-year progress report on his domestic energy policy. Obama, in a statement, said his administration was committed to working on an energy policy that would lessen the dependence on foreign resources.

"Our focus on increased domestic oil and gas production, currently at an eight-year high, combined with the historic fuel economy standards we put in place, means that we will continue to reduce our nation's vulnerability to the ups and downs of the global oil market," he said in a statement.

Obama's critics say much of the gains made in domestic oil and natural gas production are because of decisions made by the Bush administration. They also accuse the administration of blocking production of domestic resources, though the 20-page progress report notes more offshore areas are available for exploration.

"Overall, oil imports have been falling since 2005, and net imports as a share of total consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 -- the lowest level since 1995," the report adds.

On the clean energy front, the progress report said the Department of Interior was working to permit enough renewable energy programs to power 3 million homes.

"Since 2009, (the Department of the Interior) has approved 29 onshore renewable energy projects: 16 solar projects, five wind farms and eight geothermal facilities -- with total capacity of approximately 6,600 megawatts," the document read.

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