U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, Feb. 29, 2012. Credit: Ron Sachs / Pool via CNP | License Photo
WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday stepped up his call for ending $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil industry.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president noted the auto industry has added more than 200,000 jobs since the federal government helped bail the industry out, and the cars Detroit is making are getting better mileage because of new fuel-efficiency standards.
He said his administration "demanded responsibility" in exchange for the financial help.
"We got the companies to retool and restructure," Obama said. "Everyone sacrificed. And three years later, the American auto industry is back."
Obama said the auto industry comeback "will make a difference," but there is no "shortcut to taking control of our energy future."
"We have to pursue an all-of-the-above strategy that helps develop every source of American energy," Obama said. "And we have to do it now."
The president said the United States produced more than half of the oil it consumed in 2010, in part because "we're producing more oil here at home than at any time in the last eight years."
He renewed his call for ending $4 billion in annual tax breaks that he said "go to subsidizing the oil industry."
"These are the same companies making record profits -- tens of billions of dollars a year," he said. "I don't think oil companies need more corporate welfare. Congress should end this taxpayer giveaway."
The president urged listeners and viewers to ask their representatives in Congress to "stop fighting for oil companies."