By Jon H. Harsch
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, March 11 – Saying high gas prices hit everyone “from farmers and truck drivers to restaurant owners and workers as well as consumers,” President Obama says the answer is developing a comprehensive energy strategy that includes “a broad array of clean energy sources – from renewables like wind and solar and homegrown biofuels, along with natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear power.”
In a Friday press conference where he listed U.S. help going to Japan in the wake of its earthquake and tsuanami, Obama warned that “as long as our economy depends on foreign oil, we’ll always be subject to price spikes.” He said the government is dealing with near $4 gas by being ready to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve stockpile if necessary and by monitoring “any possible manipulation in the oil markets” or price gouging at the retail level.
On the good news side, Obama said “America is better prepared for supply disruptions than we used to be” – thanks to increased energy efficiency and the imports-cutting fact that “Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003 . . . Oil production from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico reached an all-time high.”
Obama stressed that “we’ve got to get moving on a comprehensive energy strategy” and said “we’re working to diversify our entire portfolio with historic investments in clean energy.” To continue to reduce U.S. reliance on oil imports, he said “all across America, our farmers are producing homegrown fuels, our scientists are looking for the next breakthroughs, and our workers are back in once shuttered factories, manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels and advanced batteries that will help our cars get hundreds of miles to the gallon. These are jobs that didn’t exist two years ago, and we want to create millions more of these jobs.”
Repeating the goal he set in this year's State of the Union address, Obama promised that “By 2035, 80% of our electricity will come from a broad array of clean energy sources – from renewables like wind and solar and homegrown biofuels, along with natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear power.”
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