President Obama, in a speech yesterday outlining his administration’s national energy policy, set a goal of reducing U.S. oil imports by one-third over the next decade.
Cutting America’s oil dependence, he said at Georgetown University, will come by finding and producing more oil at home and developing cleaner alternative fuels and increasing efficiency.
Noting the recent steep rise in gasoline prices, he said, “We’ve been down this road before. Just three years ago gas prices topped $4 a gallon. You had a lot of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians waving three-point-plans for $2 gas.
“When gas prices finally fell, it was mostly because the global recession led to less demand for oil… the economy is recovering, demand is back up. Add the turmoil in the Middle East, and it’s not surprising oil prices are higher.”
It is time, he said, for the nation to “get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy.”
The United States “cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again.”
In releasing a “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future” today, Obama detailed steps he says will reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports:
• Finding and producing more oil at home.
• Producing cleaner alternative fuels and greater efficiency.
He also proposed steps to permanently reduce the nation’s dependence on oil as an energy source: tapping domestic supplies of natural gas, developing renewable biofuels, making cars and trucks that use less oil, investing in high-speed rail and mass transit, wasting less energy in homes and businesses, and increasing cleaner, renewable sources of electricity such as renewables like wind and solar, efficient natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power.
“The issue of energy independence,” he told Georgetown University students, “is one that America has been talking about since before your parents were your age.” Washington “has suffered from a chronic unwillingness to come together and make tough choices.
“I don’t want to leave this challenge for future presidents… Solving it will take time and effort. It will require our brightest scientists, our most creative companies, and, most importantly, all of us — Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between — to do our part.”
That last hurdle might be greater than any technological or economic problem in creating true energy independence. We have been down this road before.