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Republican Senator Calls Obama Energy Speech "Empty Promises"

2/24/2012 11:30 AM ET

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, had a few bones to pick with the Obama Administration after the President Barack Obama's speech on energy production Thursday at the University of Miami.

"Unfortunately, the President's comments today simply reflect the same old empty promises we've come to expect from this White House," Hatch said in a statement.

He added, "Days after the President announced in his January State of the Union speech that we need an 'all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy,' the Administration turned around and cut access to federal lands in the West for oil shale development by 75-percent and proposed a 50-percent royalty hike on domestic energy production on public lands."

In his speech, Obama called on the country to refocus energy production on renewable sources, saying that rising gas prices highlight the need to move to more renewable sources of energy.

At the same time, the president reiterated his position that "safe, responsible" domestic oil production would remain a part of the country's energy strategy, noting that America is producing more oil now than at any time in the last eight years.

The speech came at a time when gas prices have hit $3.61 a gallon nationally, a jump of 23 cents since a month ago.

Republicans, including Hatch, have criticized Obama for not encouraging domestic fuel production and for rejecting the "Keystone Pipeline," which would deliver oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

"Whether it's closing off more federal land to American energy production or saying no to the Keystone pipeline, this White House has shown that it is more focused on appeasing its extreme environmentalist allies than putting forward an energy policy that works for Utahans and Americans everywhere," Hatch said.

He added, "With gas prices and home heating costs on the rise, the American people deserve action, not more campaign speeches from the most anti-American energy Administration in our nation's history."

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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