President Barack Obama Thursday reiterated his call for the nation to shift to more renewable energy sources.
Taking aim at some of his potential Republican challengers, Obama belittled promises of driving gas prices down to $2.
"There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to high gas prices," he said. "There's no silver bullet. Anybody who tells you otherwise isn't really looking for a solution -- they're trying to ride the political wave of the moment."
Obama also said that increased domestic drilling for oil is not a permanent solution, noting that domestic oil production is now at a historic high.
"Over the last three years, my administration has opened millions of acres of land in 23 different states for oil and gas exploration," he said. "Offshore, I've directed my administration to open up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources."
He added, "That includes an area in the Gulf of Mexico we opened up a few months ago that could produce more than 400 million barrels of oil."
The fundamental problem, Obama said, is that the U.S. consumes far more energy than it can possibly produce, with only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves.
"So if we don't develop other sources of energy, if we don't develop the technology to use less energy to make our economy more energy-efficient, then we will always be dependent on foreign countries for our energy needs," he said.
He added, "And that means every time there's instability in the Middle East, which is the main thing that's driving oil prices up right now -- it's the same thing that was driving oil prices up last year -- every time that happens, every time that there's unrest, any time that there's concern about a conflict, suddenly, oil futures shoot up, you're going to feel it at the pump. It will happen every single time."
The nation, Obama said, cannot simply drill its way out of the problem of high gas prices, noting that emerging markets are consuming more and more energy on the world market.
"We can't have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past," he said. "We need an energy strategy for the future -- an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy. Yes, develop as much oil and gas as we can, but also develop wind power and solar power and biofuels."
He added, "Make our buildings more fuel-efficient. Make our homes more fuel-efficient. Make our cars and trucks more fuel-efficient so they get more miles for the gallon. That's where I want to take this country."
Obama said that the nation's future depends on an "all of the above" strategy for energy, not one that depends on the ideas of the 20th Century, while also chiding his republican opponents for dismissing biofuels, wind and solar power.
"There will always be cynics and naysayers who just want to keep on doing things the same way that we've always done them," he said. "They want to double down on the same ideas that got us into some of the mess that we've been in."
He added, "But that's not who we are as Americans. See, America has always succeeded because we refuse to stand still. We put faith in the future. We are inventors. We are builders. We are makers of things."
by RTT Staff Writer
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