President Barack Obama defended his energy policies in a speech Thursday and announced the fast-track approval process of the southern leg of an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas.
"Anyone who says that we're somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention," Obama said in Cushing, Oklahoma, on the second day of a four-state tour to defend his policies.
"And anyone who says that just drilling more will bring gas prices down just isn't playing it straight," the president continued. "We are drilling more. We are producing more. But the fact is, producing more oil at home isn't enough to bring gas prices down overnight."
Obama reiterated his "all of the above" strategy that increase production of traditional energy sources such as oil and natural gas while also increasing the utilization of alternative sources such as solar, wind and hydrogen power.
Obama countered Republican claims that U.S. oil reserves alone offer a solution to lowering gas prices and long-term supplies.
"The price of oil is set by the global market, and that means every time tensions rise in the Middle East, so will gas prices at home," Obama said, adding that tensions involving Iran caused the recent jump in global oil prices.
TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down to the Gulf Coast.
Last year, Obama rejected approval of the northern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline because of environmental concerns. However, Obama said he supports the southern portion of the pipeline.
Obama said in a White House statement, "I'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done."
by RTT Staff Writer
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