Washington (CNN)-President Obama reflected on pain at the gas pump during his weekly address Saturday.
Noting figures that suggest the economy is growing again with an increase of almost 2 million private sector jobs over the last 13 months, the president recognized it's "still too hard to find a job" and "rising gas prices mean real pain for our families at the pump."
He compared the impact of increasing gas prices with profits made by oil companies and subsidies given by the federal government to oil producers that amount to $4 billion a year. "When oil companies are making huge profits and you're struggling at the pump, and we're scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren't right," the president said.
President Obama called for an end to "tax giveaways" for oil and gas companies because "they aren't smart." He repeated the challenge to stop "subsidizing yesterday's energy" and "invest in tomorrow's."
Obama trumpeted investments in clean energy, affirming that they "can lead to new jobs and new businesses."
Recognizing the demand to cut spending somewhere, the president agreed that "the only way we'll be able to afford the things we need is if we cut the things we don't." And he stood firm on his belief in clean energy.
"I know that in this tough fiscal environment, it's tempting for some in Washington to want to cut our investments in clean energy…But I refuse to cut things like clean energy that will help America win the future by growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs; that will help make America more secure; and that will help clean up our planet in the process," he stated.
"An investment in clean energy today is an investment in a better tomorrow," the president said.
Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford blamed rising gas prices for "costing jobs and hurting our economy" in the GOP weekly address, but his solution directly contradicted the president's.
"Higher energy costs make everything made in the USA more expensive, and send more good-paying jobs overseas," he said. But the freshman congressman criticized President Obama's proposal to end oil subsidies, saying it would "actually make the problem worse."
"The President may think he's punishing CEOs of big companies, but his plan will hurt the everyday consumer of energy and imperil the jobs of millions of hardworking people in American-based companies," said Lankford, as he distinguished the differences between Republicans and the president.
"Republicans are focused on expanding all American energy production to help lower costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create millions of American jobs," he stated.
"The President's budget proposal fails to credible plan that meets the nation's challenges in a serious manner."
Lankford accused President Obama of developing a proposal that "protects the status quo" and called for an end to "blank checks and huge bills on our children so someone in Washington can retain power."
Rep. Lankford declared, "We can do this if we will work together to solve the problems instead of just talking about them."