President, GOP wrestle with rising gas prices in weekly addresses
April 30th, 2011
11:20 AM ET
11 years ago

President, GOP wrestle with rising gas prices in weekly addresses

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."

Filed under: Energy • gas prices • GOP weekly address • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Carter

    To deena: your obvisouly mistaken on who made that promise. I believe it was your president Obama. So don't start pointing fingers when you hav no clue what you talking about. You want a country to completely change it's stripes overnight and that's impossible. It takes time and patience and trust me the earth staying beautiful is the least of our worries when people are starving to death and being taken advantage of. We need to stop arguing over stupid things and start working together as a country.

    April 30, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Dean

    Charlie in Maine

    Exxon/Mobil record profits/ high prices at the pump? How about instead of tax breaks we charge the oil companies for taking oil out of our ground?

    --------–That's one of the problems, they are not taking oil out of OUR ground.
    We need to start an OFEC – Origanization of Food Producing Countries- and peg the price of wheat and corn to the price of oil.

    April 30, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. E

    While I agree that we do need to cut down on our dependence on oil, it's going to a slow process especially with a sluggish economy. People seem to think that alternative energy can just take over tomorrow when it simply can't. How many of you can afford a brand new car that runs off something other than gasoline? Not too many, I'm sure. Same for fixing a house up to run on solar or other forms of energy. It's a good idea, but it could take a generation or more to be fully implemented. All anyone can do at this point is to put some tax breaks out there for the normal citizen to convert to alternative forms of energy for their home and possibly biodiesel or hybrid cars for the moment. That's all any of us can do at the moment until the technology becomes cheap enough to easily implement.

    April 30, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. justamused

    The middle class needs to realize that our power and strength is in our numbers. If you want to bring gas prices down, pick one oil company, say Exxon/Mobil, and boycott their stations. By your gas from any of the other oil companies. Boycott until Exxon lowers their prices which they would have to do to bring customers back to their stations.

    April 30, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. kyle

    Why do tax payers have to pay these oil crooks subsidies, they are already robboing us at the pump.

    April 30, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. diridi

    let me tell you one very important thing....there used to be a hunter, he hunts and one day, he put a net, and some seeds, well, to group of birds flying high in the sky, said, there is food, well they all parched on the net, and entangled to the net. Once clever bird like me said, listen, we are in danger...this hunter is a crook, wanted to kill us all and eat, instead of all these, why not we do one thing, listen carefully, "We all fly at the same time with the net, and go somewhere, and with beak, tear off the net....Listen, to this wise person....o.k "We all Cut down on Driving". This way we gain, they about that....please cut down on driving till we can afford Energy-Efficient Cars, Hybrid cars at cheaper prices....that's why, even though, i am getting bored at home, I did not step out of my home....please, do the same...Garden in your back yard, do plant "Vegetables". Eat healthy, exercise"""""Please my dear, fellow day, i shall reveal i.d.

    April 30, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Victoria

    Once again record breaking profits for the oil companies, why can't they sell the gas to us cheaper? Its all about greed. Greed is the american way?

    April 30, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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