Obama and Republican trade blame on gas prices in weekly addresses
February 25th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama and Republican trade blame on gas prices in weekly addresses

(CNN) - Rising gas prices, on the minds of many Americans, were the focus of Saturday's weekly addresses from President Barack Obama and Republican Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

In his address, Obama built on an energy speech delivered earlier this week, saying America needed an "all-of-the-above" energy policy that incorporates more than just drilling for oil.

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"There are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," Obama said. "If we're going to take control of our energy future and avoid these gas price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels and more."

Obama took harsh aim at Republicans who promise lower gas prices, saying "some politicians always see this as a political opportunity. And since it's an election year, they're already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I'll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. We hear the same thing every year."

Republican presidential candidates often blame Obama for high gas prices on the campaign trail. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich frequently promotes his plan for $2.50 per gallon gas on the campaign trail.

Obama also campaigned on high gas prices in 2008, using ads to slam then-rival Sen. John McCain for promoting policies that increased the price at the pump.
On Saturday, Obama said voters won't be fooled by campaign rhetoric.

"The American people aren't stupid," the president said. "You know that's not a plan – especially since we're already drilling. It's a bumper sticker. It's not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. It's a strategy to get politicians through an election."

Obama laid out a plan to cut subsidies to oil companies and use the money to build a green energy infrastructure, including developing wind and solar power.

Speaking for Republicans, Hutchison said Obama's policies were to blame for higher gas prices.

"President Obama's policy has resulted in an unprecedented slowdown in new exploration and production of oil and gas," Hutchison said. "Offshore drilling permits are being issued at less than half the rate of the previous administration. The average number of leases issued on public lands is less than half that during President Clinton's term."

Hutchison said approving the Keystone oil pipeline, proposed to carry crude oil from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, would increase oil supply and create jobs.

"That pipeline would assure the U.S. of 830,000 barrels of oil daily - not from halfway around the world, but from our friend to the north, Canada," Hutchison said. "After four years of environmental reviews and regulatory approvals, the Obama administration is still stalling. If we wait, the Canadians have indicated they can ship their oil to China, and a huge opportunity will have been lost."

Opponents fear the pipeline may leak, damaging American natural resources. They also argue the pipeline would only increase Americans' dependence on non-renewable forms of energy like oil.

Filed under: Energy • Kay Bailey Hutchison • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Gas prices aren't magic and one might consider why prices would go up. Forget about the pipeline for dirty Canadian oil – that proposal is years away from producing oil. But if the supply was threatened by something like a potential war with Iran, prices would go up. So who's been trash-talking about war with Iran? Answer: Rebulican candidates for President. The only other way to cause prices at the pump to increase would be to artificially drive up prices by a combination of manipulations of the market (bidding up the price of the commodity) or by collusion at the retail level to charge more – a much harder thing to arrange. Either way the Republicans are the darlings of Big Oil and they stand to gain the most by a price increase – financially and politically.

    February 25, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. SPLAT!~

    Why doesn't Canada build the pipeline to Lake Superior and refine it there? Refinerys could be built at the same time they are building the pipeline. Even more jobs created! And products could be shipped through the St Lawrence.

    February 25, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Living in the REAL world

    The fact is Obama has done everything he could possibly do to REDUCE oil production in this country. His dishonesty in taking credit for the increases initiated by George Bush is pretty bad. And the high gas prices are exactly what he wants to push his bogus green energy baloney and the worthless GM Volt. Obama would very happy to see $10/gal gas. And you can be sure of one thing, he will find somebody else to blame for all of it because that is what he does with everything. I believe the plague on the desk of the President used to say "The Buck Stops Here" but Obama has replaced it with one that reads "Don't Blame Me, Blame Everybody Else". Obama is no leader, that is for sure.

    February 25, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. rob

    When Bush was President and gas prices rose there was a chorus from the media and the Dems bemoaning the horrible affects on the poor and middle class, placing the blame squarly on him. Now of course we have a Democrat president who has been quoted saying he wanted gas prices higher but not too quickly and the media is in a state of damage controll. The President with the help of his cheerleaders in the media are trying to deflect any blame he may receive from the public or his critics by blaming it on anything and everything that is out of his controll...or of course President Bush and Republicans.

    I hope that in the long run the American people will see through this outrageous hypocracy from our media and see this president and his supporters as the absolute failures they are and vote them out in November.

    February 25, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Thomas

    Ted Turner: Stop Keystone pipeline before it's too late ..

    February 25, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Sage Sophos

    Tap the Nations' Strategic Petroleum Reserve, kick ass the oil market speculators problem solved!! Oh oh the Republicans will ran naked calling you anti- business using the chamber of commerce! i.e whatever the President does they will critic it without offering any solutions they did it in 2010 and they can do it again. Please allow me to remind you this!! the shellacking was just the other day when the Democrats thought they were invisible!!

    February 25, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Mom to 3

    Sigh - we go through this "gas prices" hoopla once a year now. First of all, the President cannot control gas prices and any Republican promising to bring about "$2.50 gas" is lying through his teeth. Second of all, President Obama is definitely correct on this one. We need an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy and continuing to focus only on oil and creating massive environmental damage in the process is not doing us or our grandchildren any favors. At this point our grandchildren will already be quite unimpressed by our stubborness and resistance to change. We are certainly no "greatest generation" when it comes to facing the energy challenges of the future. I will not be voting for ANY backward-looking Republican. Only the Democrats seem willing to face the future instead of making empty promises to take us back to the past. OBAMA 2012

    February 25, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Obama and Republican trade blame on gas prices in weekly addresses◄
    In all essence – who gets the raw end – who does this truly oppresses???
    While the prices go up, the RICH still fill-up – the many tanks of their cars and vans
    But the middle class and below – you and I – would have to siphon most of our plans

    It’s NOT about fame – this is insane – the American people are tired of the “blame games”
    Get it together – come up with a viable plan – and stop forcing us to bleed from our veins!!

    Obama 2012 – Only because we are more than halfway there!!!

    February 25, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Bugs

    Hmm, Obama wants high oil and gas to foster green energy, while the puppet masters Soros and Buffet want high prices to line their greedy pockets.

    February 25, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Stephen in VA

    "That pipeline would assure the U.S. of 830,000 barrels of oil daily" – Yes, about 7/8ths of a million barrels of dirty, sandy, low-quality crude oil, which just barely qualifies as a drop in the bucket–literally–of the nearly 20 million barrels of oil America consumes every day. Get a grip and go whine about something that's important, folks. As it is, you're making a political-year spectacle out of a pipeline over the largest aquifer on our continent, that will provide a few thousand temporary jobs to Americans at best, and that will provide profits to a Canadian company.

    At the same time, if the administration is making it harder for the people who brought us the Deepwater Horizon fiasco to obtain future permits to blow up the ocean, I'm cheering them on. Make them prove they have a safety plan and backup technology in place? Go for it!

    February 25, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Randall

    At the end of last year, Goldman Sachs one of the largest speculators in oil futures contracts forecasted that oil prices would go to $250 per barrell within 18 months. The oil industry for decades have fought the development of renewal energy sources. The oil industry's hypocricy in this matter can be seen in the fact that when they advertise their work on renewable energy (i.e. BP (Beyond Petroleum)) the amount spent on advertising frequently exceeds the actual expenditures for the development of renewable energy. The Republican party has supported this scamm in the "Tea Pot Dome Scandal" under the Warren G. Harding (R) administration.

    February 25, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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