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. Tony in Maine

    Republican demagoguery (think Princess Sarah's contribution in 2008) aside, oil could be pumped out of every back yard in the United States and the product would still end up on the world market where it would go to the high bidder. Where you find super cheap gasoline, you find government subsidies in kind or cash.

    Tar sands oil would have been transported across the heartland of the US, a huge aquifer that one spill would destroy, once the line was built the jobs added would have shrunk to a couple of thousand and not a drop was guaranteed for US gas tanks. The only sure winner was Exxon et al and their wholly owned subsidiary, the Republican Party.

    February 25, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  2. RogerD

    The President doesn't have an energy policy. If he did have an all of the above policy he says ha has, he would have approved the Keystone Pipeline and OPEC would think twice about raising the price of a barrell of oil. The President thinks domestic oil would be priced at OPEC prices.... wrong, the US market will set that price and world oil prices will drop significantly.

    February 25, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  3. diridi

    Oil companies are playing drama. To stop this drama, just Nationalize all the Oil Companies. This drama ends, and price drops. with wall-street and republicans, Oil companies are displaying this nasty drama in Election year. that's it. Obama2012.

    February 25, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In May 2007, gasoline was $3.07 a gallon, Jan 2008 it was $3.05, April 2008 it was $3.50, July 2008 it was $4.11. I live in Florida, so it may have been higher in Chicago, New York and LA. You cannot continue to blame the president for republican failures.

    February 25, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republican men have focused the leadership on a single issue. They have decided to go back to their good old high school days, where the only thing they could think of 24/7 was female private parts.

    February 25, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  6. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    "Republican presidential candidates often blame Obama for high gas prices on the campaign trail."

    LOL! Yeah, the GOBP deathcult is about as predictable as Groundhog Day, though less entertaining. With a slight variation CNN should use this line in all it's campaign stories:

    "Republican presidential candidates often lie about Obama on the campaign trail."

    February 25, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  7. Steve Jackson

    There is a oil line Now coming from Canada new line just relocating part of it reopen some closed refineries oil companies closed so they could control the price of oil with all there lies STOP the over board profits high PD CEOS George w started this when he took the control off oil companies that was in place

    February 25, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  8. Rick

    Finger pointing is not an action plan...

    Obama's re-election campaign has begun and he has more money than the other candidates combined and several times over. Just as you've seen Romney's success in carpet bombing the states with commercials and negative adds, here comes the Obama machine.

    -Any poor economic performance indicators or bad news in the media will not be his fault

    -He will position any numbers presented as a success story knowing that the listening won't understand or research the stare and compare against numbers of past presidents

    Failure is failure no matter how you position it. To give this president 4 more years is to simply get suckered in with 'words' (...again) and not pay attention to the performance metrics. If he were in fact successful – then I would vote for him. I definitely will not...

    February 25, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  9. Namejkane fl

    Republicans always pushing for the oil companies, Kay, we have been here before, maybe you can get the oil companies to vote for you because supreme court says their people too. Nobody else is going to vote republican in Nov, move forward with DEMS and back to the horse and buggy days with teapublican morons.

    February 25, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  10. rsubber

    Why are the news media and the politicians going on and on, blaming President Obama for high gas prices? Oh yeah, I forgot, they must be thinking about last year, when they gave the President all the credit for falling gas prices....
    More comments on my blog: Barley Literate by Rick Subber

    February 25, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  11. sittingduck

    How deluded can politicians be? They have no say in the cost of gas. Even the President, ANY President, does not tell the oil companies what to do. Try telling Exxon to drop prices by $1 this Memorial Day weekend. Not going to happen!

    February 25, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  12. amlcpamaine

    Funny, but not ONCE in any of these overbloated, hyperbolic claims about "job creation" do they ever agree to "put it in the deal." Just ask the oil companies to guarantee hiring the thousands that they claim in order to get the permit, and it's "we can't do that!"

    The USA is not against this pipeline. It's against having it rammed through an area that's a concern without proper protections. And every time they try to compromise about safety measures, it's met with the same old obfuscation and political blathering.

    February 25, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  13. FedUp

    No, Obama can't do anything about anything. I think we have all learned that lesson Gee, if he had approved oil drilling in the US, we would have a better chance of lower gas prices. However, the US has to be beholden to countries that don't like us, don't vote with us, but take our money. Get someone in office that has a lick of common sense and we might get somewhere with this country. Oops, I forgot. Common sense died in the US several years ago.

    February 25, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  14. sailor1031

    The republicans' statement on the price of gasoline are totally disingenuous. Mr Obama is partly right. This is much more complex than merely drilling more. The price of gas depends in part on world oil prices because oil is sold on the world market. We do not have a separate domestic-USA oil market where price depends only on local supply. In addition, we are currently extracting as much or more than we need – USA is at present a net exporter of oil. If oil companies drill more they'll export more. And the Keystone XL pipeline will only permit oil companies to export still more. A major reason for high gasoline prices is that refining capacity has been severely limited in the past several years with several companies shutting down refineries completely – leading to a mild scarcity of gasoline in the USA and the ability of refiners to push prices. This will only get worse as refiners perfect their ability to make more money while reducing expenses by taking even more refining capacity off-line either temporarily or permanently.

    February 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  15. Steve-Illinois

    Now we are going to power the country with algae! What a tool!!!! Where ya going to get these massive amounts of algae? Not out of the lakes, rivers, oceans, or any other natural bodies of water, the libs, and EPA won't let that happen! Then what? Build a pond the size of Texas to harvest it from? I know, let's power the country with clouds!!! There's an unlimited amount of them, no one owns them, they don't take up any land space, and the fact it can't be done has no relevance!!!
    Just say anything to make the tree huggers vote for ya!
    What a phony!!!

    February 25, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  16. GI Joe.

    Uncertainty over the saber-rattling about Iran, and speculators taking advantage of that on Wall Street. People need to learn to think. Quit just bashing one or both sides.

    February 25, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. dennis cassidy

    kalamazoo michigan where romney spoke recently is the site of an 800,000 plus gallon oil spill generated by the enbridge pipeline.why these people do not check recent history before they set these locations for these political speeches.during the last 20 years or so threr have been over 600 dpills from this one pipeline. the one in kalamazoo by the river near the water supply was the worst in midwest history yeah lets build more pipelines who needs drinking water anyway

    February 25, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Keystone oil pipeline won’t bring the gas price down
    This gas price hike as usual oil companies taking advantage of middle east crises

    February 25, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Marie MD

    Neither party has a say. The price is set by OPEC in the world market. The oil companies have the whole world by our collective cojones.
    We need to pay more attention and start using wind and solar power. DUH!

    February 25, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. oldjedi

    Do you know that their is no shortage of oil in US? Oil company do not work by supply and demand. And that the US has exported half the gas it has made this year. The Keystone pipeline was held up by a Republican governor. Why do you think that Canada wants to transport the oil to Texas, it is so they can export the gas to other nations, not the US.

    February 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Scott

    Ya, renewable enegry like Solyndra, why are we so set on green energy, its a loser, look at Solyndra, THe pipeline from Canada would produce thousands of jobs and reduce our dppendcy on foriegn oil. But not Obama, he would rather see high gas prices to support his Muslin buddies. Obama is soooooo wrong for this country, he does not get it.

    Romney 2012 and 2016.

    February 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. Sam

    The Keystone Pipeline oil is not intended nor ever was intended to be used by the United States..it was to go to Asia. We would be left with the polluted residuals to infiltrate our streams. If certain provinces in Canada don't want it to cross their borders, what does that tell you?

    February 25, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. WiredweirdinSF

    As far as blame, who banned the off shore drilling? Who pulled our troops out of Iraq with no oil? Who killed the pipeline? Who has given away billions of dollars in bird brained alternative energy schemes to his donors? Who gave all that money to Brazil to develop their energy program (and guess what, they still hate us. Which president degrades, demeans and diminishes the oil industry constantly when talking to his dope addicted, welfare fraud supporters? I don't think CNN can figure it out, can you?

    February 25, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Seattle Sue

    Does Senator Hutchinson not know that we are exporting gas to other countries. This is not a supply and demand problem. But we all know Republicans don't let facts get in their way.

    February 25, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    The blame falls mainly on the oil companies and speculators on Wall Street. If oil companies are making record profits, why do GOP/Tea Party politicians want to protect their government subsidies and tax status?

    February 25, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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