Democrats, Republicans face off over energy in weekly address
March 3rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Democrats, Republicans face off over energy in weekly address

Washington (CNN) - Democrats and Republicans accused each other of stymieing progress toward lower gas prices and energy independence in their weekly addresses Saturday.

"Americans are right to worry that no relief is in sight," Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington said for the Republicans. "The president, who campaigned on a promise to address rising gas prices, now talks as if they're largely beyond his control."

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But Obama said "we can't just drill our way out of this problem" in his push for new forms of energy.

The president, who spoke to union auto workers in Washington this week, said retooling and bailout out of Detroit, coupled with new standards, prevented deeper economic drops and will lead to increased fuel efficiency.

"So in exchange for help, we demanded responsibility," Obama said. "We got the companies to retool and restructure. Everyone sacrificed. And three years later, the American auto industry is back."

Several Republican presidential candidates have criticized Obama for the bailout, which started under President George W. Bush. Critics argue a route through bankruptcy court would have been better for the car makers and taxpayers alike.

In his address, the president used words that have plagued one candidate, Mitt Romney, as he fought to win Michigan's primary on Tuesday: "Let Detroit go bankrupt," the title to an op-ed authored by Romney arguing for the managed bankruptcy route.

"If we had let this great American industry collapse - if we had let Detroit go bankrupt," Obama said, "more than 1 million Americans would have lost their jobs in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression."

Hastings, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, criticized the president for blocking the Keystone project and other drilling initiatives, including in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, Rocky Mountains and offshore.

The president's all-of-the-above energy plan, he said, is not up to par with the Republican plan.

"Actions speak louder than words," he said. "Republicans have followed through on our 'all-of-the-above' approach and passed through the House bipartisan reforms that break down government barriers to our natural resources."

Energy policy - and gas prices in particular - have been in the spotlight on the campaign trail.

GOP candidate Newt Gingrich has said that as president, he would lower gas prices to $2.50 per gallon. Experts have cast doubt on the claim, calling it "political rhetoric."

Filed under: Congress • Democrats • Energy • President Obama • Republicans • Uncategorized
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Here is the thing; gas goes up every year. Yes, this time maybe a month early but it does go back down after the summer months, just not to the low it was before the last gas increase. Solution, get a bike. I quit my job 37 miles away from my house. I found one 5 miles away. The pay is not as good but, the money I save in gas makes it about even. I also like the fact I am not putting carbon emissions into the ozone. I am 53, healthy and much happier. Gotta love it!

    March 3, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Same republican crap we have heard for the last 30 years. All lies. More drilling is being done now than at any time in our history, our demand is down and our oil production is up. Even republicans should know that their special interest speculators are getting over 60 cents a gallon and their own presidential candidates are declaring war on Iran, which has created a lot of uncertainty.

    March 3, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In other republican news, Mittens has failed to speak out against Rush because Bain Capital is part owner of Clear Channel radio. While republicans historically have gone after women like Anita Hill, Herman Cain's numerous girlfriends, and all women in general, their foolishness has to stop, and Mittens needs to grow a pair.

    March 3, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    With the devastating storms in the mid south, I am surprised that crazy republicans have not blamed President Obama for global warming.

    March 3, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  5. NoWay

    Refineries are exporting about 600 thousand barrels of finished gas a day last week. check out Looks like big business is taking us for a real ride.

    March 3, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  6. Namejkane fl

    Republicans have no credability on any subject, health care, fwd and oil production sense they are in the oil companies pockets. Anybody who votes for any republican bafoon canadate should be deported to somila where they have similar beliefs

    March 3, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  7. Core republican Values

    This week's Core republican values include rush limbaugh (satan), rush limbaugh (gluttony), and bearing false witness ($2.50/gallon gas and cutting taxes by $2.5 trillion while balancing the budget).

    March 3, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  8. NoWay

    Looks like big oil business is taking us for a real ride. Refineries exported about 600 thousand barrels of finished gas a day last week. Check out weekly imports and exports.

    What's up? Definitely not a shortage at production level.

    March 3, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |