Gas Prices Tied to Oil Dependence Obama says

May 9, 2011, 07:44 by R.E. Christian

U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday reducing dependence on foreign oil is "the only way we can avoid being held hostage" to fluctuating oil prices.

In his weekly radio and Internet address -- taped Friday in Indianapolis, where he toured the Allison Transmission plant -- the president said clean energy companies like Allison are instrumental to economic growth and job creation. He said clean energy is part of the solution to rising gasoline prices.

He said the hybrid technology manufactured in Indianapolis powers nearly 4,000 buses worldwide and has "already saved 15 million gallons of fuel."

Obama tied the price of gasoline to persistent economic sluggishness -- noting that "many folks who do have jobs are finding that their paychecks aren't keeping up with the rising costs for everything from tuition to groceries to gas."

"We know there are no quick fixes to this problem," he said. "In the short term, we're doing everything we can to boost safe and responsible oil production here at home -- in fact, last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003.

"But over the long term, the only way we can avoid being held hostage to the ups and downs of oil prices is if we reduce our dependence on oil," the president said. "That means investing in clean, alternative sources of energy, like advanced biofuels and natural gas. And that means making cars and trucks and buses that use less oil."

Obama said other nations are "going all in to invest in clean energy technologies and clean energy jobs. But I don't want other countries to win the competition for these technologies and these jobs."

He acknowledged the United States is in a "difficult fiscal climate" and "it's tempting for some to try and cut back our investments in clean energy."

However, he said he will not "cut investments like clean energy that will help us out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world."

Source: UPI