Obama sets goal to re­duce oil im­ports

The Financial Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON: Seek­ing to show the pub­lic he un­der­stands the bur­den of ris­ing gas prices, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama set an am­bi­tious goal of re­duc­ing U.S. oil im­ports by one-third by 2025, and vowed to break through the po­lit­i­cal grid­lock that has stymied sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives for decades.

"Pres­i­dents and politi­cians of ev­ery stripe have promised en­ergy in­de­pen­dence but that prom­ise has so far gone un­met," Obama said Wed­nes­day dur­ing a speech on en­ergy at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity.

"That has to change. We can­not keep go­ing from shock to trance on the is­sue of en­ergy se­cu­rity, rush­ing to pro­pose ac­tion when gas prices rise, then hit­ting the snooze but­ton when they fall again," he said.

Obama touted a se­ries of ini­tia­tives — some new, but many he's pre­vi­ously an­nounced — that he said would boost do­mes­tic oil pro­duc­tion, in­crease the use of bio­fu­els and nat­u­ral gas, and make ve­hi­cles more en­ergy efficient. And he em­braced nu­clear power as part of Amer­ica's en­ergy fu­ture, de­spite in­creased safety con­cerns fol­low­ing the earth­quake and tsunami in Ja­pan that se­verely dam­aged a nu­clear power plant there.

Obama said he is de­ter­mined to en­sure that nu­clear plants in the U.S. are safe, and has or­dered a safety re­view of all fa­cil­i­ties that will in­cor­po­rate lessons learned from the cri­sis in Ja­pan.

The pres­i­dent spoke against the back­drop of ris­ing gas prices fol­low­ing un­rest in the oil-rich Mid­dle East. Gas prices in the U.S. have shot up 50 cents a gal­lon this year, reach­ing a na­tional av­er­age of $3.58 a gal­lon last week, ac­cord­ing to AAA's daily sur­vey.

Repub­li­cans have blamed Obama's poli­cies for the ris­ing

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