Obama sets goal to reduce oil imports
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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