At 11:20 this morning, President Obama made a speech reflecting on the energy issues our country is currently facing.
He announced an ambitious goal to cut U.S. oil imports.
When Obama was elected president in 2009, the U.S. imported 11 million barrels of oil a day. Today, the President pledged to cut this figure by one third in 10 years.
With gas and oil prices continuing to rise from social unrest in the Middle East, Obama wants to decrease dependence on foreign oil.
In doing so, he laid out four major areas to help reach his goal: increasing domestic energy production, encouraging the use of more natural gas in public transportation, making more fuel efficient cars and trucks, and encouraging the use of biofuels.
The president declared the two most important of these four major areas: finding and producing more oil at home and replacing dependence on oil with cleaner alternative fuels and greater efficiency.
In light of finding more oil at home, Obama’s Administration is once again encouraging offshore exploration and production — as long as it is safe and responsible (and does not result in another Deepwater Horizon crisis).
Shooting down opponents who claim Obama’s administration has shut down oil production, the President cited 38 new shallow water and 7 deepwater permits that have already been approved in the last few weeks. As well as plans to find and assess new frontiers for oil development in Alaska and the mid-Atlantic.
The President’s push for more domestic oil seems to put alternative energy solutions on the backburner.
The upside is producing more oil in America today will help lower high oil prices, create jobs, and enhance energy security. All three of which our country desperately needs.
The downside is producing more oil at home is only a buffer, not a solution, to the global energy crisis.
Obama admitted domestic oil production is not the long-term solution to our energy challenge.
He stated, “So here’s the bottom line — there are no quick fixes. And we will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy.”
So let’s get serious, America only holds 2% of the world’s currently proven oil reserves. Even if we drilled every last drop of this 2%, it still would not be enough to meet our long-term energy demands.
Obviously domestic oil is not the best solution in the long run.
In order to lessen the demand for oil, we need to discover and produce cleaner, renewable sources of energy — sources that will lessen the carbon pollution that threatens our climate.
Obama ended his speech saying, “we have to find ways to boost our efficiency so that we use less oil.”
But in the meantime, we will continue to produce more oil.
Until next time,