Earlier this week President Obama delivered his third energy-themed speech in as many weeks.
Speaking from a Daimler Trucks manufacturing plant in North Carolina, Obama delivered his most impassioned plea yet to end America’s dependence on oil, and broaden its approach to energy.
The president called on congress to pass the newly proposed $1 billion incentive program designed to challenge cities and towns to invent innovative ways to best utilize fuel-efficient technologies, such as charging stations for electric vehicles and cars fueled by natural gas.
Obama also highlighted his intention to push for the expansion of tax credits for electric vehicles by broadening the range of technologies eligible and boosting the amount from $7,500 up to $10,000.
The fuel-efficient technologies incentive and the expansion of tax credits coincide with Obama’s campaign proposal to have 1 million plug-in-vehicles on American roads by 2015 and make electric vehicles as practical and affordable as gasoline models by 2020.
Obama also used the speech as an opportunity to rebuff republican accusations that his administration’s energy policies are to blame for the abnormally high gas prices. At $3.76 per gallon nationwide, prices are 28-cents higher than the average price for this time during the year.
In a line seemingly calling out Newt Gingrich’s campaign promise of knocking down prices to $2.50 per gallon if ellected, Obama said:
“Next time you hear some politician trotting out some three point plan for $2 gas, you let him know better, tell him we’re tired of hearing phony election year promises that never come about.”
Obama emphasized there are no quick fixes to high gas prices and the only reliable way to bring down prices was to decrease American demand for oil.
“We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, and our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers demand, prices come down. Pretty straightforward.”
The now obligatory call to end tax subsidies for big oil companies was also present in Obama’s speech, stating republicans can either stand by billionaire oil companies or they can stand up for every day Americans.
Understandably, Obama’s tax credits, breaks, and incentives face heavy opposition from top ranking GOP groups and officials, like the Americans for Prosperity group and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax reform, who claim the bills would have a pernicious effect on energy markets.
Obama concluded his speech by pointing out the recent uptick in the economy. Speaking over the chants of a captivated audience, Obama said his strategies were America’s best chance at a sustainable economy, a revitalized energy market, and strengthened national security.
Until next time,