Betty, from Hillsville, Virginia writes:
Why is there such silence from the news media regarding our current major problem with increasing gas prices? I listen to the news hoping to hear what we Americans should expect now and in the future...but never hear this subject addressed. Would you comment on this issue? Thank you.
The high price of gas is something that the President is very concerned about, and something we’re working on. The situation we’re experiencing today have been years in the making, and cannot be solved by flipping a switch. But there are things we can do.
First, these prices reflect tight supplies and growing world demand. Because the economies of India and China have been expanding rapidly, they are consuming more and more oil. That’s why it’s important to further develop domestic natural gas and oil resources. This will allow us to become less dependant on foreign oil, while also creating thousands of jobs here at home.
The other thing we can do to help is fix the burdensome regulatory process that, in part, stymies our ability to build refineries. This is a big deal, because even after we import the oil, we sometimes don’t have enough capacity to refine it into gasoline and get the gas to consumers, which leads to tight supplies and rising costs.
Did you know that the President has called on Congress to pass an energy bill to help address these issues over 63 times? We hope that the Congress will pass this bill which will help address these issues in the long term and get it to the President before the summer recess.
David, from Lawrence, KS writes:
Is there anything in the President's Energy bill that will provide immediate relief for gas prices? The way they are right now, Americans like me can't afford to wait 5 or 10 years for oil from Alaska or cheap hybrid cars.
Your question is a good one – and one that I’m asked often.
These fundamental problems that caused the high gas prices that we’re experiencing today were largely ignored during the 1990s and will not be fixed overnight. But we have the opportunity to pass an energy bill today that will help alleviate these types of problems in the future. If Congress acted on the plan the President proposed four years ago, we’d be in a better position today.
In the immediate term, this Administration has personally been encouraging oil-producing countries to maximize their production overseas. In addition, we’re also working to make sure that American families are being treated fairly, and not being price gouged at the pump.
Philip, from Roscoe, Ill. writes:
Why is the President's plan so heavily weighted in favor of the oil, gas and coal industries? Why didnt the President formulate something far more robust and forward-looking than the trivialities presented in this bill?
Phillip, I’m glad you brought this up, because this is a common misconception.
It’s true that the President’s energy plan encourages the development of domestic oil, gas and coal resources. Commonsense dictates that we should reduce our dependence on foreign energy by developing the 10.4 billion barrels of oil in Alaska, which would pump about 1 million barrels a day into the United States, as well as the 250 years worth of coal in an environmentally friendly way.
This, however, is only a small part of the overall plan!
The plan that is before Congress now meets four important objectives: First, the energy bill should encourage the use of technology to improve conservation and efficiency; second, we should develop our existing domestic resources; third, we need to diversify our energy sources by further developing fuels from renewable sources, like ethanol; Finally, modernize our domestic energy infrastructure. So that the energy we we produce can be delivered to our homes in a safe, secure, reliable way.