Entries in Gas (5)


Obama’s Weekly Address – Investing in Clean Energy

Official White House Photo/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is calling for Congress to end $4 billion in subsidies to oil and gas companies, and invest in clean energy instead, arguing that decreasing the nation’s dependence on oil will ease the pain at the pump.

“We’ve been handing out these kinds of taxpayer giveaways for nearly a century. And outside Congress, does anyone really think that’s still a good idea?” the president asked in his weekly address.

“We should be investing in the technology that’s building the cars and trucks and jets that will prevent us from dealing with these high gas prices year after year after year,” he said.

As rising gas prices become a key issue on the campaign trail, the president continued to defend his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy against Republican attacks.

“As usual, politicians have been rolling out their three-point plans for $2 gas: drill, drill and drill some more. Well, my response is, we have been drilling,” the president said. “Under my administration, oil production in America is at an eight-year high.”

Obama, speaking from a manufacturing facility in Petersburg, Va., that he visited Friday, vowed to “keep doing everything I can to help you save money on gas, both right now and in the future.”

“I hope politicians from both sides of the aisle join me. Let’s put aside the bumper-sticker slogans, remember why we’re here, and get things done for the American people,” he concluded.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senate Narrowly Rejects the Keystone Oil Pipeline Amendment

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s pipeline lobbying paid off...for now.

A controversial Republican amendment to a transportation bill, to mandate construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, has failed in the Senate.

The numbers may be a little too close for comfort for the White House: the amendment fell just short of the 60 votes needed for the amendment to be included in the final bill, at 56-42.

President Obama had personally lobbied Democrats, telephoning members of Congress directly to encourage them to reject the measure.

The amendment would have taken the pipeline’s approval process out of President Obama’s hands and mandated an expedited building of the pipeline project in light of the nation’s rising gas prices.

“The president obviously has communications with members of Congress with some regularity,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday, confirming the lobbying effort. “We have made our position clear about purely ideological and political efforts to attach legislation regarding the Keystone pipeline to whatever some members of Congress fancy at the time.”

This pressure from the president put many moderate Democrats, some of whom are running for re-election from oil producing states that would benefit from the pipeline, in tough positions with their vote Thursday.

Ultimately, eleven Democrats voted in favor of the pipeline provision, bucking the White House’s stance on the issue -- Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.

Not a single Republican voted against the measure. Sen. Kirk, R-Ill., and Sen. Thune, R-S.D., missed the vote.

This close vote will provide motivation for Republicans to keep pushing for the pipeline.

Moments after the vote Republicans vowed to keep fighting on this issue and said they were “heartened” by the 56 votes indicating that with work this could eventually get passed.

Republicans blamed President Obama for the failure of the measure.

“It was very strong words by President Obama himself making calls to the Democrats,” Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., said, "I suppose you can give credit to the president for once again blocking something."

“President Obama’s personal pleas to wavering Senators may have tipped the balance against this legislation,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kent., said in a statement, “When it comes to delays over Keystone, anyone looking for a culprit should now look no further than the Oval Office.”

The amendment would have been part of the $109 billion transportation bill that Senators have been debating on for weeks. After a deal was reached Wednesday night and the vote on amendments was held Thursday it looks like the bill will be on track for final passage next week before the March 31 deadline for passage.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Urges 'Immediate Action' to Eliminate Oil Subsidies 

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama sent a letter Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and other Congressional leaders, urging them to take “immediate action” to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

The president was responding to Speaker Boehner’s comments to ABC’s Jon Karl where he said reviewing oil subsidies is "certainly something we should be looking at."  On Tuesday, Obama says he was “heartened” by Speaker Boehner’s openness to this issue and called on Congress to move.

“I am writing to urge you to take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependences on foreign oil.”

The president admits that there is “no silver bullet” to address rising gas prices in the short term, but “there are steps we can take to ensure the American people don’t fall victim to skyrocketing gas prices over the long term.”

One of those steps, he says, is eliminating unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry.

“Our outdated tax laws currently provide the oil and gas industry more than $4 billion per year in these subsidies, even though oil prices are high and the industry is projected to report outsized profits this quarter,” Obama says, “as we work together to reduce our deficits, we simply can’t afford these wasteful subsidies, and that is why I proposed eliminate them in my FY11 and FY12 budgets.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in response that the president's proposal would raise gas prices.

“The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and he is only interested in reforms that actually lower energy costs and create American jobs. Unfortunately, what the President has suggested so far would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gas Prices: Rep. Blumenauer Says No Change Soon

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Skyrocketing gas prices and earnings reports from major oil and gas companies this week have combined to again make energy policy and gas prices potent political issues.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, sponsor of a bill that he says would strip $40 billion in subsidies from the largest oil companies over five years, told ABC News on Monday that Congress should stop giving tax breaks to companies that don’t need them.

“Our $8 billion a year that is handed to the oil interests does not affect a $2 trillion global price for oil. What it does is it just goes to the bottom line, and you see those profits at record highs,” Blumenauer, D-Ore., said.

“We should be using that money to reduce the deficit or to help develop alternative sources of energy that will be in America, that will not contribute to greenhouse gases and will improve efficiency in the long run. I mean, there's a win-win here, and most people understand it.”

But as for what can be done in the short term to address rising gas prices, Blumenauer was blunt: “The fact is there isn't anything that is going to change that tomorrow. I mean you could drain America dry of its oil. We only have two percent of the world's supply. We consume over 20 percent of it, and that's not going to happen overnight.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin Rips Obama on Drilling: "2012 Can't Come Soon Enough"

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says 2012 "can't come soon enough."

According to her latest post on Facebook, 2012 is so essential because it will end what she calls President Obama's "war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production."

Labeling President Obama as the "$4-per-gallon president," she asserts, "The evidence of the president's anti-drilling mentality and his culpability in the high gas prices hurting Americans is there for all to see."

She criticizes the drilling moratorium following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the proposed elimination of tax incentives for certain types of exploration, and what she calls Obama's "anti-drilling regulatory policies."

She disputes the notion that rising prices are related to the unrest in the Middle East, saying rather, "the White House stood idly by watching the prices go up and allowing America to remain increasingly dependent on imports from foreign regimes in dangerously unstable parts of the world."

Palin continues, "the vast undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump affordable remain locked up because of President Obama’s deliberate unwillingness to drill here and drill now."

Palin makes no mention of nuclear energy, which is much in the news following the disaster in Japan.  But she continues a refrain that she has used in recent interviews, claiming that the president is actively working to "weaken" the country.

She writes, "Energy is the building block of our economy.  The president is purposely weakening that building block and weakening our country."

She concludes with the phrase, "2012 can’t come soon enough."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio