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Obama: No magic bullet to lower gas prices

By Anne Gearan

LAST UPDATED: 03:06 a.m. HST, Feb 25, 2012


WASHINGTON >>  President Barack Obama says there is no easy answer to the problem of rising energy prices, dismissing Republican plans to address the problem as little more than gimmicks.

"We know there's no silver bullet that will bring down gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil overnight," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. "But what we can do is get our priorities straight and make a sustained, serious effort to tackle this problem."

Oil prices are approaching last year's highs as tensions increase over Iran's nuclear program. The rise pushed gasoline prices Friday to a national average of $3.65 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year. A spike in gas prices is normal in spring, but it came earlier than usual this year in large part because of world fears that the growing confrontation with Iran will crimp oil supplies. Iran is the world's third-largest crude supplier.

Rising oil prices weigh on the economy, pushing leisure and business travel costs higher. Every 1-cent increase in the price of gasoline costs the economy $1.4 billon, analysts say.

Obama said Republicans have one answer to the oil pinch: Drill.

"You know that's not a plan, especially since we're already drilling," Obama said, echoing his remarks earlier in the week. "It's a bumper sticker."

Obama is pushing what he calls an "all-of-the-above" approach to the problem of limited energy resources, meaning an attempt to seek out alternative energy sources while reducing consumption of traditional fuels.

In the Republican address, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison blamed the rise in gasoline prices partly on the Obama administration, which she said has blocked some potential new sources of oil and gas.

"We can't slow down global demand for oil and gas, but we can do a lot more here at home to assure that we have the energy we need and to halt skyrocketing costs," she said. "President Obama's policy has resulted in an unprecedented slowdown in new exploration and production of oil and gas."

For all the political claims, economists say there's not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices. Certainly not in the short term. But it's clear that people are concerned — a new Associated Press-GfK poll says 7 in 10 Americans find the issue deeply important — so it's sure to be a political issue through the summer.

The price of gasoline, which is made from crude oil, has soared with oil prices. The national average jumped by nearly 12 cents per gallon in a week, with state averages above $4 per gallon in California, Alaska and Hawaii.

At $3.65 per gallon, gasoline is still below last year's high of $3.98 and the record $4.11 set in 2008.



Obama's address: http://www.whitehouse.gov

Republican address: http://www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress

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serious wrote:
Here we go again, Mr President: Get the Canadian pipline going, open the Gulf of Mexico to drilling, open the the vast resources in Alaska to drilling--is that enoughj?? How did you get elected???
on February 25,2012 | 04:12AM
OldDiver wrote:
The fact is that President Obama has opened up more areas for drilling than President Bush. More drilling permits have been issued under President Obama then under President Bush. Due to the "Bush Recession" demand for gasoline in the United States is the lowest since 1997. We have a glut of gasoline in the United States. This is why our biggest manufactured export is now gasoline, jet fuel and petroleum products. Oil companies are exporting refined gasoline to restrict supply in the United States to keep prices high. Obama can restrict the export of gasoline which would drive down the price of gasoline here. All of this information is easily googled if you wish to do your own research.
on February 25,2012 | 08:13AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
At some point in time, we have to get off the Bush bandwagon. The Canadian pipeline would have given us more crude oil at a relatively cheap price and created many jobs. Obama caved in to the environmentalists and now Canada is negotiating with China for that crude oil and uranium as well. Business is business but China still remains an enemy. I'm not sure why Canada is dealing with them except to put pressure on Obama to accept the deal with the U.S. And I wonder what China will do with that uranium. Hmmmm. Our president seems to cave in easily as he apology to Karzai shows. Karzai has never apologized for his soldiers killing American troops nor has he thanked America for saving his country. Our president needs to find his spine.
on February 25,2012 | 08:32AM
OldDiver wrote:
At some point CONservatives will have to start telling the truth. The oil from the Keystone XL pipeline will be refined in Texas and exported to Europe, South America and China. We currently have a gasoline glut in the United States so to protect profits, oil companies aren't about to dump more gasoline in this market. China negotiating with Canada for that oil is a fantasy. Those tar sands are landlocked in Canada because Canadians are not willing to take the risk of building a risky pipeline through their provinces. Canadians are more than willing to build that same risky pipeline through the United States.
on February 25,2012 | 09:21AM
Halemaumau wrote:
on February 26,2012 | 12:24AM
waikiicapt wrote:
There he goes again....OD smokin' the crack pipe. You just keep posting the endless string of liberal lies and blaming Bush so much you actually believe your own stuff. Not only is everything you've posted a complete falsehood, it's economically incorrect. We have a "glut" of gasoline in this country so much so, that we are exporting it OUT ??? And therefore prices are HIGH!? You never cease to amuse readers.
on February 25,2012 | 09:11AM
OldDiver wrote:
That information is easily googled. Try it, you might learn something.
on February 25,2012 | 09:22AM
NITRO08 wrote:
I think you are the telling lie's do the research he is stating the truth.
on February 25,2012 | 08:00PM
lee1957 wrote:
President Obama says there is no easy answer. Maybe you should give him a call?
on February 25,2012 | 02:03PM
LanaUlulani wrote:

Here we go again with Obama the Hawaiian Wanna Be's propaganda. He gave nearly $1 trillion of taxpayer money (our money) to big banks when he signed TARP2 into law then further devalued the American dollar while manufacturing THIS oil crisis making gas prices SOAR. Nearly $4.17 on O'ahu. $4.50 in Kona and Paia!

Obama IS a PART of PROBLEM yet continues to blame others for what he does and continues to do.

Incomes are NOT rising but gas prices, food prices, AND power bill prices are. That is hyperinflation caused in part by OBAMA. I urge local people to FIRE OBAMA in November. That will be the RECOVERY PHASE.

on February 25,2012 | 04:41AM
OldDiver wrote:
About 60 percent of oil futures are owned by Wall Street speculators. Before bank de-regulation this was illegal an the only ones who bought futures were airlines and other big users of fuel. Goldman Sachs now controls more oil than Exxon. When Democrats controlled the House legislation was passed to stop this kind of speculation but Republicans filibustered the bill in the Senate. With the House now controlled by the Republicans and Republicans in the Senate still able to filibuster bills there is no way this can be currently be fixed.
on February 25,2012 | 09:13AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
True OD, I googled and got those answers. Once the pipeline crosses the north border of America, we the tax payers will bore the cost. Canada will not built it.
on February 25,2012 | 11:53AM
NITRO08 wrote:
So you think if a republican was in office we wouldn't have any of these problems? I don't think so look at the clowns they got running, also look at what we had the biggest clown!
on February 25,2012 | 08:04PM
palani wrote:
In fact, the President's "energy policy" is working exactly as intended. One need only understand that his objective is to raise the costs of abundant, proven, conventional resources to the point where the much more expensive "green" alternatives become price competitive, but not for the 99%. His foolish and destructive agenda is premised on a false ideology, not economic realities.
on February 25,2012 | 04:41AM
Kalli wrote:
silver bullett=keystone pipeline
on February 25,2012 | 04:56AM
Pacej001 wrote:
No magic bullet! Hilarious. Why hilarious? The guy speaking actually said that energy costs "would necessarily skyrocket" if his enlightened policies were implemented (interview with SF Chronicle). Since being elected, Obama, being unable to get Cap and Trade legislation through congress, has waged a guerilla war against producers of conventional energy: slow drilling permit process at Dept of Interior, Gulf drilling moratorium after BP spill despite contrary expert recommendations, revocation of coal mining permits, and the use of EPA to threaten regulation of CO2 directly and to force premature shutdown of coal fired electrical generation. --------------- So our White House energy genius, rather than working industriously with the energy industry and leading us to reduced energy dependance, he has been firing HIS magic bullets at domestic energy use/production and wasting untold billions on "clean" energy sources that make zero economic sense. Brilliant.
on February 25,2012 | 06:37AM
Pacej001 wrote:
What we have here is two things: 1. a president that stubbornly governs by a half-baked, leftwing ideology, ignoring the real world and the impact of his policies on the country. 2. A politician so arrogant that he can talk down to us about "no magic bullets" when he and his own policies ARE THE PROBLEM.
on February 25,2012 | 06:41AM
stanislous wrote:
When Bush was in office and the price of gas rose this high... the media and the Dems had a field day.. "Bushes Fault, Bushes Fault"...... So now that gas prices have more than doubled since Obama took office, Where are the Dems and the Media? How come no one is screaming... "Obamas Faule"????????
on February 25,2012 | 06:51AM
soundofreason wrote:
I think we're all being played as pawns by both sides.
on February 25,2012 | 08:14AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Got it right soundofreason. In the grand scheme of things, our vote really doesn't count. I may sound like a conspiracy theory guy but I really believe the course of our nation has always been out of our hands.
on February 25,2012 | 08:33AM
soundofreason wrote:
I think I may be starting to come to that conclusion myself. While the political names "change" but it's all still the same ain't it? They alternate for pacification.
on February 25,2012 | 09:42AM
OldDiver wrote:
stanisious, you are repeating the Republican TV (Fox News) misinformation. Oil prices went much higher under President Bush. The only reason it came down was the "Second Great Bush Republican Depression". The economy is now recovering under President Obama hence oil prices are beginning to rise again. Of course there are other factors causing oil to rise as I have pointed out above.
on February 25,2012 | 09:26AM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
You are hopelessly wrong, OldDiver. I can remember gasoline being so cheap during parts of Bush's presidency that I felt that there was something intrinsically wrong when a gallon of gasoline cost less than a gallon of milk. Don't try to fool us with your tripe. There are actually some of us old enough to remember those days, unlike the college students who Obama is trying to mislead in a desperate attempt to drum up support for his failed policies. And people like you want 4 more years of this charlatan? You Liberal Lemmings make a career out of denying Obama's incompetence and attempting to pump up this incompetent Empty Suit. Unfortunately, you will follow this Pied Piper off the cliff, dragging the whole country along with your misguided selves. Pity.
on February 25,2012 | 12:26PM
OldDiver wrote:
Clearly you did not do your homework. Information concerning oil prices is on the web.
on February 25,2012 | 02:35PM
NITRO08 wrote:
on February 25,2012 | 08:13PM
NITRO08 wrote:
on February 25,2012 | 08:10PM
suckseed wrote:
Vote this guy out of office. That's the solution to rising gas prices.
on February 25,2012 | 07:31AM
soundofreason wrote:
Can't see it hurting anything to try now can it?
on February 25,2012 | 08:13AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
With whom do you replace him?Ging, Rick,Mitt, that party is so mixed up. If it came down to Micky Mouse for the republican party, they would vote for him. Their final motto ,Anybody but Obama, we don't care.
on February 25,2012 | 11:57AM
soundofreason wrote:
and that works for me - just like it did for getting rid of Carter
on February 25,2012 | 12:55PM
NITRO08 wrote:
And vote for who? Give me a break! The other idiots keeps changing there lies every week!
on February 25,2012 | 08:17PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Oh, wait. Mr. Magic Bullets has a solution---- algae. You heard it, bio fuel produced from ALGAE. Think of it, billions and billions of gallons of fuel from algae. When do we get started Mr. President??!! Answer: as soon as we can fence off land area equivalent to South Carolina and suck up a water supply equivalent to the nation's entire irrigation supply, that's when because that is what it would to take to supply the nations fuel needs from ALGAE.
on February 25,2012 | 07:39AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Well, Mr. Magic bullets does have a solutiion--ALGAE--- biofuel produced from growing algae. I have a feeling Mr. Obama is in the running for ANOTHER Nobel Peace Prize for this one. Think of it, no more fossil fuel required. So, when do we get started?! As soon as we can fence off land area equal to the state of South Carolina and come up with an annual water supply equal to the entire irrigation resources used across the country.
on February 25,2012 | 07:44AM
soundofreason wrote:
His policy is to do anything and everything to undermine America. Gives money away to the poor (more food stamp eligibility) - Give money away to Corporate America (bail outs) - Give money away to UN (despite proven unaccountability within) - He is a political version of a corporate hostile takeover like those who take over companies, dismantles their assets, and sell (GIVES away) the parts for scrap. and now, PREVENTS energy independence so more Americans can die "protecting our foreign interests".
on February 25,2012 | 07:50AM
NITRO08 wrote:
I think Mit made his money that way you must be watching FOX!
on February 25,2012 | 08:21PM
Changalang wrote:
This issue is the only real threat to four more years, even if the GOP has a personality challenged candidate. Please mop this up now guys. Prices at the pump is the one thing the mainstream media cannot use its sleeping powder effectively on. Remember Peanut Jim. Parse the Green Energy narrative and announce major multifaceted domestic energy policies, including regulation of refined export sales. Americans love to hate the Oil companies. Obama should get Harry Reid to introduce legislation restricting domestically produced refined product sales unless there is a gas price cap nationally. For example, no exports of domestically refined gasoline can be sold on the open market unless U.S. domestic gas price median indexes are below $3 a gallon. If we are going crony-capitalist model; time to bring out the long teeth. Listen to me and win, Mr. President !
on February 25,2012 | 08:03AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Yeah, I hope Mr. Magic Bullets does this route! If so, he'll have come up with a perfect recipe for total destruction of our domestic oil exploration and development industry. Brilliant. Oh, and the price cap thing would be precious. I'm sure the Exxon people, in their soon to be relocated corporate headquarters in the Caymans, will be laughing their buns off at that one. Maybe Mr. Obama can just have Homeland Security arrest all of the oil company people when they try to move to their off-shored company HQs. Oh yeah, and the "green energy narrative" (translation: energy production by unicorn flatulence with no consideration given to practicality, economics, or scalability) could use some "parsing", as in, "hold the pig steady. We need to apply more lipstick". Actually, I think the safest thing for Mr. Obama to do is keep prattling on about magic bullets. Maybe his next speech can come up with something on Magic Beans. Oh, well, now we're almost back to his plan for algae.
on February 25,2012 | 08:29AM
Changalang wrote:
Seems like I touched a nerve. Exxon can move to Caymans. How many refineries are operated there by the way? LOL. Refining capacity is the fulcrum in containing the greed of the oil industry. National Security trumps selling U.S. refined and regulated product to foreigners for a higher price. The oil lease gives the profits and control of product to the company by paying royalties to the host lessor, being the U.S. gov't; however where is the industry going to turn that oil into gasoline if they are out of compliance with "new and improved" regulatory constraints. Any company that chooses to shun business with the American people will find no future leases and a globally hardened marketplace through all means necessary. It could be declared as an emergency measure leading up to the election; temporarily until the U.S. can transition to the Green economy that the Republicans have been sabotaging from the beginning. Four more with a cakewalk. ROFL.
on February 25,2012 | 09:34AM
Pacej001 wrote:
You didn't touch a nerve. You touched my funny bone with a hilarious compilation of goofy, self destructive ideas. Thought you were joking! The corporate HQ for these internationals, and most of the jobs that go with them, can be anywhere. What about capital? It knows where it's welcome. Why would anyone keep their money in a company with artificially stunted profits? And refining capacity. Where? Mexico, Central America near shipping lanes, that's where if our budding energy genius and his EPA continue on their path. The price/market control bits are also good ones, if you like standing in over the horizon lines due to the scarcity created. But best of all is the idea for the President to go all Hugo on us and nationalize oil production. Well, our national finances are beginning to look like Venezuela's, so why not go for the full monty, industrial nationalization (why not throw in a few five year plans, to boot). Then our vital manufacturing and energy resources could be managed by the same brilliant team that brought us fraud-loaded government medical care at twice the cost of the rest of the developed world. Meanwhile, the president could adopt the title El Supremo and put those Republican luddites into reeducation camps where they can learn that "Green" is good even if it has to be 65% subsidized, won't scale up nationally, and just doesn't work when the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine.
on February 25,2012 | 10:02AM
Changalang wrote:
Oil companies are driven by the cost curve. They will comply with the cost effective route and the narrative just has to look authentic until November. Have a good laugh. I will join you the day after the election. Obama has a very good relationship brewing with Brazilians. I think they got a lot more contracts and funding. F Exxon. :)
on February 25,2012 | 10:32AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Yeah, maybe Petrobas will be our special friend. And they probably do need the job generation more than we do. Looking forward to a laugh filled election season. Beats crying.
on February 25,2012 | 10:40AM
HD36 wrote:
Gas is actually CHEAPER now than in 1946! If you have two silver dimes (2.50 each) from 1946-1964, which go for 2.50 each, gas is only 4.00 something. The point being that, since we went of the gold standard, the value of the dollar and declined about 95%. This is due to the Federal Reserve pumpim fiat currency into the system and devalueing the dollars we hold. Evidenced by $1,770 Gold, and $35.51 silver, oil $109..62 , ; the government has taxed everyone whether you like it or not, by printing more paper money. Great for all the bailout recipients , government workers,and politicians, who love big government, bad for everyonelse who has to pay this tax. Its an inflation tax.
on February 25,2012 | 08:18AM
honopic wrote:
The spike in oil prices is the result of several factors. First, U.S. demand is down from last year, so we were unable to consume all the oil produced and became a net exporter. Rather than storing our oil here for future use, we sold it overseas. The second major factor for oil to be priced over $105 a barrel again is Wall Street speculation. The NY Mercantile Exchange trades contracts for future oil deliveries. Light sweet crude traded at about $80 a barrel as recently as four months ago. When speculators drive the cost up, big financial companies dominate oil trading, even though they never intend to take possession of the oil itself. For them, it's a great big shell game, and we always lose. The biggest factor, though, is the possibility of a military confrontation with Iran, after sanctions and boycotts by France and England led to the Iranian threat to disrupt the flow of tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of the world's oil passes. The President is correct -- there is no magic bullet. All these factors must be dealt with for oil prices to stabilize. What can we, as individual citizens do? Use less, consume less, be as energy-efficient as possible. As demand drops and supply increases, keep a close eye on who is making money off futures trading and overseas sales. That is where the problem lies.
on February 25,2012 | 08:42AM
OldDiver wrote:
Thank you for your very informed comments.
on February 25,2012 | 09:29AM
HD36 wrote:
If you think oil prices are at a top, and in a bubble, then you too can make money if you think they will drop. All you have to do is short oil. Very easy to do nowadays as there are plenty of etns and etfs that short oil or short oil companies. If you think prices are going higher you can bet that way too. There's no conspiracy by speculators to drive up oil and then drive it down again. There's a finite supply of oil, while there is an infinite amount of money that central governments can print. Anytime you have more fiat currency chasing a finite resource, the resource will go up. This isn't always a result of supply and demand as you can tell by the price of movie tickets that have gone up over the years. The debt from all the bailouts and stimulus has been shifted onto the citizens in the form of inflation. Putting your money in the bank will yeild you a negative rate of return. The word "speculator" has negative connotations referring to someone who always makes money at anothers expense. But lets be honest, everyone is a speculator who wants a return on their money. Why would you leave it in the bank, losing value? You are speculating that the financial world will get worse so you want safety. I speculated that the Giants would win the super bowl and speculated accordingly in Las Vegas. So I guess I'm a speculator but I also provided liquidity in that market had the Patriots won. If you think the price of oil is going up, then join the speculators. Buy long etn and etfs oil and gasoline, ie : DIG, OIL , USO, GSP, RJI, UGA, or stocks in companies that produce and refine oil outside the middle east,. SU, CNQ or PBR.
on February 25,2012 | 10:30AM
OldDiver wrote:
Oil executives on numerous occasions have testified that oil speculation is responsible for between 20% to 50% of the price of oil. That information is very easy to google.
on February 25,2012 | 02:40PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
The magic bullet is for Obama to put his enormous ego aside (not likely to happen!), admit that he is hopelessly in over his head, and allow someone else to get our country back on track to repair all the damage he has caused this country for the past 3 1/2 years. Unfortunately, it's getting less and less likely that our beloved country will ever be able to pay back the TRILLIONS of dollars in debt he has heaped upon generations of Americans as of yet unborn. THAT is not only unethical and dishonest, it is THIEVERY in the most immoral sense of the word, and TRAGIC.
on February 25,2012 | 12:17PM
Ronin006 wrote:
There is a magic bullet. It is a Republican president.
on February 25,2012 | 01:59PM
NITRO08 wrote:
on February 25,2012 | 08:27PM
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