In his weekly address [May 14], President Obama laid out his strategy to continue to expand responsible and safe domestic oil production, leveraging existing authorities as part of his long-term plan to reduce our reliance on foreign oil:
1) He is directing the Department of the Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve – while respecting sensitive areas, to speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic, and to create new incentives for industry to develop their unused leases both on and offshore.
2) He is extending drilling leases in areas of the Gulf of Mexico that were impacted by the temporary moratorium, as well as certain leases off the coast of Alaska.
3) He is establishing a new interagency working group to ensure that Arctic development projects meet health, safety and environmental standards.
The past few months, rising gas prices have put an added strain on American families. While there are no quick fixes to the problem, these are steps, along with eliminating taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and rooting out fraud and manipulation in the markets, that are worth taking.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, May 14, 2011
"Without a doubt, one of the biggest burdens over the last few months has been the price of gasoline. In many places, gas is now more than $4 a gallon, meaning that you could be paying more than $60 to fill up your tank.
These spikes in gas prices are often temporary, and while there are no quick fixes to the problem, there are a few steps we should take that make good sense.
Finally, the third step we should take is to eliminate the taxpayer subsidies we give to oil and gas companies. In the last few months, the biggest oil companies made about $4 billion in profits each week. And yet, they get $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies each year. Four billion dollars at a time when Americans can barely fill up their tanks. Four billion dollars at a time when we’re trying to reduce our deficit. This isn’t fair, it makes no sense."