Directly addressing an economic problem that appears to be a major factor in his flagging poll numbers, President Obama on Saturday told Americans “there’s no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away.”
In his weekly radio address, the president pivoted quickly from Easter and Passover greetings to acknowledge the growing pain at the pump. “Gas prices at $4 a gallon” are “just another burden when things were already pretty tough,” Obama said.
The president maintained that the solution to the problem is a long-term one: He defended his plan to wean the nation from fossil fuels and criticized the GOP budget proposal, which he said “cuts our investments in clean energy by 70 percent.”
A better way to save money, the president argued, is to pursue his plan “to finally end the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies we give to the oil and gas companies each year.
“Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy sources, we need to invest in tomorrow’s,” said Obama.
Obama said his administration is doing what it can to contain gas prices, including encouraging domestic drilling. “Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003,” he said. But Obama has been criticized by some oil state lawmakers, including Louisiana’s Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, for not moving quickly enough to permit more offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following last year’s BP blowout.