Obama calls for urgent overhaul of national energy policy

Obama speech

President Obama recently called for a massive overhaul of the energy policy of the nation. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

President Obama has called for a massive overhaul of American energy policy. At a speech at Georgetown University, he announced that he intends to push for greater use of natural gas, spur development in renewable energy technology and reduce American imports of oil. Republicans are accusing him of being hypocritical about domestic oil production.

Speech from president causes spike in natural gas prices

President Obama recently gave a speech at Georgetown University, in which he called for a drastic overhaul of the energy policy of the nation. During the speech, Obama said that he intended to spur greater use of natural gas as transport fuel, which led to a 2 percent increase in the price of natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to ABC. Natural gas prices were also given a boost by the incoming cold front heading for the East coast, according to MSNBC. This does not mean natural gas prices will shoot through the roof and keeping the heat on will be impossible, but natural gas imports and production may increase. The president also called for greater development of alternative fuel vehicles and pledged to reduce oil imports by a third in the next 10 years.

Conservatives act as foil to oil initiative

Congressional Republicans were quick to cry foul over the President’s call for reducing oil imports and increasing domestic oil production, according to CNN. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, said the president was just “telling people what they wanted to hear” and was quick to point out that the Obama administration put the freeze on offshore oil drilling after the BP oil spill. A spokesperson for Speaker of the House John Boehner, according to USA Today, echoed a similar sentiment. The President was, though, observing that oil was not a limitless resource and that the United States cannot afford to act as if it were oblivious to that fact.

World oil supply

The president is touching on a real issue when it comes to the long term stability of the world economy. Scientists have been warning for decades that “peak oil,” or the highest level of output of oil possible before supply irrevocably declines, is lurking in the not too distant future. Oil prices have been rising for weeks, according to ABC, because of the possibility of a possible interruption in supply due to unrest in the Middle East, and oil makes the modern world possible. When supplies begin to run out, no amount of money will bring back the days when a person could fill up their gas tank with impunity, so any funding that goes into better alternatives to oil is money well spent.

Sources

ABC on Natural Gas

ABC on Oil Prices

CNN

MSNBC

USA Today

 

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