ABC News’ Mary Bruce and Devin Dwyer Report:
President Obama today defended his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy amid rising gas prices and accused his Republican rivals of using the pain at the pump to score political points.
“It’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices,” the president told students at the University of Miami. “What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade.”
Admitting that rising gas prices are hurting Americans’ wallets, the president argued that his administration is not to blame for the high cost of oil.
“In 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50 percent for the first time in 30 years,” he said. “In 2011, the United States relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years. Because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled, and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.”
While Republican lawmakers and the GOP presidential candidates have blasted Obama’s energy policy in recent days, the president said they are trying to exploit the spike in gas prices for political purposes.
“Only in politics do people greet bad news so enthusiastically,” Obama said. “You pay more, and they’re licking their chops? And you can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas.”
The president urged the nation not to be fooled by the Republican call for increased drilling, saying it’s simply “a bumper sticker.”
“It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. It’s a strategy to get politicians through an election,” he said.
Instead, the president touted his wide-ranging strategy, which includes oil, gas, wind, solar and nuclear power, as the “only real solution” to solve the nation’s energy challenges.
While the president called for an end to oil and gas subsidies and vowed not to walk away from the promise of clean energy, he did not unveil any new initiatives today.
In the short-term, Obama argued there are “no quick fixes” to bring down the price of gas. “There is no silver bullet.” he said. “There never has been. But while we don’t have a silver bullet, what we do have in this country are limitless sources of energy, and a boundless supply of ingenuity and imagination that we can put to work developing that energy.”