Playing defense on rising gas prices, President Obama plans to promote his energy policy in a visit to Miami on Thursday, senior administration officials said today.
Administration officials said the president’s speech at the University of Miami will build off his State of the Union address, when he called energy one of the four “pillars” for “an America built to last,” and is not a direct response to the political heat Obama has been taking for the pain at the pump.
The president is expected to outline his all-of-the-above approach to energy production, calling for a clean energy standard and the need to eliminate oil and gas subsidies, among other things.
While Republicans on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail have blasted Obama’s energy policy in recent days, the White House is confident the president has a solid case for the progress he’s made toward securing a strong energy future.
In the short term, administration officials said there’s no magic solution to immediately bring down gas prices and declined to say whether the president would consider tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
In response to spiking gas prices, the White House has been touting the president’s efforts to increase domestic oil production.
“Oil production in the United States has increased every year that this president has been in office,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. “American oil production is at its highest now than it has been in eight years. Moreover — and this goes to our actions — over the past three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration.”
According to a Houston Chronicle article distributed by the White House on Monday, the number of rigs in U.S. oil fields has more than quadrupled in the past three years and the nation now has more working rigs than the entire rest of the world.
The president’s Thursday speech will kick off a series of events in the coming weeks focused on American energy.