Obama Rebuffs Oil Development Criticism

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

President Obama rebuffed Republican criticism Friday that his administration is not doing enough to encourage oil development.

With the cost of gasoline at the pump lurching higher because of instability in the Middle East, Republicans and the Alaska Congressional delegation are pushing the Obama Administration to expand domestic oil production.

But President Obama says his team is boosting production of oil and gas, and at a White House press conference Friday, he pointed to new numbers that show American oil production has reached its highest level in seven years.

The president says, however, that even if new wells are drilled tomorrow, that oil won’t be available overnight.  He’s pushing for cutting dependence on fossil fuels, both through efficiency and new technologies.  Obama repeated his call for a long-term comprehensive energy strategy.

The President called for bipartisan efforts on energy.

Alaska’s delegation wants to see the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge opened to development, and wants to see exploration wells drilled off Alaska’s coasts.  They say the Obama Administration is dragging its feet with offshore environmental permits, which has cost the oil company Shell time and money as it tries to move forward on drilling plans.  Shell canceled its Arctic development plans for this summer.

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