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3.30.2011

Obama Sets Goal of One-Third Cut in Oil Imports

Source: NY Times, March 30, 2011

WASHINGTON — President Obama called on Wednesday for a one-third reduction in oil imports over the next decade, and said the effort had to begin immediately. In a speech at Georgetown University, the president said that the United States could not go on consuming one-quarter of the world’s oil production while possessing only 2 percent of global reserves. He said that the country had to begin a long-term plan to reduce its reliance on imported oil, and that the political bickering that had stalled progress toward that goal for decades had to end.

With oil supplies from the Middle East now pinched by political upheaval, and with calls growing in Congress for expanded domestic oil and gas production, the president referred in his speech to a similar run-up in energy prices in 2008.

“Now here’s the thing — we’ve been down this road before,” Mr. Obama said. “Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. I remember because I was in the middle of a presidential campaign.”

He continued: “Because it was also the height of political season, so you had a lot of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians, they were waving their three-point-plans for two-dollar-a-gallon gas. You remember that: ‘Drill, baby, drill’ and all of that. And none of it would really do anything to solve the problem.”

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