A crowd of approximately 1,000—mostly students—packed into McDonough Gymnasium this morning to hear President Barack Obama as he laid out a plan to reduce oil imports by one-third in a decade.
“Here’s the bottom line—there are no quick fixes, ” Obama said. “And we will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy.”
Criticizing “the same political gridlock and inertia that’s held us back for decades,” Obama explained that the country must find and produce more oil domestically, while simultaneously reduce oil dependence by investing in clean, alternative fuel sources. With those measures in mind, Obama announced that he plans to encourage offshore oil drilling—including seven deep-water drilling permits granted in recent weeks.
“I don’t think anyone’s forgotten that we’re not even a year removed from the largest oil spill in our history,” he said. “What we learned from that disaster helped us put in place smarter standards of safety and responsibility.”
In his speech, Obama also cited a growing role for alternative energy sources, such as natural gas, renewable biofuels, and clean forms of electricity. By 2015, he said, all federal agencies will purchase only alternative fuel, hybrid, or electric vehicles.