President Obama said that there “were no easy fixes, no silver bullet” that would drive down high gasoline prices in a speech delivered at Nashua (N.H.) Community College. Energy policy and its impact on the economy were the focus of his remarks.
Speaking to an enthusiastic audience of approximately 700 people in the college gymnasium, a crowd comprised of students and local citizenry who braved a snowstorm to see the president, Obama explained that gasoline prices were driven by world demand. The current troubles in the Middle East were roiling the markets and that political reality, compounded by the machinations of speculators, were responsible for escalating energy prices .
The president’s speech was slightly delayed not by the inclement weather but by his tour of the community college’s innovative automotive shops. Obama is a certified car nut, delightedly attending the Washington Auto Show at the end of January. Saving Chrysler and General Motors is one of the high water marks of his first term.
He arrived in the Gateway City one week after his vice president, Joe Biden, attended a political rally in Manchester, N.H., which lies 15 miles to the north. At that rally, Biden said that the Obama-Biden 2012 bumper sticker should read, “Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive,” according to the New England Cable Network.
A banner on the wall to the left of the dais on which Obama spoke was adorned with a slogan that could have been developed by a car maker’s advertising agency: “An America Built to Last.”
Obama said America’s energy future, less dependent on foreign sources of oil through the development of green technologies, was being built right here in Nashua, in the auto shops he toured. The students being trained in programs like Nashua Community College’s would develop a new generation of energy efficient vehicles.
“We’re building better cars; cars that use less oil; cars that go further on a gallon of gas,” he said.” And in part that’s because of what’s happening at places like Nashua Community College. That’s because of you.”
The president touted his administration’s success with reducing dependence on foreign oil, waving a chart that showed oil imports have declined from 60 percent of American’s consumption to less than 50 percent during his years in the White House. Obama also took a swipe at his Republican rivals, saying that they saw higher gasoline prices as a “political opportunity.”
“I’ll tell you,” he said, “only in politics do people respond to bad news with such enthusiasm.”
Republicans will claim that increasing domestic drilling will magically bring back $2 a gallon gasoline, but Obama said Granite Staters won’t be fooled.
“Well, if there’s one thing I know about New Hampshire, it’s that your political bull detector is pretty sharp.” He claimed New Hampshirites are aware that an energy policy solely focused on drilling won’t bring about lower gas prices.
“You know there aren’t any quick fixes or silver bullets,” he explained.” If we’re going to take control of our energy future; if we’re going to avoid high gas prices every year, we need an all-of-the-above strategy that develops every source of American energy, not just oil and gas, but wind and solar and biofuels.
“We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks; in our buildings and factories. That’s the strategy we’ve been pursuing for the last three years, and that’s the only real solution to this challenge.”