WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says there is no easy answer to the problem of rising energy prices, dismissing Republican plans to address the problem as little more than gimmicks.
"We know there's no silver bullet that will bring down gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil overnight," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. "But what we can do is get our priorities straight and make a sustained, serious effort to tackle this problem."
Oil prices are approaching last year's highs as tensions increase over Iran's nuclear program. The rise pushed gasoline prices Friday to a national average of $3.65 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year. A spike in gas prices is normal in spring, but it came earlier than usual this year in large part because of world fears that the growing confrontation with Iran will crimp oil supplies. Iran is the world's third-largest crude supplier.
Rising oil prices weigh on the economy, pushing leisure and business travel costs higher. Every 1-cent increase in the price of gasoline costs the economy $1.4 billon, analysts say.
Obama said Republicans have one answer to the oil pinch: Drill.
"You know that's not a plan, especially since we're already drilling," Obama said, echoing his remarks earlier in the week. "It's a bumper sticker."This from a man whose "Hope and Change" was the biggest gimmick/bumper sticker of 'em all. At least "Drill" and "Go Keystone!" aren't vapid slogans but could actually alleviate the problem. Which, from Obama's standpoint--the standpoint of a man who actually wants oil prices to go through the roof so that people will turn to green "solutions"--is precisely what's wrong with them. And speaking of gimmicks, I think Stephen Sondheim put it best: