March 10th, 2012
10:13 AM ET
(CNN) – Jobs and energy prices dominated weekly addresses by Democrats and Republicans on Saturday, a day after government numbers showed the creation of 227,000 new jobs last month.
Despite the jobs, the unemployment rate remained unchanged, according to the numbers.
With unemployment hovering at 8.3%, Republicans put forth Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, whose state boasts the lowest unemployment rate, according to the most recent state level data, from December.
"These are big reasons why North Dakotais doing so well compared to the rest of the nation," he said. "We have created a friendly business climate inNorth Dakota, where taxes and insurance rates are low, the regulatory environment is very reasonable, and we have the most responsive state government anywhere."
He said his state offers major incentives.
"Companies want to expand inNorth Dakota because of the ease of doing business and because of our well educated, well trained work force," Dalrymple said.
His state's economy, he said, is thriving because of both high-tech manufacturing near the state's capital and oil drilling in the northwestern region.
The U.S. could learn from North Dakota’s model and expand domestic oil production, he said, criticizing President Barack Obama for blocking the Keystone oil pipeline, which would run through his state.
"It is now within our reach to become energy independent in North America if we simply develop the resources we already have available in places like the Gulf of Mexico, nonsensitive public lands across America, and in our friendly bordering countries," he said.
The president also spoke on energy, making his case that theU.S."can't just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20% of the world's oil."
"The recent spike in gas prices has been another painful reminder of why we have to invest in this technology. As usual, politicians have been rolling out their three-point plans for $2 gas: drill, drill and drill some more,” he said. "Under my Administration, oil production inAmericais at an eight-year high. We've quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs, and opened up millions of acres for drilling."
Speaking at aVirginia factory he visited on Friday, Obama said it has a big role to play in aviation.
"The engine parts manufactured here will go into next-generation planes that are lighter, faster, and more fuel-efficient," he said.
Obama called on legislative leaders to end federal subsidies to oil producers, calling them "taxpayer giveaways" totaling $4 billion.
But any such action is unlikely in the coming week, with the House in recess and both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden turning some of their attention to campaign events.