Obama on soaring gas prices: No silver bullet
March 1st, 2012
06:08 PM ET

Obama on soaring gas prices: No silver bullet

Nashua, NH (CNN) - As gas prices climb to near $4 a gallon in some areas of the country, President Barack Obama Thursday warned there is "no silver bullet" to relieve the pain at the pump.

The president traveled to Nashua, New Hampshire, in the midst of a snowstorm, to lay out his administration's broad energy objectives. "[T]he key part of this strategy over the last three years has been to increase safe, responsible oil production here at home while also pursuing clean energy for the future.  We don’t have to choose between one or the other, we've got to do both," Obama told the audience.

Highlighting his "all of the above" approach, President Obama pushed for Congress to take $4 billion in tax breaks from big oil companies. "[T]hese companies are making record profits right now - tens of billions of dollars a year,” said Mr. Obama. “Every time you go to the gas tank or fill up your gas tank, they’re making money."

Speaking at Nashua Community College, the president tried to deflect harsh GOP criticism that his energy policies are in part to blame for the soaring gas prices. Using slides and bar graphs to drive home his point, Mr. Obama argued that domestic oil and gas production is at its highest point in 8 years under his administration, despite claims from some energy experts that the boom is a result of policies put in place during the Bush administration.

And in his second visit in three months to this critical election battleground state, the president lashed out at Republicans for politicizing the issue of rising gas prices.

"The easiest thing in the world is to make phony election-year promises about lowering gas prices," said Mr. Obama. "But what’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that we’ve been talking about for 30 years," he said.

Topics: Gas prices • New Hampshire • President Obama • The News

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Howard

    Obama is doing everything possible to FORCE his green energy policies on all of us ... even if it means that we will have to pay $10 a gallon for gas. Every product and commodity is moved by trucks. Americans will also be paying a fortune for everything they buy. The green energy companies are a scam. Obama is diverting billions to them, in exchange for campaign contributions, so that he can buy his way into a second term. If Obama gets reelected, there will be nothing to keep him in check, and America will be doomed !!!

    March 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Andy

      Keep fear alive Howard!

      On all seriousness. Are you fricken kidding me? Alternative options are great. Only good can come from improving infrastructure and finding alternatives to fossil fuels. If we didn't make such bold jumps in the past we wouldn't have personal computers, land on the moon, discover flight, create the automobile, create the Unite States of America, or even discover the western hemisphere. Instead we spread "fear and slander" messages around about how 1 guy is the doom of us all.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • John

        "oly good" bla, bla, bla – Solindra was good IYO?

        March 2, 2012 at 8:33 am |
      • John

        Andy, options are good, but governmnet owning and dictating your options is not.

        March 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
      • Howard

        Andy ... you're analogies are flawed. This is America, and all the American achievements you listed were accomplished by a free market. If a government forces advancements, before their time, you end up with solyndras, volts, and millions of Americans buying homes they can't afford. The one exception on your list, was America's space program ... you know, the one Obama gutted, so that now our astronauts have to hitch rides on Russia's rockets.

        March 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Howard No it is you whose analogies are wrong.

        The space program as you may want to remember it is not the same as the one I remember. It over the years has had several times when it has slowed down to catch up to new technology. No one said our space program is over, only that it is breaking from outdated technology to focus on new technology and new goals which should be up and running in 2017 with a landing on an asteroid in 2025.

        Actually the problem is not with the president, or lawmakers it is with NASA providing designs, goals, and hardware cost estimates for two new version crafts that will put the Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle into space.


        March 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • jerry

      obama is finished....he knows it....and act accordingly. It is all down hill from here for the dems...they have destroyed their party.... many good deems are already thinking about how they need to operate post obama.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • maggie

        Love your posts. You're always good for a laugh. HAVE YOU TAKEN A LOOK AROUND?

        March 2, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • jean2009

        Before Jerry looks around he needs to take his meds.

        March 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Howard


      March 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jean2009

      Good for the president, he is a wise man! I hope he keeps at it because he is absolutely right, and you are dead wrong.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Como Que No

      Well, this might qualify as a 'Bronze Bullet'...require oil speculators to take physical delivery of the oil they speculate in.

      By physical I mean deposit the oil in a tank farm that is in the country where they live. Too often they just place it in oil tankers that park off shore of US ports near refineries.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • phylee

      Howard, maybe its time to check yourself into a psychiatric hospital. Those of us who work there are seeing people like you show up. They are being driven there by watching fox news until they become paranoid and delusional. I'm not making this up.

      March 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Big Dog


      March 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  2. Dale

    There is one silver bullet, it is called price controls it'll put a stop to these speculators games

    March 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Chip &

      It's impossible to enact price controls on a global commodity such as oil. To artificially keep prices down would only increase the deficit and the burden on taxpayers. Oil companies, among any business, or any other country that cannot monetize their debt can only operate in the red so long. Until global oil and fuel prices increase on their own, increasing domestic fuel and oil prices will only handicap this country. Price fixing is illegal for the private sector, the Gov't should have some common decency and abide by it's own rules.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • maggie

      Chip is absolutely right. The question of gas prices is a complex set of factors that no one president has control of, no matter what they want you to think. Just this morning, the Washington Post had a really good article about fact checking on the many myths about the Keystone Pipeline that so many Republicans like to throw around as a silver bullet. It's in today's paper, available for free on line, check it out for yourself. Bottom line is that even if the pipeline were to be approved today, it would be at least two years before the thing is built; with the usual construction overruns, probably 4. That won't help gas prices any time soon. To the extent that it would help at all, the operative word is "could" not "will". Bottom line, no one really knows but the reality is that the pipeline would be a modest improvement at best. Not my opinion, but rather, that of those who know far better than me and all of these posters ranting about Obama.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  3. Howard

    The reason Obama is ignoring the wisdom of Bill Clinton, regarding the pipeline, is because all Obama cares about is shifting Billions of dollars, to the Green companies, so that they will contribute to his reelection campaign.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • maggie

      Howard, do you actually research anything before you just run your mouth? Honestly!

      March 2, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Ellie

      Where do you get your facts? From the comic books..................

      March 2, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  4. AMERICA 1st

    Yo nobama, do the whole world a huge favor...RESIGN! Let someone in there that cares about the USA!

    March 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  5. Blah111

    Why are people acting like Bush never had high gas prices? It got close to $4.50 in San Francisco a few times.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • John

      Nobody is acting like Bush never had high gas prices. People are calling out the Dems who blamed Bush for the high prices and are now saying "the president has nothing to do with the price of gas". People are simply calling out the liberal rhetoric and hypocricy. It is like when libs try to accuse people of hate when they disagree with their stance. More and more people are realizing the true party of hate are the non-inclusive, race baiting, libs that want to change this country into something like Greece. If you disagree with what I am saying take a look at the Brightbart site here in CNN. The hate being put out by the left is disturbing to say the least.

      March 2, 2012 at 7:04 am |
      • maggie

        Nobody is acting like Bush never had high gas prices. People are calling out the Dems who blamed Bush for the high prices and are now saying "the president has nothing to do with the price of gas".

        John, you've taken two principles and lumped them together in a way that doesn't make factual sense. Bush had high prices and so will Obama.

        March 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • maggie

        Nobody is acting like Bush never had high gas prices. People are calling out the Dems who blamed Bush for the high prices and are now saying "the president has nothing to do with the price of gas".

        John, you've taken two principles and lumped them together in a way that doesn't make factual sense. Bush had high prices and so will Obama. That is not a blame, it is the truth. But it is also true, that this president, the last president or the future president has nothing to do with the price of gas. There are complex factors that go into the price of gas, including what is going on in China, the middle east, etc. The idea that Newt for example will bring back $2 gas is simply a bald faced lie. The rest of your post is just blather. Really, think about what you're saying instead of just ranting. If you think that the "hate" being put out by the left is disturbing, it is no less disturbing than the "hate" put out by the far right. It is the state of politics today, unfortunately.

        March 2, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • John

        Maggie, once again – yes, they both had/will have high gas prices. My poit is the dems blamed the high gas prices on Bush. The same dems are now saying the president has no impact on high gas prices.
        What aren't you getting? Please provide some real examples of hate from the right. After all, I pointed you to 100 from the left.
        One other thing, maybe if you give me an example of what you consider blather I can enlighten you on what you seem to be missing.

        March 2, 2012 at 11:23 am |
      • maggie

        Give it up John. You're making a fool out of yourself about this blame game.

        March 2, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • John

        Given your post, no facts and calling people names on several posts. It is what we expect from libs these days. BTW, I read the Washington post article you were talking about. You failed to talk about any of the article that did not agree with your arguments. I am not surprised, I just thought I would point it out.
        Call me any name you would like, sticks and stones.

        March 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • jean2009

        Not only that John in 2017 the then president will also have higher gas prices. I can remember when gasoline was .18 cents a gallon in 1953. I can remember when it jumped practically 30 cents a gallon overnight from 39 to 69 cents in 1973. You may think that .69 a gallon gasoline was not a problem but in relation to wages for that time it was just a difficult.

        That is why the best solution is getting us off foreign oil, and pursuing green technology where it is doable.

        March 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ John
        My posting that when George W. Bush was president we had higher gasoline prices than the current price, is pointing out a fact. Back in August 2008, the average national price was $4.21 per gallon today that national average price is;$3.72. That is not a lie.... it is the truth. If you can't handle truth or facts, and continue to whine about something a president has had little or no control over (including George W. Bush and Barack Obama) ...that is your problem and not anyone else's.

        It only makes you a whiner who can't handle hard times without trying to blame me for stating facts, and the current president for something he can't control.

        March 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ John
        Here is a site ZFacts that provides many points about the price of energy...especially gasoline.
        U.S.Gas (gasoline) & Oil Prices and Price History.....it includes a chart of gasoline prices from 1972 and you will note that neither George W. Bush and Barack Obama were president for that whole period of time.

        In particular I like the paragraph titled: "What Drives Gasoline Prices?"

        March 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Darren Russell

    Oil troubles extend to Iran, of course, but also to that country’s overall civilian contractor, China. In the end, oil questions will likely end up there, so the real question becomes: When are candidates going to start talking for real about China? Not the same old lost jobs or recycled human rights stories, but what's really going on with diplomatic and commercial relations between two countries. An American teacher was murdered in China in 2005 and a family has been fighting non-stop to get answers and records from its own government. It's gotten so difficult, they've had to file suit under the Freedom of Information Act (Case no. CV-09-06050). It's not about conservative credentials or partisan labeling and bickering - the future of America is about transparency and walking the talk. When it's time to talk China, we should hope every candidate will somehow find a way to address what happened to one of its own citizens - not for him so much, but for opening an honest debate about what's really going on with American interests and dealings in China., up to and including Big Oil http://www.russellcase.net

    March 2, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  7. hurryup 2012

    Our incompetant president has been quoted at wanting gas at 10-12 dollars a gallon to force Americans to turn to alternative fuel. He is clueless.

    March 2, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • maggie


      March 2, 2012 at 11:03 am |
      • John

        Maggie. Did you happen to see the hearings with the energy secretary when they said they aren't concerned with the high price of gas and it is not a priority for this administration? Did you consider that blather?

        March 2, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • maggie

      That was not the quote at all, John. I read the transcript from the hearings. The quote was that HIS SECRETARY OF ENERGY ONCE wanted the price gas to rise in order to force people to turn to green energy as an alternative. This is very different from what you are saying. for one thing, this is not a quote attributable to Obama; secondly you've taken the entire quote out of context. This is what happens with a bullet point mentality. And I completely disagree that the price of gas is not a priority for this administration as I've personally heard Obama speak to the contrary. So, ergo, my comment about blather.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • John

        I watched the hearing, I know what was said.
        Just like you know what BO said – here you go. "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket," Obama told the Chronicle . "Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers."
        I watched the speech, I know what was said.

        March 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • jean2009

        After 100 years or better, of befouling the environment with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury we should be converting power plants from coal to gas.

        Canada is already tackling that project on a massive scale....again all I see is the idiot right whining about being current with the rest of the world developments.
        Not updating in the long run is going to cost us a lot more....I have never hear of any price going down when delayed....so do you want to pay that increased price for doing nothing?

        March 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  8. maggie

    John - here is the entire speech – that would be the transcript, not some right wing bullet points about what you guys perceive in the speech. so before you start misquoting people and blasting them, you might want to actually read the whole speech.


    March 2, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • John

      BTW, several post ago you talked about the hate on the right. I challenged you to give me ONE example. I am wondering why you didn't.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • Risky

        Newt Gingrich once said he wanted to punch the president.

        March 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • jean2009

        How about Franklin Graham, Rush Limbaugh (daily), Bill O'Reilly; Donald Trump, All of Fox News daily, you can watch a video on video cafe titled: "Why I hate Barack Obama by Pastor Steven Anderson, the American Family's Bryan Fisher; John Voight.... and your daily posts. To name just a few.



        No one with an ounce of intelligence thinks Jared Loughner happened in a vacuum.


        March 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  9. jean2009

    Obama-Biden 2012-2016!

    March 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  10. wiscokid

    I have to laugh at all the dialogue about the "idiot right" and other such nonsense directed at Republicans you see in these comment sections all over the web. If you take a look at more recent American history, let's just say going back to pre-World War II, Democrats have enjoyed majority control in both houses for a somewhat disproportionate amount of time, yet it's the GOP toward which liberals point fingers in blame for the problems facing the U.S. today. If you go back 75 years to the 75th Congress in the year 1937, you'll find that Democrats have controlled the Senate for 52 years (69.3 percent of the time) and the House for 58 of the past 75 years (or 77.3 percent of the time). They've also enjoyed a slight majority in the Office of the President during the same time period. So if we lack control over oil prices, or don't have alternative energy sources or alternative infrastructures in place, or if there's not enough money for our schools or our taxes are too high and a bunch of jobs have gone over seas, some how it makes perfect sense to blame those darned Republicans and the "idiot right". Keep drinking the Kool-Aid kids.

    March 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  11. john

    Alternative energy is great but not practical at this point, they only way the green energy sector is kept alive is from federal money in the meantime US consumers are getting killed. We have massive amounts of oil in this country open up the lands and drill. No one is stopping green energy but it has a ways to go before it is a practical form of energy. Liberal, progressives and Obama groupies and keep singing the green energy song all they want but right now people are hurting and this president is not willing to do a damn thing about it.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  12. john

    Can't wait to see this idiot out of office. Go back to your community activist gig.

    March 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  13. JD

    The presidents energy policy is to stop all drilling, moratoriums on offshore drilling, kill the keystone pipeline and continue to invest billions of taxpayer dollars on upstart alternative energy companies that the market is simply not ready for. I can't imagine why its not all working..weird!

    March 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
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    April 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm |