Obama Says Republican Love Gas Guzzlers

Theoretically the effort to develop solutions to the world’s energy problems is one that should appeal to all, but the move toward alternative transportation has become extremely politicized, and today President Obama was quoted as fighting back.

“A lot of the folks who are running for a certain office who shall go unnamed, they’ve been talking down new sources of energy,” he said during a speech to students in Maryland. “They dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power. They make jokes about biofuels. They were against raising fuel standards. I guess they like gas-guzzlers.”

According to the Detroit News, Obama was lashing out in response to – among other things – political rhetoric over rising gas prices. And though he said presidential candidates would remain unnamed, it was further noted Newt Gingrich has quipped that Obama was “President Algae” because he supports biofuel research.

Gingrich has also said he would end the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program in place since 1975, and if elected to Obama’s office, will get gasoline prices down to $2.50 per gallon by extracting more oil from the earth’s not infinite supplies – a statement Obama also lashed out a response to.

“I guess this year they decided, we’re going to make it $2.50,” Obama said. “I don’t know where — why not $2.40? Why not $2.10? But they tell the same story. They head down to the gas station; they make sure a few cameras are following them and then they start acting like we’ve got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever if you just elect us. Every time. Been the same script for 30 years. It’s like a bad rerun.”

Saying essentially that he’s trying to change the channel for good, President Obama continues to push for more alternative fuel vehicles as well as more fuel efficient cars and trucks through increased CAFE standards, in search of a 54.5 mpg average by 2025.

Detroit News via AutoGuide.

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  • Van

    I doubt either side is actually committed to ending our dependence on foreign oil. I am all for government incentives for alternate sources of energy, but to spend money on firms that go bankrupt seem only to be political payoffs.

    The big picture plan seems to be to burn all of the foreign oil and then when that runs out, use our own resources.

    What has our government done to help Nissan and Toyota to produce the second generation EV batteries. Squat. Tick Tock.

    How about a standard that requires an EV to have an EPA range of 120 miles. The EV’s of today either cost more than $50,000 or have a range of less than 100 miles. Buyers of vehicles meeting the standard would get an incentive check of $4,000, plus $1000 dollars for each 10 miles of EPH certified range. Thus if a KWh costs less than $333, the buyer could buy up to 30 KWh.

    Consider a PHV, costing $32,000, with a range of 10 plus miles but less than 20. Credit of $5000, making its cost the same as a non-plug in Prius. Sales would be all that Toyota could produce.

  • Steven B

    The President definitely has a point. I don’t understand the severe mismatch in political thinking by the Republicans (well actually I do, it’s pandering to the ill-informed and unsophisticated) that government should encourage individual responsibility and let the markets work, but then they turn around and tell everyone they have a birthright as Americans to use as much non-renewable oil, gas, and coal as they want and that government should make it cheap. And then if the price is so high that it promotes alternative sources, government should then subsidize the non-renewables, cut funding for renewable energy, and do whatever it takes, including go to war, to make it cheaper. War doesn’t make anything cheaper, but sometimes it is necessary, and high prices are not necessarily a bad thing, as long as people, and government, do something to adapt to it. Government does not have a magic wand that they can use to lower prices on anything, and whenever price controls are used all they do is create shortage economies. Government can, and maybe even right now should, make some things more expensive with taxes and invest the tax money into alternatives. Gas taxes, in my opinion, probably should be raised with the new revenue dedicated to alternatives to gas. Right now, all they do is pay for more roads and for road maintenance. We need trains, we need grid-connectable vehicles. Hybrid car technology all-along has really only been a technology that links our current technology to future plug-in hybrid and electric cars. Developing public policy with that in mind will be good for everybody, both gasoline/diesel consumers and non-consumers alike. Cheap gasoline solves nothing, and it only would encourage people to drive more, choke up the roadways, and use more fuel anyway. Some people need gas-guzzlers for their businesses and families, everyone else who doesn’t should exercise personal responsibility and choose not to buy them. Regardless of what gasoline prices are, people should exercise personal responsibility and drive only as much as they need to. If people want to go out cruising, then they should do it on a bicycle where they can enjoy it and get the benefit of exercise. And regardless of their circumstances, people should ignore people like Newt Gingrich and the cheap-gasoline-is-an-American-birthright types and exercise personal responsibility and use only as much as they need and can afford and vote only for people who will use taxes and government power smartly to ensure that the cost of mobility is acceptable and improves over time sustainably. The only real way to vote for cheap gasoline is by using less of it.

  • Anonymous

    Lets see, producing domestic energy creates jobs, regulating energy such at no increase in energy occurs produces joblessness. Billions have been invested in “green jobs” and we have less people working today than two years ago.

    Many folks are waiting to buy a plug-in, but it looks like affordable plug-ins are two years away. Once we have a real choice, I think the gasoline business will go the way of the ice delivery business, they call it technological displacement. Obama is doing a terrible job on many fronts, but his efforts to develop a viable alternate energy transportation system are spot on. We do not need boondoggle bullet trains, but we do need plug in hybrids with larger and larger batteries as a quick charging system infrastructure is developed.

  • Steven B

    We do need high-speed rail. We don’t need ‘boondoggle trains’ but we do need them. You can’t displace non-renewables for distance travel without them. Plug-in hybrids, extended-range electrics, and electric cars can’t supply enough alternatively-sourced range for inter-city travel. Also, you can’t power planes with renewable fuels. High-speed and conventional rail can be powered by renewable sources, wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal, and they can be used to provide inter-city travel. I live in Texas and the I-35 and I-10 corridors can be connected with economically viable high-speed trains, and that would not constitute ‘boondoggle trains,’ but to agree with the previous posting, if a high-speed train to connect El Paso to the Texas Triangle would definitely constitute a ‘boondoggle train’ and we don’t need that. But there is a role for high-speed rail, and places where they can be sited and built economically. There’s also a role for light-rail in places throughout the country. Same conversation, different details.

  • James Davis

    Mitt Romney, in his squeaky voice, said about Obama’s energy policy: “You can’t get a wind mill on top your car.” Mitt Romney, in his base voice, said about his energy policy: “Drill baby drill.” I reckon that means that Romney can get an oil derrick on top of his stretch limo.

    Obama is working as hard as he can to get America away from fossil fuel and foreign oil, and I think that is the right direction to go.

    Newt is a carbon copy of Bush, Jr. and Sr. and just as stupid. He is still blaming Clinton for his failed marriages because Clinton may have had sex with that woman. If either Newt-wit or Mitt-wit or any other republican gets into office, you can kiss hybrid, electric, and clean renewable energy good-bye.

  • Duude

    Conservatives are just committed to vehicle range. Obama believes those that want range should take the bus.

  • Anonymous

    Can we displace non-renewables for distance travel? Yes. Do we need hi speed rail to do it? Nope.

    Bio-fuel can fuel airplanes and long distance hybrids. The issue is we only have so much ground to grow fuel on, and so ocean/bay farms seem viable sources. And of course the bulk of the travel needs to be electric, but all we need to a range higher than a usual day, say 100 miles. I we need to go further, the bio-fuel ICE would kick in.

    In the military they teach troops not to bunch up and become a target rich environment. Note the tall building, subways, airplanes, buses and trains have all been the target of insane killers.

  • Jim Diamond

    Everyone forgets the only real tax income in this country is derived from the oil companies and fuel taxes. Increasing the fleet mileage may reduce dependence on foriegn oil but it will drive fuel prices up. The government and the massive infrastructue in this country requires vasts amounts of money and since we dont produce anything anymore, fuel taxes hold this country together. just like real estate is all about location, the governments in this country are all about the money. in order to change anything, we need to think as one, act as one and be willing to make sacrifices. And that will not happen because the media, the poilicies and the leadership in this country make sure we stay divided over inconsequential issues.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    There’s two ways Newt’s $2 gas can happen, cause a depression or nationalize the countries oil and gas industries which wouldn’t be very free market friendly…


  • VoltOwner

    $2 gas? You bet, I got it right now!

    I have driven my Volt 5600 miles since June. The dealer filled the tank, and charged the car, and in that time I have burned less than 1 gallon of the gas that was in it when I drove it home. Since I charge at night with a TOU plan at about 8 cents a KWH, (times about 13KWH) it costs about a $1.04 to fill it, and I get around 40 miles for that buck. I’ve gone about 40 miles on that gallon too.

    That’s less than 3 cents a mile ($0.026), or comparable to buying gas at $1.37 for a 53 MPG car. Around here that gallon will set you back at least $4.00. ($4.19 at Costco today.)

    I do expect to have to put a few gallons in sometime in June, since the car is programmed to use up the gas before it gets stale…

    Oh, and before you trot out the “Powered by Coal” canard, the electricity in my state is only 1% coal. See here:
    (I use the 3% solar source myself.)

    For fun compare Idaho to Wyoming, the two cheapest places in the US for electricity.

    As to not producing anything here anymore, The Volt is being exported to Canada, the EU, and soon to Australia.

  • VoltOwner

    “How about a standard that requires an EV to have an EPA range of 120 miles.”

    Are you suggesting that the government should decide that, even though most people (80%) drive less than 40 miles a day, EV must have 120 mile range? So those of us that only drive 20 miles a day will have to haul around an extra 100 miles worth of battery, and pay for it up front? How is that efficient? Or economical?

    “What has our government done to help Nissan and Toyota to produce the second generation EV batteries. Squat. Tick Tock.”

    The real question is, how much has the Japanese government spent helping those same auto makers saturate our market with subsidies and exclusionary policies. I’d like to see any EV credits apply only to domestic vehicles, the way it is in Japan.

  • rkb

    What a hypocrite. Mr. “Frequent-vacationer-and-fund-raiser-on-Air-Force-One-which-gets-about-50-gallons-per-mile” is berating someone about loving gas guzzlers. Wow.

    Yes, his actions call out “do as I say and not as I do and don’t follow my example.”

  • morgan

    It additionally the conceit love quotes of president Obama to type such a appeal and to bill the republicans as wanting to allow businesses to run with no rules whatsoever is absolute poppycock and utter hokum.you can get here friendship messages latest collection and send it to your friends.