President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed to cut U.S. oil imports by a third over 10 years. In a speech that was short on details on how to curb U.S. energy demand, Obama did not pretend there were speedy measures to curb mounting fuel costs, which could threaten the country’s economic recovery by weighing on American spending and confidence.
Obama outlined his strategy after spending days explaining the U.S.-led military action in Libya, where fighting, accompanied by unrest elsewhere in the Arab world, has helped push U.S. gasoline prices toward $4 a gallon. “There are no quick fixes … We will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we finally get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy,” Obama said. Obama laid out four areas to help reach his target of curbing U.S. dependence on foreign oil: lifting domestic energy production, fostering the use of more natural gas in vehicles like city buses, making cars and trucks more efficient, and boosting alternative energy by encouraging biofuels. The American Petroleum Institute, a major oil and gas trade group, said the president’s message was “just absurd”.