WASHINGTON: Attributing rising oil prices to growing demand in countries like China, India and Brazil, President Obama has accused his Republican rivals of using the pain at the pump to score political points.
“It’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices,” the president told students at the University of Miami on Thursday.
“What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade.”
Admitting that rising gas prices are hurting Americans’ wallets, the president argued that his administration is not to blame for the high cost of oil and instead attributed the problem to growing demand in China, India and Brazil.
“Over the long term, the biggest reason oil prices will probably keep going up is growing demand in countries like China and India and Brazil,” Obama said.
“Nearly 10 million cars were added in China in 2010 alone — 10 million cars in one year in one country. Think about how much oil that requires.
“And as folks in China and India and Brazil, they aspire to buy a car just like Americans do, those numbers are only going to get bigger,” he said.
“So what does this mean for us? It means that anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or just isn’t telling you the truth,” Obama said.
While Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates have blasted Obama’s energy policy in recent days, the president said they are trying to exploit the spike in gas prices for political purposes.
Obama urged Americans not to be fooled by the Republican call for increased drilling, saying it’s simply “a bumper sticker.” “It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. It’s a strategy to get politicians through an election,” he said.
Instead, the president touted his wide-ranging strategy, which includes oil, gas, wind, solar and nuclear power, as the “only real solution” to solve the nation’s energy challenges.