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Associated Press

MOUNT HOLLY, NC (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday made his most urgent appeal yet for the nation to wean itself from oil, calling it a “fuel of the past” and demanding that the United States broaden its approach to energy.

Mindful of the political dangers of high gas prices, he said shrinking demand for oil must drive the solution.

Obama, promoting his energy policies in a state that figures prominently in the presidential election and will host the Democratic National Convention, called on Congress to provide $1 billion in grants to local communities to encourage greater use of fuel-efficient technologies. The administration’s goal is to make electric vehicles as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles by 2020.

The president also proposed greater tax incentives to encourage the purchase and use of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Gasoline prices are at their highest levels for this time of year and Obama has been traveling in recent weeks to promote energy proposals he says will reduce foreign oil dependency over the long term.

“We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, and our buildings, and our factories,” Obama said. “That’s the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down. Pretty straightforward.”

The president spoke at a Daimler truck plant in Mount Holly. North Carolina is a state with political implications for his re-election. He traveled there as the Republican field seeking to defeat him in November remains unsettled. Mitt Romney squeezed out a win in pivotal Ohio on Tuesday, captured five other states and padded his delegate lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But the front-runner was forced to share the Super Tuesday spotlight with a resurgent Rick Santorum.

Republicans have been pointedly critical of Obama, blaming his energy policies for the spike in gasoline prices. Gingrich has argued that as president, he would reduce the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon.

Without naming Gingrich, Obama dismissed his claim.

“Next time you hear some politician trotting out some three point plan for $2 gas, you let him know we know better,” Obama said. “Tell him we’re tired of hearing phony election year promises that never come about.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comment on this Story

  • Guest7969

    can I come live in your fantasy world…it sounds fun in there!

    the fact you are on a computer….makes your statements hypocrytical….you don’t really believe what you said…

  • Josie

    Fossil fuels are in limited supply. Accessing these fuels creates devastation on our planet and those who live here. There are numerous means of clean alternative energy that can be utilized if our congress people, investors, and citizens would push for it. Unfortunately the oil companies are very friendly with a lot of politicans, thus the politicans vote the way of big oil. I notice that Richard Burr always votes for anything that benefits oil companies.
    Thank you President Obama, I look forward to the next 4 years.

  • RSimmons

    That rascal Obama is getting ready to park his Great Democrat death star over North Carolina. But don’t you all worry one bit cuz the NC GOP is making sure no gay Democrats will get married while they are here.

    BTW would someone ask George Soros to please get direct deposit? His out of town checks are a hassle to cash! Also let Bill Ayers know that the seance to contact Karl Marx is at my house “O” is bringing the beer.

  • Challengetheworld

    I love to see the paranoid conservatives whine when someone tells them science. They are so homophobic they think if gay marriage passes life will change forever. WAKE UP, it won’t. Its none of your business what Bob and Joe do in their homes just the same as its none of your business what Jack and Jill does – its the same thing!

    Tell your congressman you want your government OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM!

  • Joe Bowman

    I want you to finish what you started. I think our president is a good man in a tough spot, and he’s done good, given the fact that he inherited a disaster. We are better off. Lets keep going. I have friends who have gotten cancer that would have been uninsurable under the old rules. Obamacare means they get lifesaving treatment. Thank you, President Obama. Let’s ask the top 30 leaders of Al-Quaida what they think of U.S. foreign policy… oh wait, we can’t because 22 of them have been killed and the last 8 are hiding in caves. He has crushed the terrorists. Libya and North Korea are no longer serious threats. We are getting out of Iraq. Give the man some credit.

  • Guest Redneck Across the River

    This alternative energy BS has been around as long and is about as effective as the “just say no” campaign. People don’t want electric cars, but we do want to break our dependance of foreign oil and use what we have here. Tell the environmentalists to take a long walk off a short bridge and lets get busy tapping our own resources.

  • Challengetheworld

    We will eventually run OUT of oil. Sitting like a stick in the mud and not trying to shift to some other form of energy is close minded. I don’t care where we get the oil, I’m all for getting it here on our shores but at the same time we must ween ourselves off of it because it will eventually RUN OUT.

    Those of you who think it will last forever (radical conservatives who think the world is here to do whatever you want to it) will eventually be the ones held up in your bunkers until your gasoline runs out. Then you’ll wish you had solar, wind, water, electric…etc.

    There are those of us who aren’t tree huggers that still want the world to know we will eventually run out of somethings. Rather than sit back and watch it run out, do something about it, your kids will thank you one day.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …than he does about economics. Our grandchildren will be driving cars fueled with fossil fuels, and his war on oil cannot alter that.

    Just LOVE the way you Obama supporters now chime in on every story about your messiah.

    Libya….yeah….what a threat they posed!

  • reconroger

    Maybe they could learn how to use all of the BS that comes out of his mouth and his terriost friends mouths to run cars. Talk about a carbon footprint look at what he and his wife spend on jet fuel, I should say we spend on jet fuel. I beleive that he and his gang of thives should be put in JAIL for what they have done to this country.
    S/F RDF

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …as soon as you come up with a non-fossil fuel to power our autos, trucks, trains, and planes.

    Wake up to reality. The only feasible fuel to start moving toward is natural gas. The Pickens plan is a good idea, but natural gas still produces CO2. Live with it.

    Small fuel cell technology is stalled, we can’t produce enough hydrogen anyway, most electric cars are a giant letdown in performance, and re-charging them simply means that we’re sending out CO2 from a coal fired or natural gas fired power plant.

    BTW, don’t sell the oil industry or mother Earth short. Petroleum is still being formed in the Earth and the oil industry is getting better at finding and extracting it.

    I said it earlier, I’ll say it again – your grandchildren will drive cars fueled by gasoline or natural gas.

  • Guest1165

    I thought Dubya said we would all be driving hydrogen-powered cars by now.


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