The election battle in the U.S. is heating up and the issue of increasing gas prices is at the agenda of both the Democrats and the Republicans.
One of the three candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has called President Obama “President Algae” for his commitment to alternative sources of energy.
Obama, who has made efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil by offering incentives for vehicles powered by alternative sources, responded to his opponents during his speech at students in Maryland, according to a DetNews report.
“A lot of folks who are running for a certain office who shall go unnamed, have been talking down new sources of energy”, said Obama. “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.”
Gingrich (who you might remember claiming that “you can’t put a gun rack in a Volt” rebunked) promised that, if elected, he will bring gas prices back down to US$2.50 a gallon, from US$3.80 that is the average price this week. He has said that he plans to do so by more drilling.
“I guess this year they decided, we’re going to make it $2.50. Why not $2.40 – why not $2.10?”, said Obama. He then accused his opponents of repeating past practices: “They head down to the gas station, make sure they have a few cameras following them and then start acting like we’ve got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever if you just elect us. Been the same script for 30 years. It’s like a bad rerun.”
The U.S. President admitted that gas prices most likely would not go down. That’s due to increased demand in huge markets like China and India.
“There are about a billion Chinese”, said Obama. “They’re getting wealthier. They want cars too, which means they’re going to get some of that oil and that will drive prices up.”
Having already gained camakers’ support for a radical 54.5 mpg CAFE for 2025, Obama has also pushed for an increase in federal tax incentives for buyers of “clean” vehicles and a US$1 billion investment for creating infrastructure needed for “green” vehicles, like plug-in electrics in up to 15 U.S. cities.