President Barack Obama announced that his administration will begin trying domestic oil production to help lower high gasoline prices. There will be measures to encourage drilling in Alaska and giving the oil companies extra time to comply with the safety regulations in place. In his weekly address the president said, “Without a doubt, one of the biggest burdens over the last few months has been the price of gasoline. And while there are no quick fixes to the problem, there are a few steps we should take that make good sense.”
President Obama says the government will conduct annual lease sales for drilling in Alaska. They will also make faster evaluations of oil and gas resources available in the Atlantic Ocean,while creating new incentives to develop unused leases. “We should increase safe and responsible oil production here at home,” he said. The administration will be extending drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico by one year. Alaska will be extended by at least a year to allow more time for compliance of the new safety standards put in place following last year’s oil spill. Alaskan permits will also be accelerated by a special team.
According to the American Automobile Association, the average price across the nation for a gallon of gasoline was $3.982 yesterday. Oil prices have increased more than 30 percent in the last 12 months. The increasing oil prices have provided billions of dollars in profits for oil companies. Democrats in Congress have proposed raising oil company taxes by $2 billion a year over the next ten years. President Obama asked Republicans and Democrats in Congress to get rid of as much as $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies oil companies get each year. Obama said, “The American people shouldn’t be subsidizing oil companies at a time when they’re making near-record profits.”