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Weekly remarks: Boehner says spending binge kills jobs; Obama says drilling for oil is no energy strategy

April 2, 2011 |  3:00 am

Obama and his extended family board Air Force One in Chile for another trip at $181,000 an hour

Weekly remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House

Hello, everybody.  I’m speaking to you today from a UPS customer center in Landover, Maryland, where I came to talk about an issue that’s affecting families and businesses just like this one -- the rising price of gas, and what we can do as a country to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

This week, I released a Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future. It’s a strategy to reduce the oil we import from around the world, and to make our economy stronger at home. Part of this strategy involves increasing our oil exploration right here in America.  In fact, our oil production last year reached its highest level since 2003, and we want to encourage more safe, responsible drilling where we can.

But the truth is, drilling alone is not a real strategy to replace our dependence on foreign oil....

...And that’s because even though America uses 25% of the world’s oil, we currently have only about 2% of the world’s oil reserves.  Even if we used every last drop of all the oil we have, it wouldn’t be enough to meet our long-term energy needs. So, real energy security can only come if we find ways to use less oil – if we invest in cleaner fuels and greater efficiency.president Obama after another trip on Marine One 2-23-11

That’s what we’ve been doing since I took office. For example, we secured an agreement from all the major auto companies to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars and trucks. So if you buy a new car, the better gas mileage is going to save you about $3,000. Altogether, this will save us about 1.8 billion barrels of oil as a country.

We need to build on this progress. As we make our cars and trucks more efficient, we’ve got to harness new technologies to fuel our vehicles with everything from biofuels to natural gas to advanced batteries. And the good news is, these technologies aren’t science fiction anymore. They exist today. 

Already, American car companies are producing electric vehicles that use little or no gas. And innovators across America are testing new products that hold incredible promise not just for new vehicles, but for countless new jobs.

To help jump-start this market, the federal government has doubled the number of clean energy vehicles that we have in our fleet.  In the next few years, we’re going to switch the entire fleet over. And I’m here at UPS because it’s not just the government getting in on the action. 

Companies like UPS, FedEx, AT&T, Verizon, and PepsiCo -- firms with some of the largest fleets in the country -- are switching to more efficient vehicles.  And through our Clean Fleets Partnership, driven not by government, but by business, more companies are going to be switching to electric and alternative vehicles, too -- not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because it’s good for their bottom lines. 

The goal is simple. When I was elected to this office, America imported 11 million barrels of oil a day. Through these and other steps, by a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut that by one third. And by doing so, we’re going to make our economy less vulnerable to wild swings in oil prices. We’re going to use cleaner sources of energy that don’t imperil our climate. And we’re going to spark new products and businesses all over the country by tapping America’s greatest renewable resource: our ingenuity. 

We know how important that is. This week, we learned that the economy added 230,000 private sector jobs last month.  That makes 1.8 million private sector jobs created in the last thirteen months. That’s a good sign. But we have to keep up the momentum, and transitioning to a clean energy economy will help us do that. 

It will ensure that the United States of America is home to the jobs and industries of tomorrow. That’s how we’ll win the future. And that’s how we’ll leave our children an America that is more secure and prosperous than before. Thanks, and have a great weekend.    #### 

Capitol Dome

Weekly remarks by House Speaker John Boehner, as provided by his office

Hello, I’m John Boehner. Before I had the honor of representing the people of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, I ran a small business back in West Chester, Ohio. Small businesses are the engine of job creation in America: They actually create jobs; the government doesn’t. That’s why I ran for Congress -- to do my part to get government out of the way of American prosperity. 

Despite some recent signs of life, our economy still isn’t creating enough jobs. And one of the reasons for that is the spending binge that’s been going on in Washington.

Washington’s inability to get spending under control is creating uncertainty for our job creators. It’s discouraging investment in small businesses, and eroding confidence in our economy. To put it simply, the spending binge in Washington is holdinHouse Speaker John Boehner Republican of Ohiog our country back and keeping our economy from creating jobs.

  Last year, when the president tried to put forward another big-spending budget on top of his ‘stimulus,’ Americans rose up and demanded we stop the spending binge and start working together to create a better environment for job creation.  They put a new majority in charge of the House with clear orders: crash the spending party in Washington so our economy can get back to creating jobs.

We’ve made some early progress. This year, the federal government will spend at least $51 billion less than it would have if the president had gotten his way. And because we’ve kept the pressure on, Democrats in the White House and the Senate are being forced to talk about a bill that would cut tens of billions more.

Over the next decade, the savings will be hundreds of billions of dollars. This is nowhere near enough, but it’s a clear change in direction.

Now, you’ve heard Democratic leaders claim an agreement has been reached on this issue, but let me be clear. There is no agreement.  Republicans continue to fight for the largest spending cuts possible to help end Washington’s job-crushing spending binge.

To support job creation in America, we need to keep the cuts coming, and we need to do much, much more. That’s why it’s important for Congress to get moving and pass a final bill that resolves last year’s budget mess while making real spending cuts -- so we can tackle the bigger challenges facing job creation.

One of those challenges is stopping the $1.5-trillion tax hike the president called for in his budget for next year. This tax hike will affect every family and small business in America, and it will destroy jobs. 

The president has also asked Congress to increase the national debt limit -- without any commitment to stopping the runaway spending that got us into this mess in the first place. If the president gets his wish, it would send the signal that America has no plan to deal with her spending illness -- and that’s going to have the effect, again, of destroying more American jobs.

We also need to address all the red tape and regulations coming out of Washington that are making it harder to create jobs and driving up health care and energy costs.

To put America on a path to prosperity, we need to remove regulatory obstacles to job growth, expand American energy production, end the threat of tax hikes, approve stalled trade agreements that would open new markets, and get government spending under control once and for all. These are the pillars of the Republican plan to get our economy back to creating jobs, and this is the focus of our new majority in the House. Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend.     ####

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Photos: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters (Obama and his extended family board Air Force One for another foreign trip); Gary Fabiano / Getty Images (Obama after another trip on his helicopter Marine One, Feb. 23, 2011); Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press;  Mike Theiler / EPA (Boehner).

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