Obama lays out energy blueprint 

President Obama Wednesday vowed to cut oil imports by one third by 2025, outlining an energy blueprint he called necessary to curtail America’s dependence on foreign fuels as turmoil in the Middle East wreaks havoc on prices at the pump.

“We cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again,” the president said in a speech at Georgetown University.”  “The United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity and security on a resource that will eventually run out.”

Obama called for a surge in domestic oil production, as well as biofuels, nuclear power and natural gas and criticized congressional Republicans for seeking to cut many of his green-energy job initiatives that he said would provide incentives needed to increase alternative energy production.

But Republicans counter that Obama’s extensive moratium following the Gulf Oil spill stymied economic growth.

 "Any claim that my administration is responsible for gas prices because we’ve ‘shut down’ oil production might make for a useful political sound bite – but it doesn’t track with reality,” he said, noting that since last year, the administration has approved two permits for every new well constructed.

The president also used the speech to outline an Interior Department report that found more than two-thirds of offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico and more than half of onshore leases on federal lands remain idle.

Those findings were largely disputed by the oil industry, however.

 "The majority of these leases are always turned back because we can't find resource in commercial quantities," said Jack Gerard, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. "To suggest that we're sitting on our hands is a pure distraction."

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