Obama turns his attention toward energy issues
LAS VEGAS ( AP) — President Barack Obama is announcing the sale of oil and gas drilling leases for nearly 38 million acres in the Gulf Coast and promoting the completion of a highway corridor for vehicles that run on liquefied natural gas, a response to critics who say his policies have stifled domestic energy production.
Obama was making his announcements in Nevada today, just days after drawing Republican criticism for rejecting a cross-country oil pipeline that would have delivered Canadian tar sands oil to refineries in Texas.
Obama was to speak at a Las Vegas UPS center to showcase a refueling station that will permit vehicles that use liquefied natural gas to travel from the Port of Long Beach to Salt Lake City. The station was built with help from Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus plan.
By highlighting the natural gas refueling station and the sale of energy leases on the Gulf, Obama is drawing attention to two aspects of his energy policy — greater domestic energy production and investment in cleaner energy sources.
The nearly 38-million-acre parcel the Obama administration is putting up for lease is part of an offshore drilling plan for 2007-12 put in place by President George W. Bush.