Obama to embark on four-state energy tour

03 21, 2012 by The Hill

President Obama will embark on a four-state tour next week to highlight his energy plan amid intensifying GOP attacks on the White House over soaring gas prices.

The tour comes as gas prices continue to rise, reaching a national average of $3.83 Friday, according to AAA.

Obama will travel to Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio on Wednesday and Thursday, and will deliver remarks in all four states.

On Wednesday, the president will visit a solar facility in Boulder City, Nev., where he’ll “focus on diversifying our energy portfolio, including expanding renewable energy from sources like wind and solar,” according to the White House.

Later Wednesday, Obama will tout the administration’s efforts to expand domestic oil-and-gas production at oil fields in Carlsbad, N.M.

Obama will travel to Cushing, Okla., Wednesday, where he will underscore the administration’s support for a major portion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The southern section of the pipeline, which project developer TransCanada is moving forward on, would carry oil from Cushing to refineries in Texas. The president will speak at a storage yard that hold pipes to be used to build the pipeline.

Lastly, Obama will speak about energy research at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Republicans have pummeled Obama in recent weeks over high prices, arguing the administration is not doing enough to give consumers relief at the pump. They’ve also taken aim at the president for rejecting in January a key cross-border permit for the Keystone pipeline.

Recent polls that show the public is frustrated with how Obama is handling the gas price issue, and the White House has launched a full-court press to counter the GOP criticism.

Obama has delivered four energy speeches over the last month in which he stressed that there are no quick fixes to high prices, while assuring the public that he’s doing everything he can to address the issue.

The White House is pushing what it calls an “all-of-the-above” energy plan that includes expanded drilling, improved vehicle fuel efficiency and investments in renewable energy, among other things.

Experts say federal policymakers have little sway over gas prices, as they are tethered to oil prices, which are set on the world market.