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Obama vows to tap new energy sources

(Xinhua)

09:25, February 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday vowed to keep developing new sources of energy, blaming instability in Middle East and increasing demand from emerging markets for the recent gas price hike.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the U.S. average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline was 3.591 dollars on February 20, 40.2 cents up from a year ago.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich seized on the issue to try to re-energize his campaign. He asserted that if becoming president, he could drive gasoline prices as low as 2 dollars a gallon.

"The biggest thing that's causing the price of oil to rise right now is instability in the Middle East," said Obamain Miami, Florida, adding that "over the long-term, the biggest reason oil prices will rise is growing demand in countries like China, India, and Brazil."

America was pumping more oil than it had in the past eight years thanks to a surge in onshore drilling. And Americans' gasoline consumption is at an 11-year low, the EIA data indicated.

In 2010, the U.S. dependence on foreign oil was under 50 percent for the first time in 30 years and in 2011, the country relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years.

Obama attributed the increased energy independence to his energy strategy which had made the use of clean, renewable energy in the country nearly doubled.

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