President Obama is holding a press conference on energy prices.
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The speaking begins:
- First comment is about Japan, and the heartbreaking disaster. We have an aircraft carrier en route. US embassy personnel have moved to an off-site location.
- Now talking about the price of gasoline. “Families feel the pinch every time they fill up the tank.” Rising prices are not a new phenomenon. This is similar to three years ago before the crisis.
- Here’s the good news: The global community can manage any supply disruptions. We’re taking various measures to deal with oil prices, and is watching out for price gouging. The other good news: America is less efficient than it used to be. Meanwhile, the tax deal will help cushion the blow.
- Obama calls for energy investments. More domestic production of oil in gas.
- T. Boone Pickens: “This is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of.” Talking about efforts to break dependence on oil. Lots of talk about new innovation, technologies, etc.
Question: What’s your thinking on Libya? Why not a strong response?
Obama: We are slowly tightening the noose. Arms embargo, etc. I haven’t taken any options off the table at this point.
Question: Are you concerned that Obama, recognising that he has no options, will go into a massive firefight with his own people.
Obama: Yes, I am concerned.
Question: On the budget: There have been questions about your leadership…
Obama: Right now it’s important to understand that we’re talking about last year’s business. There are something that I won’t accept. Some deep cuts. The notion that we would cut Pell Grants, when we know that the single most important thing is education… that makes no sense
Question: Jake Tapper asks about the US rushing assistance to the nuclear power plant. He also asks about the treatment of Bradley Manning.
Obama: American assistance to the nuclear power plant is a precaution. On Bradley Manning, he says he has personally asked the Pentagon about his treatment.
Question: At what point would you tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Is there a specific price?
Obama: I won’t lay out specific prices, but I will say that the Hurricane Katrina is an example.
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