In a nod to gas prices, which are rising due to the conflicts in the Middle East and northern Africa, President Obama will make a speech at Georgetown today announcing his aim to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil by a third before 2021. At the moment, according to the Times, more than half of the oil used in the United States comes from foreign countries. It's a speech designed to soothe fears in the face of the rising prices and the worries that have arisen regarding nuclear power after the disaster at Japan's tsunami-ravaged Fukushima plant. But none of the proposals Obama will be mentioning are new — he'll call for more electric cars, trucks that run on natural gas, biofuel production, and new automobile fuel-efficiency standards. These are all ideas that have been raised before, but which Congress has yet to decidedly act upon. He will not, notably, open up any more lands onshore or off to new drilling — but he will try to get oil companies really excited about drilling in the lands to which they already have access. Of course, every president since Richard Nixon has tried to cut down on our rising reliance on foreign oil, and it's never slowed due to any factor except one: recession. And, hey, we're sure to have another one of those in the next ten years, right?
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