(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama likened Republican politicians who are calling for increased oil drilling and disparaging his efforts to subsidize the development of alternative energy soucres such as wind power, solar power and algae to "founding members of the Flat Earth Society."
“Lately, we’ve heard a lot of professional politicians, a lot of the folks who are running for a certain office who shall go unnamed, they've been talking down new sources of energy,” Obama said Thursday at Prince George's Community College in Maryland.
“They dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power. They make jokes about biofuels. They were against raising fuel standards. I guess they like gas-guzzlers," said Obama.
"They think that's good for our future. We’re trying to move towards the future; they want to be stuck in the past," he said. “We’ve heard this kind of thinking before. Let me tell you something. If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society."
“They would not have believed that the world was round," said Obama. "We've heard these folks in the past. They probably would have agreed with one of the pioneers of the radio who said, ‘Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.’ One of Henry Ford’s advisors was quoted as saying, ‘The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad."
The invention of TV and invention of the automobile were not government subsidized as companies like the bankrupt solar panel firm Solyndra, and the bankrupt green battery maker Ener1, among other green energy companies that filed for bankruptcy after getting millions in subsidies from the federal government.
On Thursday, the national average price of gas was $3.82 per gallon for regular unleaded, according to AAA.
A New York Times/CBS News poll this week found Obama had a 41 percent approval rating.
The American Petroleum Institute has called for the administration to rescind an East Coast offshore drilling moratorium, allow drilling in deep water in the Atlantic, and allow for exploration along the West Coast and give companies access to the coastal plains of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The government has delayed drilling permits for offshore Alaska, despite leases being made available, according to the API.
“The administration says its policies have supported more development and that oil production is rising, but most of today’s production increases relate to projects begun before it came into office as well as to what is happening on state and private lands,” said Erik Milito, API’s group director for Upstream and Industry Operations, in a written statement. “Moreover, from 2009 to 2011, production from federal lands and federal waters combined declined significantly for both oil and natural gas.”
Obama went on to subtly reference GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s pledge to bring gas prices down to $2.50 per gallon.
“Every time prices start to go up--especially in an election year--politicians dust off their 3-point plans for $2.00 gas. I guess this year they decided, we're going to make it $2.50,” Obama said. “I don't know where--why not $2.40? Why not $2.10? But they tell the same story. They head down to the gas station; they make sure a few cameras are following them and then they start acting like we've got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever if you just elect us.”