Obama Touts Energy Progress as Approval Rating Drops

Posted March 12th, 2012 at 11:15 am (UTC-5)
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The Obama administration says progress has been made in reducing Americans’ reliance on foreign oil, but that high gas prices are a “painful reminder” that more needs to be done.

That position was put forward in a statement issued by the White House Monday, as the president received a one-year progress report on efforts to reduce foreign oil consumption and expand domestic energy.

The report says the United States cut oil imports by 10 percent, or a million barrels a day, in the last year. It also touts a rise in domestic oil and natural gas production, as well as several measures aimed at improving energy efficiency standards and renewable energy efforts.

The report comes as Americans are increasingly concerned about rising fuel costs ahead of the summer season, when gas prices could go even higher.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows President Obama’s approval rating dropping to 46 percent, from 50 percent just a month ago. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they did not approve of the way the president is handling gas prices, which have risen sharply in recent weeks.

Republican candidates vying to face Mr. Obama in the upcoming presidential election have repeatedly criticized the president about the rising prices and his energy policies. The White House has acknowledged the impact the fuel prices have had on average Americans, but say there is no simple way to fix the problem.