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Booming Indian, Chinese economy spiking oil prices: US

Last Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 19:30

Washington: The booming economy of India and China has significantly increased demand of oil in these two countries that in turn is driving up the global oil prices, the US said Saturday.

As such, a day after US President Barack Obama, made such an argument at a campaign event in Florida, the White House Saturday asserted that there can be no short-term solution to the hike in the gas price which has reached an all-time high in the US, badly hurting the pockets of ordinary people here.

"The spike in the price of gas is related to the spike in the global oil market. The impact of the global oil market is significantly outside the ability of anybody inside the United States to influence prices at that level," White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters.

"So the global oil market is influenced by the fact that in China, 10 million new cars were added to the roads in China in 2010. That has added to the demand in the global oil market," he said.

"We're seeing a booming economy in India, where there is an increasing demand for oil in India. That's affecting the price of oil in the global oil market. We're seeing a stronger economy in Brazil, where the demand for oil and gas in Brazil has significantly increased. That's affecting the global oil market," Earnest said.

The key here to solving this problem over the long term and making sure that we don't have to deal with these challenges moving forward, that we're not susceptible to the spikes and declines in the global oil market, is to make the United States of America finally independent of foreign energy. And that's the course the president's pursuing," the White House spokesman said. Arguing that the increase in gas prices is not a new phenomenon, the Obama aide took an indirect dig at the Republican presidential candidates who are promising to lower the gas prices once voted to power.

"If somebody is going to promise that they can wave a magic wand or sprinkle the pixie dust or plant the beans in the right place so that we can get out of this problem, they're just not being straight with you and they're not being straight with the American people," he said.

So it's the view of this administration and it's the view of this president that we need to constructively pursue an "all of the above" approach when it comes to energy, he said.

"So that means taking advantage of domestic oil and gas production in this country; it means important investments in renewable energy like wind and solar and biofuels; it means the president's success in negotiating a historic fuel
efficiency standards rule that would raise fuel efficiency standards in this country, that would ensure that we are essentially doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

And what that means: When you double the fuel efficiency, it means that you have to go to the gas station half as often, half as frequently.

So if you go once a week now, you're only going once every two weeks," Earnest said.

"This will have a significant impact on our reliance on foreign oil, but also will have a significant impact on the budgets of families all across the country. So these are difficult policy challenges, and anybody who says that there's an easy answer to doing something about it right away is just not telling the truth," Earnest said.


First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 08:47
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