The Obama administration is expected soon to decide whether to increase the number of salaried workers eligible for overtime pay. The move could mean more money in workers’ pockets. But some policy experts say the change will have negative effects on businesses.
President Obama Touts “All Of The Above” Energy Plan At OSU
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President Obama ended his four-state energy tour at Ohio State late Thursday afternoon. WOSU reports Mr. Obama touted an â€œall of the aboveâ€ energy plan.
President Obamaâ€™s visit to Ohio was to address a serious issue: Americaâ€™s energy crisis. But Mr. Obama started out his speech by talking about whatâ€™s been on many Ohioanâ€™s minds the past few days, their March Madness brackets.
â€œI did have the Buckeyes headed to the Final Four,â€ Mr. Obama told the crowd that went into cheers. â€œAnd I promise you I didnâ€™t do it because I knew I was coming here because I am cold-blooded when it comes to filling out my brackets.”
But Mr. Obama soon got down to business. He brought up gas prices that have hit $4 a gallon in many places around the state. And the president told the crowd most Americans cannot afford the extra expense, and that America cannot afford to continue to be foreign oil dependent.
â€œHow do we make sure that these spikes in gas prices donâ€™t keep on happening? Because weâ€™ve seen this movie before. This happens just about every year. This happened this time last year. Gas prices were even higher in the spring and summer of 2008. It has been going on for years, for decades,” he said.
Many people who attended the event support the Obama Administration. But as the president began to talk about some Republican presidential candidates touting plans to bring back $2 gas, it became clear that one person was not a fan of Mr. Obama. A man began to heckle the president by trying to talk over him and promote what the man said was his book.
â€œWhat specifically is your? Sir. Iâ€™m here to speak to these folks.â€
But the interruption continued.
â€œShow me some courtesy. Iâ€™ll be happy to take your book, but donâ€™t interrupt everyone else. Alright?â€
Domestic drilling was a hot issue during the last presidential election, and itâ€™s an option not all democratic legislators in Washington are quick to back. But Mr. Obama said he supports domestic oil drilling.
â€œFirst of all, we have been drilling. Weâ€™re drilling right now. Under my administration America is producing more oil today than any time in the last eight years,” the president said.
But the U.S. uses too much oil, the president said, to rely solely on what it produces.
â€œWe canâ€™t simply drill our way out of the problem. Even if we drill every square inch of this country right now weâ€™re going to be relying on other countries for oil,” he said.
Thatâ€™s why Mr. Obama said he proposes an â€œall of the aboveâ€ energy strategy.
â€œYes, weâ€™ll develop as much oil and gas as we can in a safe way. But weâ€™re also going to develop wind power and solar power and advanced bio fuels,” Mr. Obama said.
As part of his Ohio trip, the president took a tour of Ohio Stateâ€™s Center for Automotive Research which focuses on alternative fuel development such as hydrogen fuel cells and where students built the worldâ€™s fastest battery-powered car. Mr. Obama said the key to getting off foreign oil and creating jobs is to invest in alternative energy sources.
â€œI am not going to seed the wind and solar and advanced battery industries to countries like China and Germany that are making those investments. I want those technologies developed here in Ohio, here in the Midwest, here in America,” he said.
As part of the presidentâ€™s energy plan, auto companies will have to make cars that get 55 mpg by the middle of the next decade.
The president said Republican presidential candidates reject clean energy and do not support raising fuel standards. Getting into the campaigning spirit, Mr. Obama referred to GOP candidates as members of the â€œflat earthâ€ society.
â€œThe flat earth crowd they have a different view. Theyâ€™d rather give $4 billion dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies this year than to invest in clean energy,” the president said.
Earlier in his energy tour, Mr. Obama also announced he wants to fast track production on the southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline â€“ a project the president has not always fully supported, and for which Mr. Obama took heat from republicans.
Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman told reporters Thursday that’s not good enough. Senator Portman said he wants the president to increase production along the entire pipeline that would stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.