President Barack Obama .
President Barack Obama reiterated his call to end billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies and instead invest in alternative energy sources.In his weekly radio and internet address, the president said
the US shouldn't be granting $4 billion (Dh14.68 billion) in tax breaks to oil companies at a time when they are reaping tens of billions of dollars in profit and gasoline prices have risen above $4 per gallon in much of the nation.
"While rising gas prices mean real pain for our families at the pump, they also mean bigger profits for oil companies," he said. "When oil companies are making huge profits and you're struggling at the pump, and we're scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren't right."
With the US projected to run deficits of more than $1 trillion this year and next, Obama has been seeking to
protect his initiatives on energy research from calls by Republicans and some Democrats in Congress to cut federal spending.
Obama said the government should be spending money on developing new energy sources, such as solar- and wind-power, and encouraging the development of energy-efficient technologies.
"I refuse to cut things like clean energy that will help America win the future by growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs," Obama said.
Obama's fiscal 2012 budget plan, unveiled on February 14, proposes eliminating oil and gas tax breaks estimated at $46.2 billion over 10 years.
They include $11.2 billion from the so-called percentage depletion deduction for oil and natural gas wells, which benefits small producers.
He made a similar proposal the year before that wasn't acted on by Congress.
In the Republican address, Representative James Lankford of Oklahoma countered that suspending the tax breaks is the same as raising taxes on energy producers and instead the federal government should focus on domestic oil production.
"Americans are looking for leadership to tackle the rising gas prices, but President Obama has only offered a tax increase on energy and the prospect of reduced supply," Lankford said.