THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank the members of the House and the Senate, members of both parties, for a really constructive and important dialogue. We talked about ways to deal with America’s energy problem. And we talked about it in a very constructive way, and I want to thank the members for joining us.
We talked about the need to make sure our consumers are treated fairly, that there be fairness in the marketplace, and there was common consensus that we need to hold people to account if they’re not dealing squarely with the American consumer.
We talked about ways to help mitigate demand, and one way to do so is to encourage alternative automobiles, like hybrid automobiles. And there seemed to be an agreement that we ought to extend the tax credit for these kind of automobiles to encourage our consumers to purchase the hybrid automobile.
We talked about ways to — the need to research, to spend money for research and development, to change the fuels that we use in automobiles. One of the great promising sources of fuel is ethanol, and we talked about ways to encourage not only the production of ethanol, but the distribution of ethanol.
We talked about the need to continue research and development into new types of batteries so that the American consumer will be able to drive the first 40 miles on electricity. We talked about the need to increase supply of energy. One of the things that is necessary to help relieve price is to increase the amount of gasoline.
We talked about regulatory relief, to see to it that we can expand our refining capacity and build new refineries. If the American people want there to be a lower price of gasoline, we need more gasoline on the marketplace.
And so we talked about common-sense ideas. And I really do appreciate the members from both political parties thinking strongly about how we can work together to serve the American consumer and make us less dependent on foreign sources of oil. The prices of gasoline should serve as a wake-up call to all of us involved in public office, that we have got an energy security problem and a national security problem, and now is the time to deal with it in a forceful way. And I am heartened by the fact that we were able to have such a constructive dialogue, and that there’s a commitment to get good legislation out of the Congress.