tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, saying the nation needs to develop alternative sources of energy in the face of rising .
Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address that he expected Congress to consider in the next few weeks halting $4 billion in tax subsidies, something he hasn't been able to get through Congress throughout his presidency. He said the vote would put lawmakers on record on whether they "stand up for oil companies" or "stand up for the American people."
"They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century or they can place their bets on America's future," Obama said.
Industry officials and many Republicans in Congress have argued that cutting the tax breaks would lead to higher fuel prices, raising costs on oil companies and affecting their investments in exploration and production. The measure is considered a long shot in Congress, given that Obama couldn't end the subsidies when Democrats controlled Congress earlier in his term.
Republican presidential candidates have accused Obama of delaying drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska and faulted him for not advancing the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. They have also criticized policies pursued by the Environmental Protection Agency as inhibiting energy development.