White House boasts on energy agenda

A dramatic expansion in U.S. domestic gas production and a drop in oil consumption puts the nation in a strong position to tackle climate change, argues a White House report released Thursday.

The report also says policies pursued by the White House have been instrumental in the developments.

It comes days before President Obama is expected to unveil the first carbon emissions restrictions for existing power plants, which is expected to set off a huge political fight with Republicans.

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The 42-page report released Thursday offers few new conclusions but includes a thorough analysis on the shocks and price volatility of dependency on petroleum imports.

It doesn't specifically address the forthcoming regulation on coal-fired power plants, which opponents argues will devastate the economy and cost the U.S. thousands of jobs.

But it's clear the report is meant to highlight administration arguments that green measures have helped reduce oil dependency while improving the environment ahead of the release of those rules.

The White House concludes that continued reduction in net oil imports is reducing the risk of oil price shocks that could hurt the economy. In addition, an increase in the use of biofuels, electric vehicles, natural gas, and other non-oil energy sources, which the administration says its policies have spurred, has led to a drop in oil imports. 

"The diversification of energy sources throughout the growth of natural gas and renewables has softened the link between world oil prices and domestic energy prices," the report states.

The report also highlights the positive economic impact of U.S. domestic oil production surpassing foreign imports for the first time since 1995.

The administration was quick to take credit when the Energy Department's statistic shop reported that milestone last October.

The White House argues Obama's policies on increased fuel economy standards led to this development.