CUSHING — President Barack Obama's speech near Cushing on Thursday drew strong opinions and protests from a variety of interest groups.
Crowds along the motorcade route held signs with a variety of messages including “Drill, baby, drill,” “Oklahomans for Obama,” “Stop Keystone” and “Tar Sands are Toxic.”
Americans for Prosperity opposed the president for his efforts to promote renewable energy with tax credits and other incentives at the expense of the oil and natural gas industry.
“The truth is the Obama administration has repeatedly blocked domestic energy production, vilified the oil and gas industry and actually cheered the rise of fuel prices,” AFP President Tim Phillips said. AFP activists held signs and rallied in Cushing while the president gave his speech.
The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance had a similar message.
“President Obama's message of support for the oil industry is completely disingenuous because he has spent three years discouraging oil production,” said Mike Cantrell, Oklahoma oilman and member of the producers alliance. “He stands up there and takes credit for the things the private sector has done without him.”
While some protesters said the president is not providing enough support to the oil and natural gas industry, others criticized the president for relying too heavily on fossil fuels in his energy agenda.