President Obama Touts Energy Plan at OSU

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- President Obama ended his two-day energy tour with a speech at Ohio State University.

Thursday evening, the President toured the OSU Center for Automotive Research.

One of the students who helped design an electric car called the “Buckeye Bullet” talked about what it was like to meet the president.

“He was really nice. He had questions for everyone. He really engaged with us,” said student Evan Maley.

OSU is home to some of the most advanced energy-related research and development. After touring the school that claims the fastest electric car in the world, Mr. Obama said, “It is a testament to the ingenuity here at Ohio State and what is essential to American leadership when it comes to energy, our brain power.”

The President of the Council of Graduate Students, Vijay Gadepally, got the chance to meet Mr. Obama in person before introducing him on stage.

“He was such a friendly person. You don't feel like you're talking to the leader of the free world, very easy to talk to,” said Gadepally.

At a time when gas prices are hovering near $4 a gallon, promoting the nation’s energy plan is not easy.

“Every president talks about lowering gas prices,” said Amanda Sabol.

“More drilling is not the only solution,” said President Obama. “We shouldn't have to pay more at the pump every time there's instability in the Middle East, which is the main reason gas prices are going up right now.”

Domestic drilling has significantly increased over the past eight years. That’s according to President Obama, who said the U.S. has quadrupled its oil rigs to a record high.

“Over the last three years, we've opened millions of acres of land in 23 different states for oil and gas exploration. That's a fact,” said Obama.

Besides expanding oil and gas production, the president’s energy strategy also includes clean and renewable energy.

“We also need to develop wind power, solar power, advance biofuels,” said Obama.

The president’s speech was the fourth and final stop of his two-day tour.

Student Russ Johnston said, “It was just an exciting speech. He's always a captivating speaker.”