The White House Blog: The President

  • Safe and Responsible Oil and Gas Production as Part of President Obama’s All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy

    President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is working – enhancing our energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring economic growth.

    Since the President took office, U.S. production of electricity from wind has more than tripled, production of electricity from solar is up more than ten-fold, and production of oil and gas has grown each year. Today, the U.S. is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas.

    Let’s drill down on the facts:

    • According to Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates, U.S. crude oil production averaged more than 7.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2013, up from 5.0 million bpd in 2008. And that was just last year: EIA expects production to increase to more than 8.4 million bpd in 2014; U.S. crude oil production averaged nearly 8.2 million bpd in March already.
    • Domestic natural gas production is on pace to set a new record high in 2014. EIA estimates marketed production averaged more than 72 billion cubic feet per day in March, up more than 5 percent from March of last year and up nearly 25 percent from 2008.
    • The number of oil and gas drilling rigs has grown over the last four years. As of April 2014, there were 1,835 operating oil and gas rigs, up over 18 percent from 1,553 when President Obama took office in January 2009.


  • Our Climate Action Progress: One-Year Report

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on climate change, at Georgetown University

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on climate change, at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., June 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    The effects of climate change are already being felt across the nation. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital. The impacts of extreme weather events – from more severe droughts and wildfires in the West, to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves – are hitting communities across the country. These changes come with far-reaching consequences and real economic costs.

    At the same time, clean energy represents a significant economic opportunity, and we know we can meet this challenge in a way that advances our economy, our environment, and public health at the same time. 

    That is why, on this day last year, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan – a comprehensive plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to combat global climate change.

    One year later, the Administration has made real progress in advancing the goals in the President’s Climate Action Plan. The policies President Obama has put forward in just one year – when implemented – are expected to cut nearly 3 billion tons of carbon pollution between 2020 and 2025. That’s an amount equivalent to taking more than 600 million cars off the road for a year.


  • Third Estimate of GDP for the First Quarter of 2014

    First-quarter GDP was revised down today, largely reflecting updated estimates of consumer spending on health care, which was substantially lower than originally reported, as well as exports, which were below the initial estimates. The GDP data can be volatile from quarter to quarter; a range of other data show a more positive picture for the first quarter, and more up-to-date indicators from April and May suggest that the economy is on track for a rebound in the second quarter. The recovery from the Great Recession, however, remains incomplete, and the President will continue to do everything he can to support the recovery, either by acting through executive action or by working with Congress on steps that would boost growth and speed job creation.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This drop follows an increase of 3.4 percent at an annual rate in the second half of 2013. The entire decline in overall GDP in the first quarter can be accounted for by a decline in exports and a slowdown in inventory investment, two particularly volatile components of GDP. In addition, several components were likely affected by unusually severe winter weather, including consumer spending on food services and accommodations, which fell for the first time in four years.


  • Senate Delays Hurting Our National Security

    As the President’s National Security Advisor, I am focused every day on keeping our country secure and our citizens – at home and abroad – safe. But these goals are hindered and our stature abroad is weakened when we are not fielding a full team. That’s why I urge the Senate to let the President’s qualified ambassadorial nominees get to work on behalf of the American people.

    Right now, 48 nominees for ambassador are pending and 26 are on the Executive Calendar and eligible for confirmation by the full Senate – 16 of whom are career Foreign Service Officers. Together, all ambassadorial nominees have been waiting an average of 161 days, while those on the Executive Calendar have been waiting an average of 262 days. This is simply too long.

    These crucial posts are vacant and American interests are therefore underrepresented. The longer we wait to fill these roles the harder it becomes to maintain our effective American diplomacy.


  • Here's What You Missed: The White House Summit on Working Families

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Yesterday, the White House, in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress, hosted a Summit on Working Families with the aim of having a national conversation and set a concrete agenda to bring American workplaces into the 21st century.

    That conversation brought together businesses, economists, labor leaders, legislators, advocates, and working citizens to talk through the very real issues facing the full spectrum of working families — from low-wage workers to executives.

    And you didn't have to be in Washington to join in. Americans across the country tuned in and raised their voices online.

    As Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett noted yesterday: "This is a movement, not a moment." So if you missed the event yesterday, you can still add your voice. Take a look at our recap of yesterday's Summit, and if you've got a story tell — get involved.


  • Dan Pfeiffer: "POTUS Replies"

    This morning, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list to share the story of Rebekah -- a hardworking mom from Minneapolis who wrote the President to share her story, and will meet with him later this week.

    Didn't get the email? Be sure to sign up.


    Hi, all --

    Every day, the Office of Presidential Correspondence sorts through thousands of letters. Every night, President Obama reads ten of them. Some people write to share what his decisions mean in their daily lives, to talk about the economy, or to ask a question about a policy. Others just write in to say hello.

    Each letter is a chance for President Obama to hear directly from folks across the country about the sorts of issues they face every day.

    The President makes notes in the margins, and sits down to reply personally. He often sends the letters to the staff as reminder of what we are fighting for or to ask us to follow up on an issue raised in the letter. So when Rebekah, a hardworking mom from Minneapolis, wrote in to share how much harder it's become to get ahead and do right by her family, you can bet the President set that letter aside for a reply.

    But he's not just doing that. He's meeting Rebekah in person this Thursday to spend a day in her shoes. Watch President Obama tell her story, and find out why he's traveling to her town.


  • Raw Video: President Obama Stops for Lunch at Chipotle

    Ahead of the Working Families Summit today, President Obama stopped by a local Chipotle in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. for a burrito bowl, and a conversation with a few working parents.

    It was an opportunity for him to hear from Americans balancing the responsibilities of work and family -- aided by companies with flexible, supportive policies -- and he was "looking forward to comparing notes about changing diapers."

    Policies like paid leave and flexible hours aren't just smart for parents, they're smart for business. As President Obama said, "not only do families benefit and children benefit, but the businesses benefit and the economy benefits."

    Watch the video: 

    Watch on YouTube


  • Live from the White House Summit on Working Families:

    The White House Summit on Working Families is happening today -- and businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens are joining together for a national conversation about how we can update our workplaces to better help families in the 21st century succeed at work and at home. 

    Americans both at the Summit and around the country are adding their voices to that conversation. Take a look at what they're saying -- and add your own voice using #FamiliesSucceed. 


  • Watch from Anywhere: The White House Summit on Working Families

    Today is the White House Summit on Working Families -- bringing together businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens for a national conversation about how we can create workplace policies that give modern American families the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

    Americans across the country are tuning in and adding their voices from their desks, living rooms, and dining room tables.

    Don't miss a thing -- here are all the ways you can participate in the Summit, no matter where you are:

    • Follow along online at www.workingfamiliessummit.org. There, you'll find a full schedule of speakers, and panels -- as well as a livestream of all of the main remarks and plenary sessions. In between, HuffPost Live will host and moderate digital breakout sessions featuring Summit particpants and Americans from around the country, via Google+ Hangout.
    • Add your voice to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FamiliesSucceed. We'll be tweeting remarks and helpful facts and graphics from White House accounts all day. Follow the conversation, and add your voice.
    • Join Facebook Q&A Sessions, live from the Summit. Summit participants are sitting down for Facebook Q&A’s all day to discuss key issues and answer your questions. Check out the full schedule here and be sure to follow along on Facebook.com/WhiteHouse.
    • Share how 21st-century workplace policies would help your working family succeed. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/working-families to share what your working family looks like, and how you'll be uniquely helped by 21st-century workplace policies. There will also be a story-sharing wall at the Summit, where attendees can fill out cards with this information and post their own story in a central location.
    • Read the President's op-ed on the Huffington Post. The President's op-ed, which discusses the need for family-friendly policies in our workplaces, is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families, leading up to today's White House Summit on Working Families. Take a look, and then read them all here.


  • Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills -- They're Basic Needs

    This morning, the Huffington Post published the following op-ed from the President, discussing the need for family-friendly policies in our workplaces. The op-ed is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families, leading up to today's White House Summit on Working Families.

    Watch the Summit live at www.workingfamiliessummit.org.


    As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead. 

    That’s the subject of the first White House Summit on Working Families, which is taking place today. We’re bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day and how we can address them.