President Obama and Mitt Romney are both calling on the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign oil, though their plans differ. Here, workers with Bramwell Petroleum set up a derrick for a new oil well near Spivey, Kan., in March.
Credit Lauren Purkey / MCT/Landov
The Obama administration has set higher fuel economy standards for cars and promoted alternative energy sources. Here, a Ford Focus electric car is shown during a test drive in San Jose, Calif., in July.
The pressing energy issue in the 2008 presidential campaign was how to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Four years later, the drive for "green energy" has been replaced by a new imperative: the need to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"I will set a national goal of North American energy independence by 2020," Mitt Romney declared during a campaign speech in August. "That means we produce all the energy we use in North America."
He reiterated that goal in the opening minutes of the presidential candidates' debate in Denver this week.
President Obama takes the stage Friday during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Supporters of Republican Mitt Romney during a campaign rally Thursday in Fishersville, Va.
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, a Democrat
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Wendy Leedy, John Gaugush and 3-month-old Isabel at the annual craft fair in Occoquan. Says Gaugush: "I think most people in America are not far right, and not far left, but are forced to pick one or the other."
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:50 pm
Barack Obama made history in Virginia four years ago when, on his way to winning the White House, he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state in more than four decades.
His surprisingly comfortable 53-46 percent win over Republican John McCain mirrored more closely than any other state the 2008 national result and provided potent evidence of demographic and economic changes that have been sweeping the Old Dominion.
It's more diverse, wealthier, better educated than ever before.
Gas prices spiked overnight Thursday by as much as 20 cents per gallon in parts of California, causing some stations to close and shocking many customers.
According to The Associated Press, the average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon. In other parts of the country, gas prices have fallen. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices in the continental U.S. at $3.49 a gallon.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:53 pm
Ryan Andresen spent 12 years as a Boy Scout. Now that he's 17 and about to graduate from high school, he completed the final requirement to receive the Eagle Scout award, which signifies the highest rank in the organization.
Except, according to his mother, Karen, when he submitted the paperwork, the scoutmaster for Troop 212 in the San Francisco Bay Area told him he could not give him the Eagle Scout honor because Andresen is gay.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:09 pm
To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:22 pm
With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.
The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.
Republican Mitt Romney delivers a needed jolt to his campaign at the first presidential debate. Ron Elving and Ken Rudin dissect the memorable moments and look ahead to next week's matchup between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political news in this week's roundup.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, it's time for "Faith Matters." That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. In a few minutes, we will hear from an American monk who has been tapped to lead one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism, and we think you will be interested to hear of his unusual path to his current place.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the sweeping move to modernize the Catholic church known as Vatican II turns 50. We'll talk about that in Faith Matters in just a few minutes.
But, first, it's still all about the economy. The economy is still center stage this election season. This morning's jobs numbers are providing fresh material for the ongoing contest between the candidates and their philosophies and records.
"After a legal battle covering several years in each case, five suspected terrorists, including radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri will be extradited to the U.S, U.K. judges have ruled." And, the BBC adds, Britain's Home Office "said it welcomed the High Court's decision. 'We are now working to extradite these men as quickly as possible,' a spokesman said."
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:27 am
The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August even though just 114,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Those hard-to-reconcile figures — a decline in the jobless rate even though job growth was relatively weak — appear to be at least partly explained by a sharp increase in the number of Americans who found part-time jobs and counted themselves as employed.