That was President Barack Obama’s message to American consumers on Tuesday as he discussed near six year-low gas prices in an interview with The Detroit News ahead of a visit to Michigan on Wednesday to tout the recovery of the auto industry and the growth of American manufacturing.
“I would strongly advise American consumers to continue to think about how you save money at the pump because it is good for the environment, it’s good for family pocketbooks and if you go back to old habits and suddenly gas is back at $3.50, you are going to not be real happy,” Obama said.
The nationwide average is sitting just below $2.20 a gallon and many gas stations around the country are advertising gas prices below $2 a gallon.
But instead of returning to “old habits,” Obama advised Americans to save their money, “or better yet” use the savings to buy a new car, for example.
He said Americans should “not believe that” gas prices won’t rise again, explaining that demand for oil in booming countries like China and India will continue to rise, kicking costs back up. Oil prices have dropped more than 50% in recent months, falling below $50 a barrel for the first time since 2009 on Monday.
Many members of Congress are counting on gas prices to remain low, however, as they hope to use the low prices as an opportunity to increase the gas tax for the first time in more than two decades.
As he touts the results of his bailout of the auto industry on Wednesday, Obama will also promote fuel efficiency at the Ford plant he is set to visit, which produces alternative fuel vehicles and small cars, The News reported.
Obama gave the newspaper a preview of his speech Wednesday, in which he is expected to tout the resurgence of the auto industry and the boom of American manufacturing — two key points of his plan for economic recovery, and elements he hopes will become a part of his legacy as president.
“The auto industry has led a resurgence of manufacturing in America,” Obama said. “The quality of the cars has gotten so much better that we are competitive — not just in SUVs — but up and down the line. The branding of American cars is back to where it should be. Michigan’s unemployment rate has fallen faster than the overall employment rate.”