US President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, May 13, 2011
US President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, May 13, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama is announcing a new initiative to increase domestic oil production, while moving toward lowering the country's dependence on imported oil.

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said his administration plans to extend drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, and sections of Alaska.

The president says his team is looking at ways of simplifying the permitting process in Alaska that will impact oil prices in future.

Obama admits his initiatives will not impact current gasoline prices.

President Obama says a task force is now looking to root out fraud and any suspected price fixing, which may influence what consumers pay at the pump.

Obama is also calling on Congress to vote down next week the $4 billion in tax incentives for energy companies that raked in billions in profits this year.

He says the country would be better served by investing in clean energy technology.

In the Republican weekly address, Congresswoman Martha Roby called for the government to cut spending and address soaring gas prices.  She said the cost of energy is directly related to the cost of hiring workers and running businesses.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.