"When asked by Harwood if higher gas prices were an incentive to shift to alternative means of energy, Obama said the U.S. has "been slow to move in a better direction when it comes to energy usage." When Harwood followed up and asked if the higher prices then could actually help, Obama responded this way:
"I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money into their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more quickly, particularly U.S. automakers, then I think ultimately, we can come out of this stronger and have a more efficient energy policy than we do right now.""