President Barack Obama is about to launch a 5,000-mile, four-state, two-day trip on Air Force One to contain the political damage caused by high gas prices.
Obama is slated to fly out this Wednesday to camera-ready podiums in Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado, from where he’ll tout his administration’s efforts to reduce the nation’s use of gasoline.
His 5,000-mile trip will consume roughly 25,000 gallons of jet fuel, according to Boeing.
That adds up to a fuel bill of $80,000, assuming the Air Force buys jet fuel at the cheapest cost, now estimated at $3.20 a gallon by the U.S. Energy Administration. The retail price for jet-fuel at local airports is just over $6 a gallon, including taxes.
Still, the cheapest jet-fuel costs about 43 cents less per gallon than the $3.63 cost of auto gasoline in Columbus, in swing-state Ohio, where the president will make his final speech on the trip.
The cost of gasoline is boosted by state taxes, which amount to roughly 40 cents per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks the cost of gasoline in each state. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Obama presidency)
The president’s support aircraft, including the C-17 cargo jets that carry his armored limousines and additional vehicles to cities before his arrival, will each burn a comparable amount of additional jet-fuel during the campaign swing.
GOP officials, unsurprisingly, are eager to associate Obama with high gasoline prices, which have more than doubled since his inauguration.
“We’re sitting on a wealth of energy to get us to a place where we don’t have $4 and $5 gas,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday.
“The Republicans have been in favor of the Keystone pipeline, 20,000 jobs, “ he said. “This president isn’t there.”
Obama will be in Boulder City, Nevada, on Wednesday to give a speech in front of a Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, whose one million solar panels provide power to 17,000 of the nation’s roughly 115 million homes. That’s 1 house for every 6,764 nationwide.
For the next speech, Obama will fly to oil and gas production fields located on federal lands outside of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The backdrop there will be provided by some of the area’s seventy active drilling rigs, which will help the president suggest that he helped increase the nation’s oil production since his inauguration.
Thursday’s background will be Cushing, Oklahoma, which hosts a large percentage of the nation’s oil storage yards and oil pipelines.
Those pipelines don’t include the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, whose construction go-ahead was barred last fall by Obama’s State Department block its construction.
In March, Obama successfully lobbied Democratic Senators to vote down a GOP measure that would have approved the pipeline, prompting more criticism from GOP legislators.
However, Obama will likely showcase his administrations’ approval of a pipeline from the Gulf of Mexico to Cushing. Administration officials often cite that smaller pipeline when they’re questioned about Obama’s opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which is supported by voters and some unions representing construction workers.