Amid piles of new pipe, Mr. Obama announced he's fast tracking approval for the south section of the keystone pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to Houston, Texas.
"Anyone who says that we're somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention," Mr. Obama said.
Critics charge the president is paying attention to public outrage and reversing himself on part of Keystone, but keeping the longer north section stalled under environmental review.
"It's hard to give the President a whole lot of credit for expediting something that he stopped last year," said Devon Energy executive chairman Larry Nichols.
Meanwhile, environmentalists aren't pleased with the president's move.
"This is about shipping some of the dirtiest oil on the planet through sensitive environmental areas," noted National Wildlife Federation executive director Adam Kolton.
GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum used the occasion to demand more U.S. oil to put in pipelines.
"That's one of the reasons you're seeing oil prices continue to go up, because the president refuses to open up lands to oil and gas exploration, particularly oil exploration," he claimed.
It's an issue Democrats worry will dog the president into the fall.
Mr. Obama is also reminding voters he's also hiking automotive fuel efficiency standards, so drivers don't have to buy as much fuel.