President Obama called for more domestic oil and gas production, saying that "a future where we're in control of our own energy" is within reach, where the nation's security and prosperity would not be so closely linked to unstable parts of the world.
Toward that end, he said his administration would open more than 75 percent of potential offshore oil and gas resources for development.
The president stressed that the country already has progressed toward energy independence and used less foreign oil last year "than in any of the past 16 years."
The president also stressed his continued commitment to clean energy, despite the criticism his administration faced after the solar company Solyndra went bankrupt — even though it had received more than $500 million in loan guarantees.
"Some technologies don't pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy," Obama said.
He conceded that the climate on Capitol Hill is not right for legislation to fight global warming, but he called on Congress to pass bills to improve energy efficiency and set a clean energy standard to require that a certain portion of the country's electricity comes from renewable sources like wind and solar.
Other new energy initiatives Obama mentioned included:
-- Hosting enough clean energy projects on public land to power 3 million homes with electricity.
-- Requiring companies to disclose the chemicals they use when they drill for gas on public lands.