Obama called for a one-third reduction in U.S. oil imports by 2025 as part of a broad energy policy that also envisions a shift to cleaner-burning fuels.
The speech comes amid rising concern about higher gasoline prices at the pump. The president said rising gas prices show how urgently the U.S. needs a comprehensive energy policy.
Republicans say part of the current problem is the president's approach, including the slow pace for permits for new offshore oil wells.
Obama says the oil industry is "sitting on supplies of American energy just waiting to be tapped."
Obama has set a goal of relying on non-oil energy sources for 80 percent of U.S. electricity use by the year 2035.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.