It was a Town Hall meeting like no other.

Answering real-time questions from Twitter users around the country, submitted via the twitter-verse hashtag #AskObama, President Obama spent an hour today discussing the state of the American economy. He repeatedly mentioned the positive impact a focused energy policy could make on job creation and economic growth.

“We have not had a serious energy policy for decades,” Obama said in response to a question concerning America’s dependence on foreign oil. “Every president talks about it and we don’t get it done. I’d like to see robust legislation in Congress that actually took some steps to reduce oil dependence.”

Obama blamed the current Republican-led Congress for stalling on energy policy and focusing instead on securing tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies.

“Unfortunately, we have not seen a sense of urgency coming out of Congress on this front,” he said.

He noted that while there was no silver bullet for solving the issue, policies that worked on slowly weaning the country from its oil addiction could be most effective.

“We are not going to be able to replace oil overnight, even if we are going full throttle on alternative energy solutions, but if we had a goal where we are just reducing our dependence on oil each year in staggered steps.”

Serious research and development investments must be made, he said, in cheap batteries for electric vehicles, fuel-efficient combustion engines, biofuels made from wood and algae rather than ethanol from corn, and in smart grid technology.

Alternative energy also has the capacity to boost the American economy, Obama said, if solar panels and wind turbines are manufactured in the United States. Manufacturing jobs, he said, produce a multiplier effect for the economy and support multiple jobs down the line.

To that end, Obama noted that the 2008 stimulus package provided the largest investment ever seen by the renewable fuels industry. Among the outcomes from the financing has been the tremendous growth of battery manufacturing in the United States.

We need to focus, he said, “on cars of the future instead of looking at big gas guzzlers of the past.”

Watch a video of the full hour-long Q&A event on Breaking Gov, a partner site under the new business-to-business media group, Breaking Industry.