As pump prices hit $4 a gallon, Energy Secretary Steven Chu admits the administration has no interest in bringing them down. Is it any wonder Democrats are growing increasingly agitated with this White House?
At a hearing this week, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., specifically asked Chu if “the overall goal” of the administration is to “get our price down.” Chu’s answer was no.
In fact, he said that “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” which are in the neighborhood of $8 a gallon.
No, wait. That’s what Chu said about gasoline prices back in 2008, shortly before he took the Energy Department’s helm. What he really said was “the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up.”
Oops! That’s what Chu said last year when asked about gasoline prices. Here’s his answer: He “would have preferred a gradual increase” in prices.
Darn! That was Barack Obama talking about energy costs during his presidential run.
Chu’s actual answer fits right in with this mold. No, he said, the overall goal of the Obama administration is not to get prices down; the overall goal is “to decrease our dependency on oil.”
This has been a mantra of Obama’s for years: There’s nothing anyone can do about gasoline prices, so the only option is to find “alternative” fuel sources.
It’s total bunk. Recoverable oil has never been more plentiful, as the industry finds new sources and develops new drilling technologies. The oil boom in North Dakota is proof enough of that.
In fact, according to the Institute for Energy Research, there’s enough oil within our borders to supply our fuel needs for 250 years.
The problem is the country has put itself in an energy straight-jacket, in deference to environmental groups who challenge any and every effort to tap new oil supplies.
This situation predates Obama, but the fact is he’s done nothing to reverse it and much to make it worse. Indeed, he gives every indication of relishing high gasoline prices, since they help power his environmentalist agenda.
But now even some Democrats — sensing a political disaster in the making — are starting to put pressure on the president to confront pump prices head-on. That’s unlikely to happen, at least not as long as Obama keeps taking advice from Secretary Chu.