Energy Policy and Government

Recall that not-yet-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said in 2008

Somehow we have to find a way to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.

In light of rapidly rising gasoline prices in the last few weeks, now Secretary of Energy Chu testified before the House Appropriations Committee earlier this week.  In the course of that appearance, he answered a question from Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R, MI) about whether it “is the overall goal to get our price” of gasoline down.  “No,” answered Chu.  “The overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil….”

Coupled with the Obama administration’s slow-walking of permits—even after a Federal court had ordered the administration to quit stalling—for deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama’s killing of the Keystone XL pipeline, his refusal to allow drilling on Federal lands, and on and on, it’s quite clear the Obama has no intention of expanding America’s access to domestic oil and gas any faster than he absolutely has to, being dragged kicking and screaming to greater production.  He’s not at all interested in lower gasoline prices, or in lower energy prices generally.  Not at the expense of his (heavily subsidized) “green” energy projects.

Even knowing, as he surely does, that every 25₵ increase in the price of gasoline takes $35 billion annually out of the economy—out of the hands of Americans—he’s not interested.  Never mind the money taken out of Americans’ hands by higher home heating costs through higher oil and gas prices (which underlie the rising gasoline prices), or the higher costs of air travel from resulting higher jet fuel costs, or the higher cost of goods shipping, or the higher costs of production—and so higher end-product costs to us consumers—from higher energy costs to our manufacturers, and….

Later, at his daily mid-day press conference hosted by his Press Secretary, Jay Carney, Obama even tried to pretend he was unaware of his Energy Secretary’s testimony.

Reporters today asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about Energy Secretary Stephen Chu’s controversial statement about gas prices.

“I am not aware of that statement or the characterization that you have given it,” Carney replied.

Obama then claimed, through Chu’s follow-up Congressional testimony Thursday, that he really did want to lower the price of gasoline.  How, though, is it possible to believe him?

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