Fact: President Barack Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” At the time he made the statement, gas cost $7 – $8 a gallon in Europe.
Fact: Since taking office, President Obama’s entire energy agenda has made a gallon of gas more expensive:
- Immediately after taking office in 2009, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, canceled 77 leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah.
- The EPA announced new rules mandating the use of 36 billion gallons worth of renewable fuels (like ethanol) by 2020.
- This summer President Obama needlessly instituted, not one, but two outright drilling bans in the Gulf of Mexico.
- After rescinding his outright offshore drilling ban, President Obama has refused to issue any new drilling permits in the Gulf, a policy that the Energy Information Administration estimates will cut domestic offshore oil production by 13% this year
- Interior Secretary Salazar announced that the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast, and the Pacific coast will not be developed, effectively banning drilling in those areas for the next seven years;
- The Environmental Protection Agency has announced new global warming regulations for oil refineries;
- Interior Secretary Salazar announced new rules making it more difficult to develop energy resources on federal land.
All of these policies raise gas prices at the pump by either: 1) decreasing the availability of domestic energy supplies, or 2) increasing regulatory costs on gasoline production.
President George Bush was no saint when it came to free market energy policies either. He mandated the use of ethanol, put off opening up the Outer Continental Shelf till the end of his second term, supported the expansion of renewable energy tax credits, tried to subsidize the nuclear power industry, and caved into environmental pressure by allowing the EPA to begin the global warming regulation process.
But as two time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells says, “You are what your record says you are.” And the facts are these: during the first two years under President Barack Obama, gas prices have risen 55%. You can compare that to the 5% drop in gas prices during the first two years of President Bush’s term or the 2% drop under the first two years of President Clinton’s term. Neither President Bush nor President Clinton had perfect energy policies. But neither of them appointed an Energy Secretary who wanted Americans to pay $9 for a gallon of gas either.