Obama Takes Office: $1.84/ gallon
Today’s Price: $3.76/gallon
While briefing reporters today, President Obama said the White House is doing everything it can to cut the price of gas, yet the president failed to offer any new solutions to increase American energy supplies and help make prices more affordable. Again stating there is “no silver bullet” to reduce prices, the president continues to blame soaring prices on speculators and called for more clean energy projects and increased taxes. These are the same tired talking points from his 2008 presidential campaign except with a new twist -the president has finally acknowledged that any meaningful energy policy starts with an “all-of-the-above” strategy. But while the president may say he is for “all-of the-above” his actions say “nothing-from-below.”
“In three years under President Obama, we have seen average gas prices rise almost $2.00 per gallon. This is unacceptable and that is why the Energy and Power Subcommittee will be holding a hearing on gas prices tomorrow,” said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield. “President Obama continues to say that he supports an “˜all-of-the-above’ national energy strategy. Unfortunately, his actions and the actions of his administration have not followed in line with this statement.”
“With prices zeroing in on $4.00 a gallon, President Obama has begun to say some of the right things about high gas prices. But he continues to do all of the wrong things. In fact, the President’s approach has not changed since he took office in January of 2009,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)
Despite the president’s boasting, his administration has actively prevented domestic production through its moratorium on offshore drilling and increased permitting delays. In fact, the number of new federal oil and natural gas leases granted in 2010 was just over half the number granted in 2008, and oil production on federal lands in 2011 was 14 percent lower than the previous year. Overlaid on top of all of this is an unprecedented regulatory burden that contributes to refinery shutdowns and increased costs that get passed down to consumers at the pump. But perhaps the most blatant of the president’s anti-energy moves came when he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, denying the U.S. access to Canada’s rich oil sands, the third largest oil reserves in the world.
The House has passed multiple bills to increase domestic energy production, secure access to North American energy supplies, and help provide relief at the pump. If the president is serious about embracing “all-of-the-above” he should support these bills and urge his Democratic colleagues in the Senate to pass them as soon as possible. Has the president really had a change of heart? Or is this just more of the same empty rhetoric?