March 3, 2011

Dear AP: Haley Barbour Is Right About Obama’s Gas-Price Wishes

Philip Elliott at the Obama White House’s state-compliant wire service reports, and distorts (bolds are mine):

Barbour says Obama cheers for higher gas prices

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a potential presidential contender, accused the Obama administration Wednesday of favoring a run-up in gas prices to prod consumers to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

Barbour cited 2008 comments from Steven Chu, now President Barack Obama’s energy secretary, that a gradual increase in gasoline taxes could coax consumers into dumping their gas-guzzlers and finding homes closer to where they work.

In 2008, while the head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Chu told The Wall Street Journal that energy prices were the lynchpin to an energy overhaul.

“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Chu said in September 2008.

Obama has distanced himself from those comments

Barbour could have gone directly to Obama to support his contention:

Obama: I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.

Without doubt, that means he’s okay with the idea of high gas prices.

I don’t recall that Barack Obama has ever “distanced himself” from this assertion, which, if I recall correctly, was also made at least a couple of times in campaign appearances.

Plenty of folks at Philip Elliott’s state-compliant wire service know darned well that Barack Obama said what he said in 2008, but want to make readers believe that it’s Haley Barbour who’s making it all up. It’s the AP which is making things up about the Obama and his administration’s position, as Conn Carroll at Heritage detailed this morning (bolds and paragraph breaks are mine):

… Back in February, when the protests in Egypt were first unfolding, Energy Secretary Steven Chu was asked what the Administration could do to combat rising world oil prices. Chu responded: “The best way America can protect itself against these incidents is to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, in fact to diversify our supply.”

It is now one month later and the Administration has not updated its talking points. Pressed on gas prices yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “We are also, as you have seen over the past two-plus years, very focused on the need precisely to develop other energy sources so that we are not as dependent on foreign oil as we have been in the past.”

So what are these “other energy sources” the White House has been developing? How does the White House plan to “diversify supply” to reduce gas prices? The answers are corn, wind, sun, and electric cars. And they won’t help a bit.

Phil Elliott, please note: There is no record of which I’m aware of Barack Obama “distancing himself” from Chu’s or Carney’s comments — and Carney supposedly speaks for him.

Cross-posted at


1 Comment

  1. For reference purposes here is a county by county map of up to date gas pricing:

    Notice the states with the highest unemployment have the highest gas prices. Extrapolate the unemployment to come by these states to the country as a whole as prices rise to Obama’s ideal gas price and you have a repeat of the 2008 economic meltdown.

    Any improvements in the job picture over the past two months will quickly evaporate at the worst possible time, the normal hiring cycle run up to June.

    Comment by dscott — March 4, 2011 @ 10:56 am

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