As gas prices loom near the $4-a-gallon mark, the Obama administration has been hit with a public outburst that could prove politically lethal. And while the President is quick to emphasize that he does not favor high gas prices, his administration is toting heavy baggage in the area of energy policy.
At a news conference last Tuesday, Obama told Fox News it is deceptive to suggest that the White House harbors a secret agenda to increase gas prices with the intent to curb Americans’ addiction to fossil fuels. "You think the president of the United States going into reelection wants gas prices to go up higher?" he asked. "Is that — is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense?"
However, then-incoming-Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s (pictured) 2008 remarks to the Wall Street Journal seem to assert the affirmative. "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," Mr. Chu told the Wall Street Journal in a September 2008 interview.
In response Obama's sinking approval ratings, Chu backpedaled on his former assertion during a Senate hearing on Tuesday. "Are you saying that you no longer share the view that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America?" Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked the Energy Secretary.
"I no longer share that view," Chu conceded. "But you did then, but you don't now?" Sen. Lee quickly retorted.
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