Yesterday, after a Republican lawmaker reminded him of his now-infamous 2008 comment that gas prices in the U.S. should be as high as in Europe, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu told House appropriators that the Energy Department isn’t working to lower gasoline prices.
Instead, during the hearing on the DOE’s budget, he said the DOE is working to promote alternatives such as biofuels and electric vehicles.
Ed Morrissey, said, “at least he gave an honest answer”:
“We agree there is great suffering when the price of gasoline increases in the United States, and so we are very concerned about this,” said Chu, speaking to the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee. “As I have repeatedly said, in the Department of Energy, what we’re trying to do is diversify our energy supply for transportation so that we have cost-effective means.”
Chu specifically cited a reported breakthrough announced Monday by Envia Systems, which received funding from DOE’s ARPA-E, that could help slash the price of electric vehicle batteries.
He also touted natural gas as “great” and said DOE is researching how to reduce the cost of compressed natural gas tanks for vehicles.
High gasoline prices will make research into such alternatives more urgent, Chu said.
“But is the overall goal to get our price” of gasoline down, asked Nunnelee.
“No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy,” Chu replied. “We think that if you consider all these energy policies, including energy efficiency, we think that we can go a long way to becoming less dependent on oil and [diversifying] our supply and we’ll help the American economy and the American consumers.”
The Heritage Foundation jumped all over Chu’s comments:
As shocking as his remarks are, they shouldn’t come as a surprise. Chu has a long record of advocating for higher gas prices. In 2008, he stated, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Last March, he reiterated his point in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, noting that his focus is to ease the pain felt by his energy policies by forcing automakers to make more fuel-efficient automobiles. “What I’m doing since I became Secretary of Energy has been quite clear. What I have been doing is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices.”
One of those methods is dumping taxpayer dollars into alternative energy projects like the Solyndra solar plant. Another is subsidizing the purchase of high-cost electric cars like the Chevy Volt to the tune of $7,500 per car (which the White House wants to increase to $10,000). In both cases, those methods aren’t working. Solyndra went bankrupt because its product couldn’t bear the weight of market pressures, and Chevy Volts aren’t selling, even with taxpayer-funded rebates. What’s the president’s next plan? Harvesting “a bunch of algae” as a replacement for oil.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is seemingly doing everything it can to make paying for energy even more painful by refusing to open access to the country’s oil and gas reserves and blocking new projects that would lead to the development of more energy in America. Case in point: the president’s decision to say “no” to the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have delivered hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from Canada to Texas refineries, while bringing thousands of jobs along with it.
No wonder I’ve been noticing an uptick in my stats on this post from April, 2011 on the gas pump sticky note campaign.
The idea originated with the blogger, Disrupt the Narrative, who provided a PDF you could download and print. Now, a simpler sticky-note crusade is gaining steam all across America. The Facebook site, The ‘Hope and Change’ Sticky Note Campaign, is dedicated to spreading the word about this grassroots activism:
****** “America’s GAS-ROOTS movement”! ******
Purchase a pad of large sticky notes. Write on each one, “How’s that Hope & Change working out for you?” Every time you stop to fill your vehicle with gas, place your sticky note somewhere on the pump before you drive away. DO NOT be destructive in ANY way! Place your sticky note somewhere, so as not to impede the next customer’s ability to read the pump’s digital readout.
After placing your sticky note, please consider taking a digital picture, then uploading it to our wall. Please tell us in which city and state the picture was taken. This is meant to be a “quiet” protest by our silent majority of Americans, to be served upon this administration!! Thank you all for your support!
Make sure to place your sticky note carefully, so you don’t impede the next customer’s ability to read the pump’s digital readout.
This RNC ad hits Obama for his failure to advance “a comprehensive energy plan.”
Governor Bobby Jindal, recently did a brilliant job specifying what Obama could (but won’t) do to improve the situation.