Obama's Presser and Gas Prices: Which Time Were the Left Lying?

It may just be wishful thinking but Politico’s ‘Morning Energy’ today was dropping heavy hints they expected President Obama to use this morning’s presser to defend against any culpability of his policies in ‘skyrocketing’ gas prices.

Yeah, any such connection between Obama policies and energy prices is a pretty hard case to make, what with the Obama administration having immediately upon taking office canceled oil and gas leases, placed more areas off limits for domestic exploration and production, changing the Minerals Management Service to an offshore windmill permitting agency since all we need is some offshore windmills (not one but two senior administration officials have said this, including a cabinet secretary), then not letting the Gulf spill ‘go to waste’ by seizing it to strangle our biggest domestic source of oil.

Of course, there is also that long trail of aspirational comments, well beyond vowing to cause electricity prices to ‘skyrocket’, indicating this steady gas price hike is their objective, even if overseas developments are causing problems for them [helping the rise advance too quickly such that people pay attention, with these developments adding to the price hikes the admin have built in, with much more obviously undone but hopefully on the way]. As I detailed with many more admissions ten months ago in Power Grab.

Obviously, this is one of the items worrying Team Obama, along with their foreign policy fecklessness. And — in lieu of gimmickry to redirect voters’ gazes from policies that contribute to this, such as by releasing Strategic [NB: not ‘Political’] Petroleum Reserve crude — Obama cheerleaders (like Politico) note he could take the opportunity to push his “Clean Energy Standard”.

That’s one of the “other ways to skin the cat” after cap-and-trade failed legislatively. Of course, for one, that is an electricity standard, adding windmill and solar panel mandates that are superfluous to a GHG rationing scheme like EPA’s backdoor cap-n-trade. Because we drive wind- and solar-powered cars. Or something.

But speaking of EPA’s involvement in all of this, Speaker Boehner jabbed at it yesterday when co-incidentally rolling out the Republicans’ energy arguments, “American Energy”. This follows up Newt Gingrich’s chosen talking point — which of course draws no line to exclude stupid, costly and harmful ‘American energy’ like ethanol, windmills or solar panels, any more than that previous stab of “All of the Above”. Sigh. Will someone please stand up and yell “Stop!”?

Anyway, as part of that rollout the Speaker pointed out the administration’s policies including their regulations on greenhouse gases (EPA’s backdoor Kyoto) are responsible for some of the price hike.

Shocked, shocked! the Dems shrieked, how dare you, it’s idiotic to say that GHG regs on stationary sources like refineries increase the price of gasoline, per E&E News, in its lead story, ” Democrats cry foul over GOP’s attempts to tie fuel prices to EPA”:

“If they could fool people into believing there’s a connection, I think they would gain some political mileage, but it’s all deceptive,” said Rep. Henry Waxman of California [see below], the Energy and Commerce panel’s top Democrat and a chief author of that 2009 climate bill. “There’s no connection to EPA regulating greenhouse gases for certain stationary sources by requiring them to be more efficient and the price of gasoline.”…

“It reminds me of somebody who ate a hamburger and then ends up catching pneumonia and then says, ‘Hamburgers cause pneumonia,'” [Dem. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO)] said.

Mmm. There was also some muttering about how can rules that don’t go into effect until 2012 have contributed? — though they actually began taking effect January 2 [ See “the first step of this [EPA’s] Tailoring Rule, which will begin on January 2, 2011”, showing EPA thinks refineries are so not nice that they’re covered twice!: ” all of the covered sources … will simply be adding a GHG component to what would be an otherwise occurring permitting action for conventional pollutants. These sources include fossil fuel-fired power plants, petroleum refineries, cement plants, iron and steel plants, pulp and paper plants, petroleum refineries,…”.] Not much attention to detail by this crowd, either at EPA, or on the Hill.

But, still, wait a sec.

Does anyone remember that $30 million “Say No on 23” campaign by the Dems and their allies just this past fall? It included a long list of their claiming that Big Oil — specifically, refiners — were the dark forces behind trying to stop California’s version of Obama’s GHG regs (AB 32) from going into effect.

Which is it? a reporter might be prepared to ask today. Surely it will come up. It has to. Which time is your team lying, Mr. President? Was it, as you all said time and time — and time — again, the refiners who were behind the campaign saying that GHG regs will increase their costs — and yes, Virginia, costs are passed on to consumers — or is that now just a made up claim?

Did your team spend $tens of millions of dollars California saying refiners are the ones trying to stop GHG regs from going into effect by yelling about the cost, or not? Did we imagine this? Was that just made up?

If that did occur, why should we believe you now? And, if it was insincere, why should we believe you now? Or aren’t we better off believing all of those vows to raise our gas prices to Europe’s level, etc.?


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