by Gina-Marie Cheeseman
While gas prices soar above $4 a gallon, the GOP is blaming Obama. One member of Congress, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) even claimed that Obama “got his wish…he asked for $4 gasoline.” According to Scalise, Obama “implemented policies to get us there.” The Louisiana congressman conveniently forgets that we’ve seen gas prices this high before, and George W. Bush was president then.
Obama is showing signs that he is capable of firmly and effectively countering the attacks on him by the GOP. While speaking at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida on February 23, Obama blasted Republicans for their “three-point plan for $2 gas.” He went on to declare that the plan consists of nothing more than drilling. “Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling,” Obama said. “Well, the American people aren’t stupid,” Obama added. “They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.”
Obama said almost the same thing about the GOP plans for cheap gas while speaking at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire on March 1. There is no “magic three-point plans” to lower gas prices, Obama said.
Obama went on to tout what his administration has done to decrease U.S. dependency on foreign oil. He mentioned that six years ago 60 percent of oil imported, but in 2010 the amount of imported oil went under 50 percent for the first time in 13 years. “So when it comes to oil production, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years,” Obama said.
Under Obama’s administration, there have been “a near-record number of oil rigs” in operation, according to the president’s own words while speaking in New Hampshire. In fact, Obama bragged that there are now more operating oil and gas rigs in the U.S. than the “rest of the world combined.”
Hmmm, it seems to me that bragging about increasing oil, a fossil fuel that emits carbon emissions which causes climate change, production is not the way to energize Obama’s progressive base.
It should not come as a surprise to progressives that Obama would brag about increasing oil production. After all, in New Hampshire he called for an “all-of-the-above strategy that develops every single source of American energy” which includes fossil fuels. Taking a look at Obama’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future shows that his energy plan is a proverbial mixed bag. The plan includes both increasing renewable energy and “safe and responsible domestic oil and gas development production.” It encourages exploring “new frontiers of productions” in oil and gas.
The Blueprint is not all bad. It does call for a reduction of oil demand, and for diversifying the fuels used in vehicles. It also mentions that in Obama’s State of the Union address, he called for 80 percent of U.S. electricity generation to come from clean energy sources by 2035. However, those clean energy sources include nuclear power, natural gas and “clean” coal. Clearly, Obama needs to remember that climate change is real, and in order to avoid the worst of its affects, we need to keep the global temperature rise to just two degrees Celsius. Increasing production of fossil fuels, and continuing to use coal, will not keep us from keeping facing the worst climate change has to offer.