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Just More Words: Hypocrisy At The Pump

- February 22, 2012

In Response To Skyrocketing Gas Prices, Obama Tries To Take Credit For Policy Actions That He Once Campaigned Against

With Gas Prices Reaching More Than $3.50 A Gallon, The “Highest They’ve Ever Been This Time Of Year,” The Obama White House Is Forced To Play “Defense” On Gas Prices. “The White House seemed to play defense today against Republican presidential candidates criticizing President Obama’s handling of gas prices, which at more than $3.50 per gallon, are the highest they’ve ever been this time of year.” (Ali Weinberg, “White House On Defense Over Gas Prices,” MSNBC’s First Read, 2/20/12)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Pushed A Houston Chronicle Story Which Noted That Increased Offshore Drilling Is Fueling Stepped-Up Oil Production. “Late Monday morning, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Tweeted a link to a Houston Chronicle story on increased oil production, which the White House press office forwarded to reporters less than an hour later. The article notes that shale oil fields and increased offshore drilling -- as well as a dip in the value of natural gas -- is fueling stepped-up oil production.” (Ali Weinberg, “White House On Defense Over Gas Prices,” MSNBC’s First Read, 2/20/12)

  • “About 40 Minutes After Carney’s Tweet, The White House Press Office Forwarded The Article To Reporters, With The Article’s Title In The Subject Line: ‘FORWARDING: “U.S. Oil Gusher Blows Out Projections.”‘” (Ali Weinberg, “White House On Defense Over Gas Prices,” MSNBC’s First Read, 2/20/12)

The White House Also Circulated A Release From The Department Of Interior That Announced An Agreement With Mexico Over Further Drilling In The Gulf. “Seeking to perhaps further blunt criticisms like Gingrich’s, the White House also circulated a release from the Department of Interior Monday that announced an agreement with Mexico over further drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” (Ali Weinberg, “White House On Defense Over Gas Prices,” MSNBC’s First Read, 2/20/12)

GAS PRICES HAVE SKYROCKETED UNDER OBAMA

The Associated Press: “Gas Prices Are Highest Ever For This Time Of Year.” (Chris Kahn, “Gas Prices Are highest Ever For This Time Of Year,” The Associated Press, 2/19/12)

The National Average For Regular Gasoline Has Never Seen Gas Prices Rise Above $3.50 A Gallon This Early In The Year, As The National Average Hit $3.523 In February. “U.S. motorists have seen the national average for regular gasoline rise above $3.50 a gallon in just three different years, but it has never happened this early. The national average hit $3.523 a gallon, the Energy Department said Monday, up 4.1 cents from a week earlier.” (Ronald D. White, “Never Before Have Gas Prices Risen So High So Early In The Year,” Los Angeles Times, 2/14/12)

“Analysts Said The Early Price Shocker Is Likely A Sign That Pain At The Pump Will Rise To Some Of The Highest Levels Ever This Year.” (Ronald D. White, “Never Before Have Gas Prices Risen So High So Early In The Year,” Los Angeles Times, 2/14/12)

The Average Price For A Gallon Of Regular In The Midwest Is Up 32 Cents From A Year Ago And $1.59 More Than The Day Obama Took Office. “The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the Midwest was $3.41 last week, up 32 cents from a year ago and $1.59 more than the day Obama became president.” (Dave Helling, “Higher Gasoline Prices Could Stall Recovery, Obama’s Reelection,” Boston Herald, 2/21/12)

“Nationally, Drivers Started This Week Paying On Average $3.565 For A Gallon Of Regular Gas, Up More Than 5% In The Last Month.” (Don Lee and Matt Stevens, “Surging Prices Threaten To Derail Economic Recovery,” Los Angeles Times, 2/20/12)

 “2011 Closed Out As The Year With The Highest Average Annual Oil Price In The 150-Year History Of The Modern Oil Industry” And U.S. Gasoline Process Hit An All Time Record Annual High For A Gallon Of Regular. “Already, 2011 closed out as the year with the highest average annual oil price in the 150-year history of the modern oil industry at $111 for a barrel of Brent crude, 13 percent higher than the previous record of $98 a barrel in 2008. U.S. gasoline prices also reached a record annual average high at $3.52 for a gallon of regular.” (Coral Davenport, “Rising Oil Prices Could Fuel Political Rage,” National Journal, 1/7/12)

OBAMA CAN’T TAKE CREDIT FOR INCREASED DOMESTIC PRODUCTION

“He Doesn’t Want To Admit It, But President Obama Is Taking Credit For Something George W. Bush Did. The White House Is Touting Federal Data That Shows Domestic Oil Production Is At Its Highest Level Since 2003.” (Amy Harder, “Obama’s Fuzzy Oil Production Math,” National Journal, 3/17/11)

  • For 2009 And 2010, Oil Production Numbers Are Due To Actions Taken Before Obama Became President, Especially Since He Didn’t Take Any Major Action To Expand Offshore Drilling In His First Year. “While Bush was in office from 2001 to 2009, the oil and gas industry saw many new leases and other expanded drilling opportunities. In March 2010, Obama announced plans to expand offshore drilling, but he retreated in the aftermath of the BP oil spill. According to EIA’s short-term 2011 outlook, released last week, oil production was significantly higher in 2009 than in the years prior. Obama may have been in office for most of that year, but the oil production numbers are due to action taken before he became president. In 2010, most if not all of the production increase recorded is likely due to action that predates Obama, since Obama didn’t take any major action expanding offshore drilling his first year in office.” (Amy Harder, “Obama’s Fuzzy Oil Production Math,” National Journal, 3/17/11)

Obama Oversells The Government’s Influence On The Energy Industry And Many Wells Coming In To Production Were Planned Before He Was President. “Obama is not only hoping that simple, rock-solid statistic will silence his GOP critics, he’s angling to get some credit for the trend as he navigates a tricky re-election campaign. But he oversells the government’s influence on the industry and ignores the fact that many wells coming into production were planned years ago, before he was president.” (Dina Cappielo, “FACT CHECK: Obama, GOP Spin Recent Energy Stats,” The Associated Press, 2/6/12)

OBAMA IS NOW TRYING TO GET CREDIT FOR TAKING ACTIONS HE DENOUNCED IN 2008

Obama Campaigned In Opposition To Offshore Drilling

Obama Said That Drilling Was A “Strategy Designed To Get Politicians Through An Election.” OBAMA: “This is not a strategy designed to end our energy crisis - it’s a strategy designed to get politicians through an election, and that’s exactly why Washington has failed to do anything about our energy dependence for the last thirty years.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall Meeting, Cedar Rapids, IA, 7/31/08)

Obama Called Offshore Drilling A “Scheme.” OBAMA: “Now the latest scheme is well, we’re going to drill offshore. Now, I want to be absolutely clear to everybody about this. If I thought that I could provide you some immediate relief on gas prices by drilling off the shores of California and New Jersey, I understand how desperate folks are. I met a guy who couldn’t go on a job search that lost his job, couldn’t go on a job search because of the high price of gas. Just couldn’t fill up his tank. I met a teacher in South Dakota who loved her job as a teacher on an Indian reservation, she had to quit because the drive was too far, it was taking up too much of her paycheck. I know how bad people are hurting. So If I thought that by drilling offshore, we could solve our problem, I’d do it.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08)

Obama Said That Drilling Will Not “Solve Our Problem” And That Its “Not Real.” “‘If I thought that by drilling offshore we could solve our problem, I’d do it … This is not real. I know it’s tempting. The polls say the majority of Americans think it’s one way we’ll resolve our problems, but it’s not real.” (John Whitesides, “Obama, Mccain Duel Over Celebrity Ad, Attacks,” Reuters, 7/30/08)

  • Obama: “So If I thought that by drilling offshore, we could solve our problem, I’d do it. This is not real. I know it’s tempting. The polls say the majority of Americans think that’s one of the ways we’re going to solve this problem, but it’s not real.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08)

Unlike Today, Obama Said In 2008 That Offshore Drilling Would Not Lower Gas Prices

In 2008, Obama Said That Offshore Drilling Will Not Drop Prices At The Pump For At Least Three Administrations. “Obama, facing polls that show most Americans favor lifting the moratorium on new drilling sites, acknowledged the pressure to back the policy. But, he said, it would not yield lower prices at the pump. ‘It won’t drop prices in this administration, the next administration or the administration after that,’ he said. ‘Although it won’t save you dollars at the pump, I will say it has raised campaign dollars.’“ (Thomas Beaumont, “Obama Bites Back At McCain On Energy,” Des Moines Register, 8/1/08)

Obama: “Offshore Drilling Would Not Lower Gas Prices Today. It Would Not Lower Gas Prices Tomorrow. It Would Not Lower Gas Prices This Year. It Would Not Lower Gas Prices Five Years From Now.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Availability, Jacksonville, FL, 6/20/08)

  • Obama: “Believe me, if I thought there was any evidence at all that drilling could save people money who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks by this summer or this year, or even the next few years, I would consider it, but it won’t.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Availability, Jacksonville, FL, 6/20/08)

Obama Said That “We Won’t See A Drop Of Oil From This Drilling For Almost 10 Years.” “‘Instead of offering any real plan to lower gas prices, Sen. McCain touts his support for George Bush’s plan for offshore oil drilling,’ Obama said Thursday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ‘But even the Bush administration acknowledges that offshore oil drilling will have little impact on prices. It won’t lower prices today. It won’t lower prices during the next administration. In fact, we won’t see a drop of oil from this drilling for almost 10 years.’“ (“Obama Risks Voter Ire By Opposing New Oil Drilling,” The Associated Press, 8/1/08)

  • Obama: “We Will Not See A Drop Of Oil From Any Offshore Rigs For At Least Ten Years. We Would Not Have Full Production For Twenty Years.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall Meeting, Cedar Rapids, IA, 7/31/08)

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