Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is expected to sign legislation today moving the Keystone XL energy pipeline forward, despite President Obama’s efforts to stop it. The House will join him tomorrow by voting to require the administration to approve the pipeline – which was under review for more than three years – within 30 days.
Contrast all of this with President Obama. After spending three years blocking new energy production and imposing policies that drive up costs (which have doubled on his watch), the president just held a sham press conference to talk about tax hikes that would raise energy prices and to blame “speculators” for the consequences of his policies (again).
The president said he wants to “‘crack down’ on potential manipulation” in the oil market. The problem is that neither the president nor his administration can explain what “manipulation” they want to crack down on -- Roll Call reporter Steven Dennis Tweeted that senior administration officials “can't point to specific oil market manipulation.” And the “Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group” established by the administration a year ago “has met only four or five times” and “has never reported to the public.”
Moreover, AP reports the Obama administration won’t even “say that market manipulation is responsible for rising gas prices,” and “studies of the effects of speculation on oil markets indicate that it probably increases volatility, but doesn't have a major effect on average prices.”
That’s why Speaker Boehner called today’s announcement just another “political gimmick” (see also: “Buffett Tax”) that won’t do a thing to create new jobs or lower gas prices.
If the president wants to know why nearly two-thirds of the American people disapprove of how he’s handled gas prices, he should re-watch today’s press conference. The American people are tired of gimmicks and divisive rhetoric; they want solutions. And right now, Republicans are the only ones offering common-sense solutions to create jobs and address high gas prices.