White House on Defense Over Failed Energy Policies as Gas Prices Keep Rising
Gas prices are up another 11 cents in the past two weeks, bringing the national average to a sky high $3.93 per gallon. House Republicans have been hammering the White House “over energy for months, first over... delay of the Keystone pipeline and more recently as gas prices have risen,” The Hill reports. Following “weeks of criticism” for its failed energy policies that are driving up gas prices, the White House engaged in an energy ‘tour de farce’ to convince American families and small businesses it is not to blame for the pain at the pump. That effort fell short, as House Republicans kept up the “orchestrated campaign” to hold the Obama administration accountable for the gap between its “all-of-the-above” rhetoric and “none-of-the-above” record (see: here, here and here). Here’s more:
- “Whirlwind Trip … Followed Weeks of Criticism.” “The whirlwind trip over two days followed weeks of criticism of his approach to gas price increases by Republicans on Capitol Hill … Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Thursday that Obama was claiming credit he didn’t deserve on the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline while continuing to prevent construction on the northern leg from Canada.” (CNN, 3/22/12)
- White House “Came Under Fire from Friends and Foes Alike.” “President Barack Obama sought to defuse Republican attacks over his blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline amid soaring gas prices today, but his latest attempt at a compromise came under fire from friends and foes alike.” (Roll Call, 3/23/12)
- Presidential Trip “Mocked as a ‘Tour De Farce’ Fueled by Political Expediency.” “President Barack Obama set off Wednesday on a four-state, campaign-style defense of his energy policies, a trip that painfully high gas prices have made a political necessity for the embattled incumbent. But even before Obama had left Washington, Republicans launched preemptive strikes on what House Speaker John Boehner's office mocked as a ‘tour de farce’ fueled by political expediency.” (Yahoo News, 3/21/12)
- White House “Assertively Tried to Defend” Failed Energy Record as “Most Voters Believe that the President’s Policies Are Costing Them at the Pump.” “[T]he Obama White House and campaign has assertively tried to defend his energy record as polls show most voters believe that the president’s policies are costing them at the pump. … Obama himself has made the don’t-blame-me argument as well, citing other factors…the president’s argument hasn’t been entirely convincing.” (The Daily Beast, 3/21/12)
- Republicans: White House “Trying to Duck Responsibility for High Gasoline Prices.” “‘President Obama’s two-day trip to highlight his energy policies has lit a fire under the Republicans, who say he is distorting his record and trying to duck responsibility for high gasoline prices. … But the GOP is dogging his every move. House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman ridiculed the Obama trip as a ‘tour de farce.’” (U.S. News & World Report, 3/22/12)
- “An Attempt to Escape Political Fallout for Soaring Gasoline Prices.” “President Barack Obama kicked off a two-day, four-state tour Wednesday to brag about his energy policy, an attempt to escape political fallout for soaring gasoline prices that could threaten his re-election. The tour … comes as gas prices keep rising, Republicans keep blaming the president, and American voters keep fuming each time they fill up their tanks.” (McClatchy Newspapers, 3/22/12)
- “Defending His Energy Strategy,” the President Tried to Claim Credit for Keystone Pipeline “Even If He Has Not Given the Go-Ahead” for the Project. “Obama continued to argue that his administration is receptive to domestic drilling, even if he has not given the go-ahead for the full Keystone XL pipeline … Republicans said the president’s latest move to expedite the southern portion of the Keystone project hypes his role in alleviating the pipeline shortage. ‘The approval needed for this leg of the project is so minor and routine that only a desperate administration would inject the president of the United States into the process,’ a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.” (ABC News, 3/22/12)
- White House’s Action “Won’t Shorten the Timeline” for Southern Half of Keystone Pipeline. “President Barack Obama satisfied neither critics nor environmentalist allies with an announcement of an expedited review for an oil pipeline as he wrapped up a four-state trip defending his energy policies. … The action won’t shorten the timeline for the project, which is slated to start as soon as June.” (Bloomberg, 3/23/12)
- “Republicans…Piled on the President, Charging Him With Taking Credit for Speeding Up Work on the Pipeline When He Initially Punted on the Project.” “Republicans on Thursday piled on the president, charging him with taking credit for speeding up work on the pipeline when he initially punted on the project … House Speaker John Boehner said at his weekly press conference Thursday ... ‘the only recent action the president’s taken on energy involved lobbying senators -- personally and successfully -- to prevent construction of the Keystone pipeline.’” (Real Clear Politics, 3/23/12)
While the White House may consider its failed energy policy above reproach, Americans disagree. Several recent surveys show that Americans not only hold the president responsible for rising gas prices, but also disagree with his decision to reject and personally lobby against the Keystone pipeline and the 20,000 new American jobs that come with it.
The White House needs more than a ‘tour de farce’ to show the American people “all-of-the-above” is more than just words. A good start would be calling on Senate Democrats to quit blocking bipartisan, House-passed legislation that would remove barriers to American energy production, passed as part of the American Energy Initiative and the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators, and immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Follow Republicans’ efforts to keep the heat on the White House to help address skyrocketing gas prices by “liking” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook: facebook.com/americanenergy.