Power Lines: Obama’s Energy Farce
April 18, 2012
Now, none of the steps that I’ve talked about today is going to be a silver bullet. It’s not going to bring down gas prices tomorrow.
—President Obama, February 23, 2012
This strategy is not just the right thing to do for our long-term economic growth; it’s also the right way for us to reduce our dependence on foreign oil right now … it’s the right way to stop spikes in gas prices that we’ve put up [with] every single year -- the same kind of increase that we’ve seen over the past couple of months.
—President Obama, April 17, 2012
The president’s policies have failed, and are making the economy worse. Yesterday, in order to further distract from his lack of a productive energy plan, the president called for greater federal oversight of oil markets. With a 106 percent increase in the price of gas since taking office, the president declared a very public “crackdown” on “those who manipulate the market for private gain at the expense of millions of working families.”
According to a White House statement, the president’s “request would … ensure that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has the resources it needs to aggressively oversee speculative trading activity in oil futures markets.” Specifically, the president’s plan would do the following:
However, as several reports pointed out, what President Obama tried to pass off as a plan was “more politics than substance,” and won’t do anything to help ease the pain at the pump. In an interview yesterday, former commissioner of the CFTC Michael V. Dunn said that during his tenure on the CFTC, he “never saw any empirical data that said speculators were responsible for an increase or a spike in fuel cost.” Additionally, Wells Fargo Senior Economist, Mark Vitner, President Obama’s plan is “Really nothing. Nothing substantive is going to come of this … But the proposal may be more about politics than policies … Whether or not you support the president’s plan, don’t get your hopes up about relief at the pump.”
House Republicans have taken action to put forward a true “all-of-the-above” energy strategy—including approving legislation to move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline as recently as today. Under the American Energy Initiative, the House has approved several bipartisan bills that would remove government barriers to production and stops policies that drive up energy costs. You can see a full list here. House Republicans remain focused on addressing high gas prices as part of the broader Plan for America’s Job Creators geared toward creating a better environment for the private-sector to grow and create jobs.
For questions or further information contact Sarah Makin