Can you guess which member of President Obama’s Cabinet said the following?

Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.

If you guessed Energy Secretary Steven Chu, then you’re absolutely right. He made this statement back in 2008, but according to his most recent Fox News Sunday interview, Secretary Chu is still singing the same tune.

Just look at the rise in gasoline prices over the past two years. When Barack Obama took office, gasoline was $1.65 per gallon. It is now hovering $3.56 per gallon. This represents the steepest rise in gasoline prices since the Carter administration.

So what’s behind the sharp spike in oil prices? Surely the unrest in the Middle East plays a role, but only a marginal one, explain Heritage Foundation experts Nick Loris and John Ligon.

Egypt is not a significant producer of oil, but 2 percent to 3 percent of the world’s crude oil and refined petroleum travels through the Suez Canal. Libya produces about 2 percent of the world’s oil (1.65 million barrels per day), with most of its oil going to Europe.

Increased global demand has also been an enormous force of upward pressure on prices, as industrialized nations climb out of recession. But both of these variables are beyond our control here in the United States.

So what are our leaders doing to ease the burden? The answer is: Not enough.

Earlier this week, the Obama Administration approved an offshore drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico – the first since the BP oil spill last year. “[This is] a welcome and long overdue move by the Administration,” Heritage’s Rob Bluey writes. “But it’s nothing to celebrate.”

The pace for granting such permits remains historically low. Not to mention, a projected 19,000 jobs have already been lost and a daily 240,000 barrels have been cut from our domestic supply as a result of the White House’ de facto drilling moratorium.

The United States is the only country in the world that places a majority of its territorial waters off-limits to oil and gas exploration. Increasing access to oil reserves in the U.S., both onshore and offshore, would help offset rising demand, increase jobs, and stimulate the economy.

We have oil. But access is artificially and excessively constrained. Given the increasing global demand and growing unrest among oil producing nations, the U.S. should seek to increase access to oil and gas exploration at home. Otherwise, we might soon see “gasoline prices like those in Europe,” as Obama administration officials have urged.

Comments (30)

Ron Ceres - March 25, 2011

Is there any doubt that the Obama regime must go in 2012?

Lorraine Pryhuber - March 25, 2011

Why are we not getting American oil & gas we have more than any other country. Stop going out of the country and get it here. Prices would go down we would have jobs, etc. and we would not go to other countries.

Ron Snyder - March 25, 2011

We need to continue to vote for conservative people to replace any progressive people who are running for public offices. This conservative people will honor the U.S. Constitution.

Carolyn K. - March 25, 2011

it is my humble opinion that the Regime does not give a twit about the ease and comforto f the American people. They have one goal, toestablish socialism/marxism and live and rule like kings. However, I don’t think they anticipated the fight and devotion the american people displayed and put into action against them.I pray the men and women we voted into office will stand tall and strong and not bend to compromises. The “nice guy” rules do not apply anymore.

Russell Brown - March 25, 2011

The reports that I have read about U.S. oil reserves is that this country has more oil than all the Mid East producers put together. Why isn’t Congress doing something about it?

Geppetto - March 25, 2011

This is old news that is increasingly tiresome and frustrating. Obama’s selection of Chu as Energy Secretary was just another nail in the energy coffin long ago constructed and already nailed shut by a bunch of zealous, unelected bureaucrats ensconced and above reproach in the environmental protection racket designed to cripple American Capitalism ostensibly to “save the planet.” It’s been years going back long before Obama. GWB took a whack at it when he lifted the moratorium on off shore drilling, an initiative that resulted in an immediate plunge in the price of a barrel of crude in the futures market (you wanna hazard a guess why?) and then came Obama and the BP oil spill and there went Newt’s “Drill Baby Drill.” And now the disaster in Japan and the daily dose of the media drooling over the “potential for disaster” which will undoubtedly obstruct further expansion of domestic nuclear energy.

So where does it end? How much exasperation, frustration and despair must be suffered before someone with half a brain in Washington wakes up and decides that enough is enough? How close do we have to get to the edge of the cliff?

If you, the Heritage Foundation, have the influence you claim, what is it you’re doing other than reporting on how America is being systematically destroyed? I’ve emailed and FAX’d Congressmen, mine and others in the Republican Party, numerous times expressing the frustration and anger reflected in the comment above. They, or more likely some one on their office staff, waste taxpayer’s money, no surprise there, and mail back canned letters implying they’re on top of the situation and, “inexplicably,” nothing gets done.

Here’s a news flash, a “novel” approach to the seemingly intractable problem of a struggling economy burdened with high unemployment, a barely meager “recovery” and a growing mountain of debt! Beside the obvious solution of a drastic reduction in government spending how about opening up America’s vast (yes I said “vast”) fossil fuel deposits, streamline the regulatory and nuclear permit process and turn the American entrepreneurial spirit loose in the free market. The environmental, go Green movement will have a cow, as is their right in America but I suspect the economy and America’s standing in the free world will soar and regain respect, respectively. Just a thought.

Phil Snodgrass - March 25, 2011

The Left’s reason for not allowing more drilling and refinery construction in the US has been that it would take about ten years to obtain any substantial benefit from it. They have been saying that for fifteen years now. — Phil (IN)

BobRGeologist - March 25, 2011

I believe most people realize oil is a limited resource that must be replaced by another product, hopefully sustainable, if we are to retain our present level of civilization. This crash course to hurry into the to the reliance
on so called Green energy is only a pipe dream and totally uncalled for at this time. We cannot afford the money being wasted by haste. It should be used in finding a real solution to the energy problem because the Earth will not even come close to feeding 1/4 of our population if we have to revert to horses.

Grant Hansel - March 25, 2011

Using high priced fuel to reduce emissions is like Saving Fish from Drowning – we loose both the fuel AND its benefit, (and the next war), as well

Truman Trekell - March 25, 2011

Obama MUST go in 2012.

We need to produce much much more of the billions of gallons of domestic oil we have at home, in the Alaskan preserve and offshore. Our government needs to stop bilking the people of this country, by:
1. Term limits
2. Fair tax
3. Stop benefits for aliens.\
4. Institute an equitable immigration plan.
5. Stop financing and funding hatred around the world

Nancy - March 25, 2011

Why isn’t Congress demanding that the President obey the court ruling that overturned his ban on all off shore drilling in the gulf coast, Alaska etc.? Everyone needs to write or call the Congressman of their state demanding they pressure or force this Administration to obey the court ruling! Cut the budgets for those enforcing these restrictions and demand the immediate resumption of the oil industry production in our country that their ban blocked. What is with this President thinking he is “above the law” and can ignore court rulings against his Administration! He ignored the ruling on off shore drilling and health care…and no one is demanding he obey them!
The left has spent huge amounts of money, claiming they must protect the birds, animals and scenic America, but when it comes to the “American People” they show total disregard to our well-being. They claim they do not want “ugly oil wells, air pollution and wildlife harmed, etc…” in our country… but it is fine to allow or give oil drilling rights to other countries off the very shores Americans have been blocked from drilling in! They are both liars and hypocrites !!
We all know it’s NOT about retaining the beauty of our land, our wildlife etc., or even air quality! It is about retaining more a power and control over our lives, our rights and our economic situation! It is about raising the cost of everything, raising more tax revenue and reducing our lifestyle so that they can buy their votes with their “wealth redistribution” agenda! Time to put an end this agenda!

Joanne - March 25, 2011

I don’t understand as much as I’d like about how our government works. But isn’t there something the House can do to demand the Obama admin. open up more drilling? How can Obama do so much damage to this country without going through our elected representatives? To me, it seems we have more of a tyrant here rather than a representative republic. We need to put pressure on our elected reps. and force this to be a huge issue among the electorate.

Mark Shockley - March 25, 2011

My thoughts exactly Ron; the tyranny will continue until then.It’s hard to imagine him getting a second term; that would be unacceptable.

Tim Docter - March 25, 2011

This may sound radical but this is my take on the us energy policy. First, open up every bit of property in the US and its territorial waters for drilling for oil and natural gas. Second, significantly reduce regulation on all energy exploration. Third, ramp up and deregulate the use of coal. Fourth, reduce regulations on the building and operations of refineriess and nuclear power plants. Fifth, take enough oil from Kuwait and Iraq to pay for the two Gulf Wars. Sixth, support research in new energy technologies. Seventh, curtail all energy subsidies. Eighth, regulate the oil speculators. The price of oil should be based on supply and demand not on self serving speculation. Ninth, elect a fiscal conservative to the White House in 2012. Tenth, elect Tea Party, Fair Tax conservitives to the House and Senate in 2012.

Laurence Gosnell - March 25, 2011

Having seen recent reports of the US oil reserves in Alaska, the US onshore & the US offshore, as being enough to last for at least a century, or more, it’s an absolute crime for the EPA to deprive us of our own resources. The world runs on oil, & there is nothing else which can come close to it. And by continuing to buy oil from the mideast, we are financiong our own destruction. Additionally, why does our President finance drilling for Brazil, yet won’t let our own US companies extract anywhere we have oil? Solar & wind power can never replace oil, so let the Tea Party prevail in the next election & get us back on the right track again.

Get rid of Obama, & all his directives & laws become null & void & the Czars have to leave as well.

darrell hayden - March 25, 2011

Obama must be gone in 2012 . I wonder whose interests he really represents, his decisions are not in the best interest of the country I love.

Catherine West - March 25, 2011

That Obama continues to thwart any National Asset building which would result from not only petroleum; but also mining gold and other assets, demonstrates his anti-America viewpoint.

It also demonstrates Obama’s terrible appreciation of “protecting the person” from the government. Two ideas which are the antithesis of American Governing and the boon to Socialism this President adores.

Floyd Tarpenning - March 25, 2011

We must immediately open all offshore oil reserves for drilling now. Also ANWR in Alaska.

Don - March 25, 2011

I don’t know who in the US pays the most for gas but
here in Homer, Alaska it’s $4.28 a gallon. We’re an oil exporter and ship super tankers full of millions of barrels of crude almost daily to the Lower 48 States. One barrel of crude oil equals 42 gallons. That makes a lot of gas folks. Can anyone tell me why Alaskans pay so much for gas & heating oil?

A. Fred Rudy, Jr. - March 26, 2011

Energy exploration and energy independence needs to be tied to the Federal budget debate. High oil and gas prices are costing jobs as well as revenue to the government. We must also address entitlement programs (especially Obamacare) before our economy is completely destroyed. If the government has to shut down until this is resolved, so be it. Let’s face the battle now before it’s too late.

Richard W Meyer - March 26, 2011

I Propose that We open up ALL aspects of drilling, with the following mandates, That all oil from US properties be sold in America until 100% of oil in the US is from here, and the price be no more than $ 2.50 any excess may then be sold abroad for what ever it will bear.

BobRGeologist - March 27, 2011

The left surpasses normal stupidity in their desire to toe the environmentalist line. It makes no sence to ban drilling in the arctic ocean because if man doesn’t get to it soon, it could well be unavailable when the next Ice age strikes. Same for any ore deposits nofrth of the 40th parallel of latitude. Why do I believe another ice age is in the cards? The answer lies in the history of the Pleistocene, the past million years. We have just recovered from ice age No. 5 a mere geologic moment ago.

Carol - March 27, 2011

Why can’t this Regime just listen to the American people when it comes to policy making? I sometimes feel as if I am living under a Dictatorship instead of a government by the people and for the people.

They ALL have to go!!

Sigrid Cohn - March 27, 2011

I agree with all of the above. I found there is no one listening in the Government they do what they want and damned be the people. I always get the standard Sales letter, we keep your opinion in mind!!!!! All my reps here in California are Dems and think its funny that we think they listen to us. Barbara Boxer, Feinstein, and Pete Stark just to mention some of them are all Libs and don’t give a darn. Believe me I tried very hard to have them ousted in the last election to no avail, so I am really frustrated. And I already heard the some of the once we managed to get into Congress have already been Washingtonized, If there is such a word, I call them traders to the cause. So what else is new?

Jim La Pointe - March 28, 2011

In light of such open hostility toward Americans, why are there no calls for Mr. Chu’s dismissal, as well as other administration officials who have displayed the same anti-American attitudes?
These people clearly have no intent to defend either our constitution, or us.

patroit lady - March 28, 2011


patroit lady - March 28, 2011

AMERICANS are being told lies and we are too darn lazy to stand up and fight for our country. OUR FOREFATHERS MUST BE ASHAMED OF ALL OF US.

Rob - March 28, 2011

Carter Administration created the Department of Energy in 1977 to make the US enery independent. Big failure!
The Obama Administration does not want to make the US energy independent. It simply wants us to pay more and more for failed “green” energy. More failure!
Obama wants the US to be a “has been, second rate”
country. Any doubt he should go in 2012?

lee cox - March 28, 2011

Write your Senators and Reps and tell them to immediately submit legislation to drill in the U. S. or resign and let us put in replacements that are willing to do the job. The rape of the American people is contrived by oil companies to artifically keep prices high!

Bryan Bolin - March 29, 2011

If at all possible, the House should freeze all grants and funding for every “green” energy program until the Obama regime removes its sanctions on oil, clean coal, and natural gas exploration and drilling. The House should also immediately block the 2 Billion in funds that Obama committed to Brazil for its Oil production programs.

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