Barbour: Obama's policy 'is to drive up energy prices'
March 2nd, 2011
10:44 AM ET
4 years ago

Barbour: Obama's policy 'is to drive up energy prices'

Washington (CNN) – With price of gasoline rising for the eighth consecutive day, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour accused the Obama administration of hiking energy costs in an effort to promote alternative fuels.

"In 2008, four dollar gasoline brought my state to its knees, before Wall Street melted down, and we have blown through three dollars a gallon on our way to four," Barbour, a Republican who is seriously considering a White House bid, said Wednesday in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We don't need that where I am."

"But this administration's policies have been designed to drive up the cost of energy in the name of reducing pollution, in the name of making very expensive alternative fuels more economically competitive," he said.

As evidence, Barbour referenced a 2008 comment by Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu. At the time, Chu was still director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. He told the Wall Street Journal that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe" in order to force consumers to be more fuel-efficient.

Chu later admitted in 2009 testimony before a House Committee that was a mistake and said it would be "completely unwise" to increase the price of gasoline in a difficult economy.

Barbour is not convinced.

"Their policy is to drive up energy prices," he told reporters after his speech to the Chamber.

The governor said energy costs can be reduced by tapping into domestic oil, gas and coal reserves, but he claimed that burdensome federal regulations have stymied such access.

"In the United States, it's harder to get a permit to mine coal than it is to get a heart transplant," Barbour said.

As for domestic oil drilling, Barbour said "we are going to produce about 13 percent less petroleum in the U.S. this year than last year."

"Now how is that good policy at any time when energy security is supposed to be a priority, but particularly a time of turmoil in the Middle East in the oil producing states?" he asked. "I hope the Obama administration is going to announce a reversal of course, but I'm not optimistic."

Barbour, who said he plans to decide at the end of April whether or not he will seek the GOP presidential nomination, also told reporters that he has lost some weight in recent months.

"I have lost a little weight because I needed to," Barbour said. "Hopefully I can lose some more."


Filed under: Haley Barbour
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. luffing

    The lies just keep on coming in; even the part about losing a little weight.

    March 2, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. CaliforniaBC

    WOW! Ooooo....this guy's "evidence" is a ONE comment made by ONE person in the administration during ONE interview. It seems Haley here is an example of another politician who needs to brush up on what actual evidence is. One comment does not equate to the whole. You need a whole lot more to bring accusations such as this to the public forum.

    March 2, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. NVa Native

    So does anyone need more proof that these GOPers will say anything, no matter how utterly stupid it is, to slander our President?
    This blow-hard Barbor who recently said "the sixties in the south were not so bad as far as race goes". Sure not bad for a white kid from a well established "old money" family.
    Clearly the sixties sucked in the south as far as race goes, and probably on many other levels too. Kind of like today when the polticians in control of the south are trying to take the south and all the rest of the country back to the sixties!

    March 2, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Jonathan Davis

    Seems to me that it should be easier to get a heart transplant than for some corporation to come in and strip mine a mountain.

    March 2, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Poser

    I guess Barbour also believes George W. Bush raised the price of oil in the summer of 2008 too?

    Only an idiot would believe that the President actually has power to control the price of oil or gasoline. Oh wait, Barbour is talking to the GOP base.

    March 2, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. mark macoun

    Oh, I get it! It all make SOOO much sense now! It's Obama that's driving up the price of oil! Not the unrest in oil-producing companies. Obama. Geez. Now that I know that I can start to hate him and love you Haley! Gosh I'm glad that somebody is finally telling me who to blame in a logical and well-thought out manner! My stars! I think I'll join the Republican party now!

    March 2, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Teena

    When the Democrates complain about all of the subsidys to the oil companies contributing to the high cost of gasoline, the republicans scream that high cost is due to "Supply and demand". Ya know good ole capitalism. And, now this republican is screaming that the high cost is the fault of the Obama administration. So which is it, supply and demand or price fixing? Maybe you should look at the insane profits made by the oil companies and demand the subsidies be dropped so the average taxpayer, in ALL 50 states not just Mississippi, can benefit!

    March 2, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. bcrunner

    Gee, the Libyan unrest could have nothing to do with higher energy prices... could it?? Also, BP just got permit to drill in the gulf again... and you're tellling us Obama is causing gas prices to go up??

    March 2, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Mikey

    Is this guy on drugs? The biggest long-term contributor to our fossil fuel problem is demand. We will never solve this problem with supply. It is the GOP that has been systematically preventing us from addressing the main cause of the problem for the last four decades. Bush has almost no energy strategy whatsoever. Drill baby drill is dumb baby dumb.

    Oh, and the last thing the President wants is a bad economy – and that is what sky high oil prices will bring. If anything, that would be better politically for the GOP that for the Obama Administration.

    March 2, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Ken in NC

    THis man has got to be crazy to think that President Obama wants to drive up the cost of gas just make alternative fuels more attractive but I guess he and others like him will do their best to tell any kind of a lie if they think people will believe it.

    March 2, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Rick James B----

    Really?? Come on Son! If gas went to 81cents a gallon, they would blame him too. President doesn't control gas prices idiot!

    March 2, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Mikey

    That was supposed to be "Bush had" not has.

    March 2, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. mf

    There goes the republican election campaigns full of LIES.. LIES.... LIES....... Surey Barbour is out of touch with current events. as usual the republicans have no common sense and lack intelligent. Their IQ is below 20 and it looks like they think that american people are like them. These GOPers will do anything for power. STOP TELLING LIES AND BULLYING PEOPLE. We have the results of lies and bullying happening in Wisconsin. Does Barbour know how oil prices are determined. He and republicans should ask their buddies the oil corporations. Their godfathers

    March 2, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Derick

    This guys is awesome on "[Bleep] My Gov. Says."

    March 2, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. robertj

    This coming from the party that saw prices over $4 a gallon when they held the white house

    March 2, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Echo

    Is this guy the dumest guy on the plante? or is he not aware of the middle east situation? He just made himself look like a complete moron! Is this guy for real? does he not own a tv? or at least a radio? This is the biggest bunch of crap ive seen yet. How am i supposed to defend the GOP to my friends when a guy like this makes us look so out of touch with reality?

    March 2, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Scott

    Yep, it's President Obama's fault. So is floride in the water, LaBron leaving Cleveland, and the failure to prove or disprove the existance of Bigfoot. Republicans have taken pandering to their base to such an absurd level that EVERYTHING is the Presidents fault (not the hard rule of supply and demand that Republicans are supposed to love), except for anything that goes right. This doesn't even require a reporter to cover, just a daily "Generic Republican blames the President for everything, and feels all of his policies are inspired by the Devil and are designed to destroy America". That should cover every Republican public event for the next few months.

    March 2, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. thomas

    Haley you Dumb Dinosaur , you know very well thats a lie . Just like you marched alongside Matin Luther King is a lie !
    Your a Lobbyist who will go to any lengths to sell your casino snake oil !
    CNN pin this arrogant Southern mobster to the floor , look into oil and gas subsidies and Haley's connection as a big oil lobby.!
    Haley and Newt , all they do is Lie , why , because they are Lobbyist for who's ideologue is greed .

    March 2, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. American

    Politician doublespeak. Who was the president in 2008? In case Barbour also missed another important fact, the Obama administration just released the permit for drilling on Monday.

    In reality, however, drilling alone does not reduce gas prices, and Harbour knows it. How does the governor feel about Real issues? Increasing refineries and regulating spectators–a bipartisan solution that actually affects lowering gas prices for Americans, while our country focuses away from oil to new energy technologies.

    March 2, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    These politicians will say anything to divide the electorate and citizens just to garner votes....It's is amazing what they spew....why do we tolerate these types of POLITICIANS?.....so Mr. Barbour thinks it's President Obama's administration that is driving up fuel costs, and not what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa?....and a lot of people will buy into what this POLITICIAN is saying....enough is enough....we need to expect more from our politicians!

    March 2, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Rickster

    Barbour may be giving Obama too much credit. I don't believe Obama is purposefully driving up energy prices, I just believe that he is so incompetent that he has no idea what too do about anything as the world falls apart all around him. We are paying a heavy price for electing an amateur community organizer into the white house.

    March 2, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Robert

    There goes Barbour... confusing President Obama for Moammar Qaddafi again.

    March 2, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. maf

    How about the UNREST IN THE MIDDLE EAST being the cause of rising oil and gas prices???? Is the President responsible for a madman in Libya?? A meltdown in Egypt??? Wake up GObP. You have sided with these big oil giants for so long, you can't even remember the lies you've been telling all these years!!! No we don't need $4/gal gas prices, but this has more to do with a world economy that is still teetering. Find fault within before you throw it at someone else!!!

    March 2, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. SPLAT!~

    I gotta ask: George Bush was in office in '08', was he resposilbe for the $4.00 gas then? What was his purpose?

    March 2, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. kakaraka

    Another big oil waco.

    March 2, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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