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. OneMoreTime

    Weight loss? His head hasn't shrunk, must be his brain.

    March 2, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Whacked out loony lib Dems and MSM gave Bush hell when went to $3/gal. Where's their outrage now? Loony lib Dems and MSM gave Bush hell when we only created 400-500 jobs per month (they though it should be 1 mill per mo.). Where's their outerage now that "create" 30-50,000 per month, and new jobless claims stay around 450,000 per mo.?

    March 2, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. JOhn

    Barbour just demonstrated that he has no understanding of basic principle needed from a leader. You can't run the country on hating the left. IF repulicans where in charge they would have no idea what to do with anything, With thier complete lack of any ideas or any plans, they depend on what the Dems do to figure out what they are against. Barbour is everytihng that is wrong with Washington today, all in one candindate.

    March 2, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. russ

    Is this guy nuts or what. The Bush administration and Cheney are the ones that held the closed door meetings with the energy companies and set up the current, "we'll leave you guys alone policy" as long as we continue to get rich from it and you throw lots of donations to Republican candidates. It's Bush and Cheney and the Republicans that refuse to regulate the oil companies. I

    March 2, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. William Jefferson

    Is he either A. that stupid or B. so arrogant that he thinkls the rest of us are that stupid.

    President Obama is what - causing the Lybian uprising which has world oil markets driving up prices? And all as part of a grand scheme to get the US off foreign oil?

    I only WISH President Obama were both that crafty and that powerful. barobour is an idiot.

    March 2, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. once upon a horse

    yep President Obama wants to drive up gas prices to make Americans angry at him so he will not get re-elected in 2012. Sorry Haley but unlike you I don't think the POTUS is really that STUPID! This sounds like something Sarah Palin would say.

    March 2, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. midwestmoderate

    Yeah and the unrest in Libya and the Middle East has nothing to do with rising gas prices...

    March 2, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Glennf

    Dear Governor Barbour,

    Instead of the name calling and innuendos, just lay out the policy we should be using in clear, concise terms.

    You're a governor from a Gulf Coast state that relies on Tourism and oil. What is the answer?

    Show us your leadership ability and a solution that meets the energy needs of our nation without destroying our economy and our planet.

    If you can't, then shut up. You are starting to sound like another sound bite special, empty headed politician.

    March 2, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Sniffit

    And then he got in the car and Roscoe P. Coltrane drove him back to the governor's mansion.

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

    Not if you're on Medicaid in AZ.

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

    More evidence these conservatives hate science. He lost MASS. He couldn't lose WEIGHT because he's so full of hot air he already weighs practically nothing. Strap the guy to a wicker basket and hop in...

    March 2, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. harvey 60

    and who gets rich when gas prices go up, Haley? that's right, the Koch Brothers, Ging-RICH, the Bushes, and every other Republican tied to the oil industry. and your solution is to mine more coal? just what the atmosphere needs, more toxic fumes. stay in Mississippi, land of the fat and unhealthy.

    March 2, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. FloridaRes

    It seems that Barbour and Huckabee are both nuts! Huckabee says Obama grew up in Kenya contrary to all the evidence AND Barbour thinks that a sitting president would want to get RID of jobs by raising gasoline prices. Let's examine this:
    – Food prices went up because the USA (under Bush and GOP Congress) mandated the use of ethanol in gas thereby diverting acreage to Corn production for ethanol production instead of feed for animals.
    – The increase in food prices has caused severe unrest and rioting in those middle east countries that are ruled by dictators who did not provide for their citizens.

    How is all of this Obama's fault? Does he control rioting in these sovereign countries? Oh wait a minute, the GOP would have us going into these countries taking them over! Try that and the citizens of those countries will then be fighting us. Any American president must walk a fine line in situations like this.

    The GOP should get a collective brain instead of knee jerk reaction to blame Obama for everything.

    March 2, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Quintus Aurelius

    Oh yeah, all we need to do is elect Republicans and then gas prices will go down again. Just like gas prices were low during Bush's presidency....

    March 2, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. sonny chapman

    This guy's credibility is sinking big time. Of course PRESIDENT(Repubs. hate to use that word) Obama wants gas prices to shoot up & hurt his chances for re-election. If there's one thing Ole Haley knows, it's good ole boy politics. He knows how stupid his "take" on the issue is. Repubs: They are the masters of stirring up the masses & blaming the Dems.

    March 2, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. EddyL

    I think this turd is about ten years behind.... Driving up gas/oil prices was Bush's agenda, not Obama's.

    March 2, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. GOP - the dumbing of America

    I know Republicans don't like facts but if we extracted all the oil under the US it wouldn't matter – its a global market and due to the population explosion, oil isn't ever coming down. We need to stop using it period.

    March 2, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Phil

    "Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour accused the Obama administration of hiking energy costs in an effort to promote alternative fuels."

    Tell us Haley ole boy, when in 2001, Dicky Cheney had his secret energy committee meetings and would not tell us who was invited, was their intent to double gasoline prices in one year? That happened under the administration of Bushy and Dicky. This guy Barbour is just another right-wing stooge taking every opportunity to blast A Obama. What a group of Fox channel sponges!

    March 2, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. smk

    Maybe that good ole boy Haley can get the fat cats on wall street to stop speculating on oil, that would certainly help us all. And who does he think he is saying where he comes from 4 dollar a gallon gas would be harmful? Last I checked the economy sucks everywhere and it is hard on us all.

    March 2, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. shoegazer

    Unfortunately,the weight that he has lost has all come from between is ears.Remember,no diet should eliminate all fat from it as the brain is made up of fats,and without a brain,you may look good but all your qualified for is to run for public office.

    March 2, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Duck Fallas

    To save money, we need to cut off all federal tax dollars soaked up by Mississippi.

    March 2, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. You've got to be kidding

    None of us needs gas prices going through the roof...get real...try asking ask the Oil companies with record breaking profits year after year who's keeping prices high...or who's gouging who...or who won't invest in infrastructure to keep a steady flow of gas even if a refinery goes off line...who is making the money is the real question...it's not the President or the rest of that herd of idiotic democrats now is it? What an assinign accusation...but I guess it plays well to the gallery with the white pointy hats...

    March 2, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. tom

    Why is it that every time a Republican says something downright idiotic (which is constant) you, the media, treats it as if it's newsworthy?

    March 2, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. KM

    So the President and his administration controls the price of gas now? I thought that was all based on supply and demand? According to republicans the free market will help to control prices except when prices get out of control. I believe that we need alternatives, not only oil but other other forms of energy so that not one single source can cripple a nation.

    March 2, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. I Love George Bush

    Haley Haley Haley you are once again confused (think civil rights) it was the previous administration that controlled the oil/energy industry and drove up prices to line their pockets. You are such a reliable source of in.ormation NOT.

    March 2, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Mary225

    This is laugh out loud funny. So if President Obama's "policy is to drive up energy prices", then what was the Republican/Bush policy from 2006 to 2008 when gas was $4.50/gallon? To keep energy prices down? No, the Bush policy was to make his friends rich. Don't forget the price of gas dropped right after the election in November '08 and remained steady until the Republicans won back the House, then it spiked again. The Republicans are raising energy prices to slow down the economic recovery, so they can take back the office of president in 2012 and really stick it to us then.

    March 2, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    Yes, but the main culprits are in the middle east, along with the big oil corporations.

    The gouging starts at the well head, and continues right through the supply chain.

    The public suffers, while the businesses and producers, make billions in windfall profits.

    We have to assess windfall profit taxes, to discourage this behavior.

    March 2, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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