Barbour: Obama's policy 'is to drive up energy prices'
March 2nd, 2011
10:44 AM ET
3 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. Indy

    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.

    If you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona that i would like to sell you. The price of fuel is not decided by Obama and the US currently pays less then many other countries for gas. Wordlwide supply and demand determines the price of fuel and the US imports 80% of its fuel from Canada and pays less per gallon then Canadians. Republicans always lie about how the price of fuel is determined and acts like it would make a difference if they added more supply to the worlwide pool of fuel. Obama has didley squat to do with the price of fuel and only has some control of the taxes collected. This is a worldwide problem that can only be changed by OPEC and the Republicans best freinds in the the big oil corporate world. Republicans love to lie about the energy costs because they cannot find a way to create ONE job so they go out and blame Obama on things that he has no control over.Wake up and realize that the price of fuel is worldwide and be thankful you are paying less for fuel then the people that send it to the US.

    March 2, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Bob in PA

    There are one of two reasons Obama wants higher fuel prices and neither is alternate energy development.
    1. He beleievs the global warming hoax and thinks that higher prices will promote less consumption.
    or
    2. It is a social justice thing an he just wants to create a massive underclass in societty. Take away the gains of the middle class over the last 100 years and create a massive underclass through redistribution.

    I happen to stick with number 2. If you think I'm wrong try picking up one of his or any of his czars books and listen to their past lectures.

    March 2, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. phyllis

    Haley is the biggest liar in the world, he knows the unrest in North Africa, is the cause of gas prices going up.........

    Does he think we the people, and tax payers, are stupid ! And everyone knows he is the back pocket of the big OIL company's, he is a bobbyist for them, he is trying to clean his self up, for his big run for President, he has a stain on his self, that Ajax could not get off. I cannot stand this big blow hard. peace out..........

    March 2, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Marry

    ...Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour accused the Obama administration of hiking energy costs in an effort to promote alternative fuels...
    The GOP is so “yesterday”! How long does Barbour think the US can stay the number one energy waster of the world? If anything is going to bring the US forward than only if it realizes to finally look ahead and modernize – not dream of the good old days in the fifty’s. But, the habit of a few, to grab all the money they can get their hands on without thinking of the future, will probably keep their thinking the way it is as long as they profit from it.
    Most Americans are to dump to understand that those old politicians are in no way interested in their wellbeing or the country, but only work for their own pockets.

    March 2, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. blake

    Very possible. This is how the left operates to advance its agenda.

    March 2, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. gt

    you have to have a policy to drive up entergy prices.... dont drill in the gulf ,,or alaska...is not a plan....wind is the only policy i see from obama,,, yea .. and its hot air.....

    March 2, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. ABM

    Are you kidding me. Every time he talks about energy he clearly states that he wants the US to drive innovation to reduce our addiction to fossil fuels from foreign sources. Where are his facts? What policy has been signed into law does this?

    What does he or anyone else have in substance to reduce the costs? Clearly he is speaking to get the soundbite of the day. But in my book he wins the LIAR of the day award and should be called out.

    The political scene is worse than trench warfare these days. When will someone other than our President show some maturity and WORK together to resolve issues rather than talking about them to get attention. Getting into office is one thing – doing something is the other.

    March 2, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. spot

    "Barbour said "we are going to produce about 13 percent less petroleum in the U.S. this year than last year.""

    Does that include all the oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico last year?

    March 2, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Goodness, Haley, you give Obama way too much credit. Speaking for myself, I'm quite sure the raising gas prices are a product of American Oil companies using the unrest in the Middle East as a means of jacking up prices. Oil price gouging has been going on for decades. But do keep pushing the bash Obama good old boy talking points. Seems to be all you GOPers know how to do anymore. If you had an ounce of common sense, you'd realize this might be a great time to actually start weaning ourselves off Middle East oil domination. Oh, my bad . . . Mississippi is an oil industry drilling state, yes?

    March 2, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Tom In Millstadt

    You need a permit for a heart transplant?

    March 2, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Darth Cheney

    I simply can't fathom why the GOP can't even be bothered with plausible half-truths; this claim is obviously complete balderdash. They could say that Obama isn't laser-focused on cheap fossil fuels, but to be actively driving up prices is just poppycock intended to caricature Obama as a Dr. Evil-type supervillain.

    March 2, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    Barbour is another GOP presidential candidate with the Palin "foot in the mouth" disease. The outrageous comments only make him look ignorant and non-presidential.

    March 2, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Jathanon

    So is he suggesting that in 2008 with $4 gas prices, Prez Bush drove up the cost? I bet Bush/Cheney did, so their Pet. Corps. could reap buku profits.

    March 2, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Becka

    How on earth can Obama control gas prices? We export more domestic oil instead of keeping it here in the U.S. Unrest in the middle east and Kenya are not Obama's fault – even if the GOP would have you believe it. Alternate fuel sources are a way for America to gain job security here at home. Green Technologies can fuel the economy much like the internet did in the 90's and green technologies cannot be outsource to the cheapest labor. This whole push against green technologies is the GOP, Big Oil and the lobbyists way of killing the middle class.

    March 2, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. David

    This guy is full of it. How many times do we have to hear this same excuse for doing the same thing all the time. How about you go ahead and blame George Bush for the last price hike that was much more than this.... Come on now, it's only fair, lets hear it. HYPOCRITE! :D

    March 2, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Jim

    This blow hard fails to see that everytime the Republicans get elected back into power energy prices rise, food prices rise etc. Gas in our cars burn quicker as well as if the oil companies put something in our gas to make it burn quicker when prices are high. I don't see Porky being elected or even coming close to the office of the Pres.

    March 2, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Bill

    Hey Barbour, many major industrialzed nation has overtaken us in the use of solar, wind, and alternative energy sources, while we continue our addiction to oil. 70% of the automobiles in Brasil do not run on gasoline – then burn alcool, made from sugar cane. They started doing this 20 years ago. You better wise up that that is the way of the future, not drilling and blasting. And soon, $4 a gallon gas will sound cheap. Time to change. And do not blame Obama, it is all you clowns seem capable of doing. You don't suppose the spike in oil has anything to do with Middle East unrest, do you?

    March 2, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. vet in texas

    With the lame duck passing the tax cuts before the new goup being sworn in, the GOP really doesn't have anything else to govern on. Since they took office, all they did was vote to repeal the HCR, vote to stop abortion funding, and come up with a thimble full of budget cuts. Now, they are simply gearing up for election time, so here come all of the lies, accusations, "misquotes", etc. Amazing how 3 years ago gas was $4, went back down and now a whole 3 years later, its back up to almost $4.......Please TPers, scrutinize your elected officials just as you scrutinized the majorities elected officials. they are proving what we thought they were.....in it for themselves, big business, and big donors. I wonder if Soros was a heath insururance CEO how loud you would scream, not as loud as the Koch's who are obviously benefiting from this new batch of senators and congressman! Enjoy your tchotchkes suckers, cause that's all they are going to give you if you aren't in their wealth circle!

    March 2, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Bill from GA

    I'm sure energy prices have nothing to do with Wall Street Commodities traders.

    Problem is, the rich have so much money after their tax cuts, they don't have anywhere to put it, so they drive up prices in essential commodities, starving half of the world and bankrupting much of the rest of us. Couldn't dare invest in long-term growth in American Industry.

    March 2, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. T'sah from Virginia

    ["I have lost a little weight because I needed to," Barbour said. "Hopefully I can lose some more."] That’s probably Christie’s problem too – but he rather blame the reason why he’s not running on “something else”!!

    Blame it on 2008 – On something Chu stated
    Blame it on Obama – To create more DRAMA!
    But don’t blame it on the wars that’s draining us to our chest
    And food prices going up and the Middle East unrest!!

    And now we are approaching – another election year
    And the gas will be an issue – when before NO ONE cared
    Blame it on the facts it’s been RISING all along
    So now it’s too LATE to sing your ridiculous song!!!!

    Barbour PAH-LEEEEEEZZZZZZZEEEEEEE!!!!!

    March 2, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Sue

    I am not a huge fan of Barbour's......However, he is definitely right about this!!! Where is the outrage by CNN and all other media at the rising fuel costs? They do not care, because they provide lies/spin/cover for Obama. Gasoline can go up to $5 a gallon, and they will still provide lies/spin/cover for Obama and his administration-the most corrupt, fraudulent, lying administration in the history of our country.

    March 2, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    But for the MORONS of the country, just blame Obama.

    March 2, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Are there people who still take this gasbag seriously?

    March 2, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. M.K.

    How much money has Barbour and his Republican bootlicks accepted from the oil industry over the years, and who does he think he is kidding? He doesn't have to buy gas, he fills up his cars at state expense. he is just another liar in a long list of liars in the Republican party. The supreme court rules this country like a dictatorship, and will until there is a constitutional amendment to make them be elected and accountable

    March 2, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Ty

    How soon people seems to forget in 2007 and 2008 the gas prices were high....high....high......now its back. these dump ass old white man Rep......want to blame it on the President again. This is 2011 and the people are aware of your lies Reps......you are not going to suck us into your maness ......Barbour is a red neck and he is living in the pass....and we are not going to follow him with his lies. and the pass..........get out and vote 2012 get these REP out of there.....................

    March 2, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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