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

    And this idiot's policy is to going to War, just like Iraq?????Draining the nation????Sending Defense contracts to Haliburton????what an idiot this better shave and have saloon...idiot...

    March 2, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Beeman

    No doobt about it Obama is a Carter all over again when it comes to energy policy and it drives up the price of Oil and Gas. I am a third generation independent oil man and I have never seen more idiotic policy implemented to drive up prices. We are drilling wells now that have payouts in 12 months which is absurd and great for us but terrible for the US economy. If Obama had a clue he would get focused on domestic and international drilling and drive down the prices. But as it stands now alll he is doing is making the people rich who all the liberals hate – oil companies. But thats another story – Obama is not like a union boss instead of a fan of business.

    March 2, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Richard Miller in Montana

    Right on Barbour, he caused the big spill in the Gulf too didn't he?

    March 2, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. keeth in cali

    Wrong. That was Bush & Cheney's policy.

    March 2, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. more bs from big mouths

    These repubs constantly nonsense. Everyone knows speculators drive oil prices. These speculators use guesses and tea leaves to detemine oil supply and demands bases on world events. The dems wanted and passed provisions that allow the SEC to oversee these type of transactions. However the repubs have voted to defund these deparments. This is why we should forward to reduce addiction to fossil fuels.

    March 2, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. aaron in MN

    He has a hick accent...he can't win the White House. Just a fat man making fat noise. only republican lemmings would actually believe his nonsense. If Obama wanted to drive up energy costs he'd put a tax on oil and coal. Maybe Barbour should be blaming the speculators? Maybe he should be blaiming Bush who was warned for 8 years we should be getting off oil but did nothing?

    March 2, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Pretzel Logic

    It's because we don't want our beautiful states to end up looking like your cess pool, Haley. Have a donut and shut up.

    March 2, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. michael , MN

    Tossing lies out to rile up the ignorant

    March 2, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. ohio man

    LOL.. man leave it to these guys Obama is behind everyting that happens.. they are even talking about getting rid of the toy from the Happy meal .. yep its Obama's these repubs will blame everything on him. didnt they say it was because investers where holding back due to whats going over seas so the price of oil has shot up. but let him tell it, its becuase of Obama .. gotta luv it

    March 2, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. phoenix86

    Absolutely true. Obama continues the moratorium on Gulf Coast Drilling, fights against new exploration, and begs the House of Saud to pump more oil.

    Obama is professionally inept.

    March 2, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. TomInRochNY

    We have 2% of the worlds oil. How is increasing our production going to do much at all? Oil is finite, it will eventually run out. Solar and wind will be around forever. Other forms of alternative energay will also be here far longer than oil. Why do we want to increase our reliance on oil, instead of developing better longer term solutions? Barbour is an idiot.

    March 2, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Joe Ranft

    It should be harder to get a license to mine coal than a heart transplant. Is he seriously going to run for President? That's funny,

    March 2, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Scott

    Barbour is dead on. Obama is destroying this country, and he is doing it with a smile on his face.

    March 2, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. furious

    you have to be kidding....and the current unrest in the middle east has nothing to do with it...Duh???

    March 2, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. truth

    What ever happened to integrity? Baubour tells one lie after another. Huckabee just pulling straws out of a hat, and CNN reports this trash as if its tabloeid gossip. Man is destroying the world. People need to just stop, look and listen to themselves. It is not meant for man to act like monsters, devils, or demons. These Supremacists need to just stop with all the rhetoric.

    March 2, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. LouAz

    Why would the Gov of Mississippi care ? They still have horse drawn wagons and no cars in the south's most progressive Confederate State. You betcha !

    March 2, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Gene Evangelist

    The truth is at lower prices there is no financial incentive on anyone's part to look for alternatives. The US is already paying way less than most of the world. You can expect fuel prices to edge up to 7% of GDP that is the upper limit before the price damages the US economy. Prices couldn't be left to increase the last two years – the economy couldn't handle it. Now we can, so expect prices to move on up.

    March 2, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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