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How to Make Obama Replace What He Might Pull from Oil Reserve

A clever way to hold the president accountable as he faces election-year fears about high gas prices is advancing through the House.

Bridget Johnson


April 19, 2012 - 4:25 pm
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The congressman, citing statements by Energy Secretary Steven Chu and others, also said this administration is “intentionally trying to drive the price of energy up.”

When Obama redundantly pushes for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, “it’s all the above as long as it’s their above,” Gardner said.

A member of the GOP Young Guns program and the conservative Republican Study Committee, Gardner won his district by a whopping 73.3 percent in the midterm GOP House takeover.

He has 14 Republican co-sponsors on the bill, but expects some conservative Democrats will join the effort. He’s also reached out to a few senators about companion legislation in the upper chamber.

Obama last tapped into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a 727 million barrel stockpile created during the 1970s Arab oil embargo and intended for use in emergencies, in June 2011. It had been drawn down three previous times: during Operation Desert Storm by Bush Sr., after Hurricane Katrina by George W. Bush, and by Bill Clinton eight weeks before Vice President Al Gore’s presidential election.

The stage is set for renewed oil battles with the administration after the House defied a White House veto threat yesterday and approved 293-127 text calling for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline inserted into a highway bill.

Sixty-nine Democrats, including Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.), voted for the bill. Fourteen Republicans voted against it.

“There is an effort — and not for the first time, an effort by Congress — members of Congress who seem to think it is a wise decision to preemptively approve something that will be done — in violation of many, many years of precedent, approve a pipeline that would be built by a foreign company, that emanates from a foreign country without knowing where that pipeline would go,” Carney said at today’s press briefing.

Gardner called Obama’s embrace of part of the pipeline and vow that he’ll expedite the rest of it “disingenuous” and “trying to have it both ways” with both the majority of American consumers and his environmentalist supporters. “The president is on the wrong side of this issue,” he said.

But it just underlines a greater threat to domestic production posed by this administration, he said, and underscores a need for accountability measures such as his bill.

“The totality of actions shows nothing but hostility toward domestic energy production,” Gardner said.

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Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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