President Obama mocked Republicans’ target prices for easing pain at the pump in his remarks on energy at a community college today.
Obama was in Largo, Md., as part of his full-court-press strategy for his “all-of-the-above” energy independence plan.
“And every time prices start to go up — especially in an election year — politicians dust off their 3-point plans for $2.00 gas,” he said to audience laughs. “I guess this year they decided, we’re going to make it $2.50.” More laughs.
“I don’t know where — why not $2.40?” Obama continued to more laughter. “Why not $2.10?” The audience laughed some more.
“But they tell the same story,” the president said. “They head down to the gas station; they make sure a few cameras are following them — and then they start acting like we’ve got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever if you just elect us.” The audience laughed again.
“Every time,” Obama continued. “Been the same script for 30 years. It’s like a bad rerun.” And yes, the crowd laughed.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been campaigning on a pledge to get gas down to $2.50 per gallon.
Obama then swung into his new mantra that there is “no silver bullet” to fix gas prices.
“So do not tell me that we’re not drilling,” he said. “We’re drilling all over this country. I guess there are a few spots where we’re not drilling. We’re not drilling in the National Mall.”
The crowd laughed.
“We’re not drilling at your house,” Obama continued to more laughter. “I guess we could try to have, like, 200 oil rigs in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.”
On cue, audience members yelled “No!”
“Well, that’s the question,” Obama said. “We are drilling at a record pace but we’re doing so in a way that protects the health and safety and the natural resources of the American people.”
Reuters reported today that Obama discussed tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with Prime Minister David Cameron during the British leader’s visit. White House spokesman Jay Carney today pushed back against that story. “It is inaccurate, as was reported today, that any kind of agreement was reached on a course of action, or that any kind of timetable associated with a course of action was agreed to,” Carney said at the daily press briefing. “Those reports are wrong. They’re false.”
Republicans jumped on Obama, though, for seeking just that kind of silver bullet.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for emergencies – not political disasters,” Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.) said. “The Obama administration still has not refilled the over 30 million barrels of oil it released from our emergency supply almost a year ago. Instead of manipulating the SPR, the White House should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, increase domestic energy exploration, cut red tape, and stop the EPA from shutting down American refineries.”