Wednesday, March 21, 2012

White House: "United States should deliberately raise gasoline prices to discourage consumption"

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday walked away from his oft-quoted pre-Cabinet statement that the United States should deliberately raise gasoline prices to discourage consumption.

In a 2008 interview with The Wall Street Journal before he was appointed President Obama’s energy secretary, Dr. Chu, then the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.”

Dr. Chu, a winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, has spent much of his career seeking alternative forms of energy to try to mitigate the global warming effects of the burning of fossil fuels.

His views on gasoline prices, while endorsed by many scientists and environmentalists, are politically off-message today, when gasoline prices are spiking and Mr. Obama is seeking to avoid political blame for them. The president has repeatedly said he has no “silver bullet” to bring prices down but adds that he is doing everything he can to increase domestic oil supplies, including opening large areas of public lands and waters to drilling. Read More