Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared Tuesday to have walked away from his 2008 comment that the United States needs gas prices like they’ve got in Europe – that is, $8-$9 a gallon – in order to make alternative energy prices competitive and herald a new era of global cooling.
Well, he did walk away. But how far? Maybe not very.
Testifying before Congress Tuesday, Chu said what he now believes is that the price should be at about $2, but that gasoline should be sold in quarts.
Okay, that’s a joke. Sorry.
Here’s the exchange between Chu and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Lee: So are you saying you no longer share the view that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America?
Chu: “I no longer share that view . . .When I became Secretary of Energy, I represented the U.S. government . . . Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up, we want it to go down.
Who got to Chu? Did Chu get a trip to the woodshed and receive a vigorous presidential spanking? Was he brought to the White House Hypnotist and convinced he wants cheap gas?
Not at all.
Look closely at what he said in his testimony: “When I became Secretary of Energy, I represented the U.S. government.”
That suggests clearly that he still probably thinks the same thing he always thought – that you and I should have to choose between bankruptcy and a hybrid vehicle, but that he has to say certain things because of his position.
He can’t even bring himself to say “I don’t want the price of gasoline to go up,” he says “we.”
Which means in all likelihood, whatever President Obama says his policies are on gasoline prices and drilling, he has an energy secretary who actually wants the price to go up.
And he keeps him.