Energy Progress Report is More about Politics

Contributed by Sean Hackbarth U.S. Chamber of Commerce

High gas prices have become the hot political issue.  They are causing the public to sour on the economy, and it’s hurting the administration politically.  An ABC/Washington Post poll found65% of Americans disapprove of how the administration is dealing with the issue.

Today, the White House has been engaged in a full-court media blitz: interviews with local television station; the President’s energy team at today’s White House press conference; and the release of a progress report to the President’s energy blueprint released last year.

In the progress report, the administration continues to pat itself on the back over an increase in domestic oil and gas production it can’t take credit for.  This pattern has gone on for nearly a year even after National Journal reported the administration reaped the rewards of previous administrations

[O]il production was significantly higher in 2009 than in the years prior. Obama may have been in office for most of that year, but the oil production numbers are due to action taken before he became president. In 2010, most if not all of the production increase recorded is likely due to action that predates Obama, since Obama didn’t take any major action expanding offshore drilling his first year in office.

Also as part of their media push, the White House produced an infographic explaining gas prices, but they’re too clever by half. A section is titled, “Increased Production Doesn’t Lower Gas Prices” and has some graphs making their argument.

Let me get this straight: The administration prides itself for increased domestic oil and gas production, but implies that more oil doesn’t have anything to do with gas prices, because the biggest factor is the world oil price. They’re both trying to take credit and deflect blame.

The infographic also keeps pushing the broken-record line that raising taxes on oil and gas companies is a solution because GASP they earn profits. Uh, no.

Last week, former Presidential adviser, Steve Rattner said the U.S. has “absolutely no energy policy.” If they do have one, it’s as muddled as their defense of what they’ve been doing about gas prices.