Those of us who rely on gasoline to get us around have been feeling the pinch as gas prices have risen for 20 days straight nationwide. As per gallon costs continue to climb toward a wallet cringing $4, some politicians, like President Obama, have been taking this opportunity to spell out how renewable energy and energy efficiency can help take the pain of energy prices out of our daily lives. Others, like a few of the Republican Presidential candidates, are still calling for more drilling all the while attempting to keep down the rise of the electric car and the environmental movement – even though their own experts have been desperately trying to warn them they’re on the wrong side of the coin.
One of those politicians, Newt Gingrich, has been making the rounds this weekend on political talk shows saying that President Obama actually wants higher gas prices. “So what I can guarantee you is the Obama program is higher prices, more dependency in the Middle East, more vulnerability to Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Iran — exactly the wrong direction,” said Gingrich on Fox News Sunday after telling viewers that, “this president is anti-American energy.” Experts say that the President has little to do with rising crude oil prices, which are what is causing gasoline prices to climb, but rather the market is an international betting game in which the major players are concerned about Iran’s current threats to cut off oil to European markets.
This comes even after Obama unveiled his new energy speech last week saying that he knew the pain that everyday Americans feel as prices rise at the pump. While addressing the issue of higher prices at the pump, Obama acknowledged his opponents’ already strong attack on his energy plan, which he’s calling an all-of-the-above strategy to gaining energy independence for the United States. “You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling,” the President said in Florida last week. “We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for president. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.”
Though the President has heavily invested in research into renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind farms, algae biofuel production and a more efficient fleet of American vehicles, his opponents keep turning the conversation toward his noble attempt to stall the Keystone XL pipeline — even though the President hasn’t completely cut off investments into fossil fuel. They say his opposition of the destructive project means he’s opposed to energy independence, as voiced by Rick Santorum at an event on Saturday, “all sorts of opportunities for us to be more energy independent. And what does he say? ‘No Canada, you build that pipeline to the West Coast and send that oil to China.'” We’d say that Santorum’s bashing of the President for putting “the earth above man” is indicative of his inability to see the opportunities that could really make us energy independent and that don’t have to do with splitting our country in half with a giant hunk of steel that will only employ 20 people once built.
Lead image by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious on Flickr
Second image by Deege Photos on Flickr
Third image by Life on the Edge on Flickr